Effective August 8, 2016, Act. 39 amendments to the Pennsylvania Liquor Code signed into law by Governor Wolk become effective. The Act is aimed at increasing the availability and promotion of Pennsylvania alcohol products. The Pennslyvania Liquor Control Board has issued a SUMMARY of information relevant to Licensees. The act is aimed at creating parity between its categories of manufacturers.

Of particular interest, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has created a new direct wine shipper license (DWS) wherein a wine manufacturer may ship up to 36 cases of wine to Pennsylvania residents within a calendar year for personal use regardless whether produced in Pennsylvania, another state, or country. All wine however must be transported via a Pennsylvania licensed transporter-for-hire.

The big news of course it that those entities holding a restaurant or hotel license, the new law allows for the sale of wine up to three liters per single transaction, a matter of interest to the growing number of grocery stores.

Act 39 expands the availability of special exposition permits for Pennsylvania ciders, breweries, and distilleries which where historically only available to Pennsylvania Limited Wineries.

For more on this new change in law click here: Summary of Changes In Alcohol Law in PA.


successhospitalityHappy New Year to all. I can’t believe another year has come and gone already. For myself, as the new year turns I’m taking a moment to reflect back on how well I achieved the goals I set for myself last year and to create new ones. Hence, it’s been a good time to dust off the old business plan to reflect on progress made or the lack thereof. In other words, I’m holding myself accountable for doing what I told myself I was going to do. So far, my persistence and diligence is bearing fruit for those new goals I’ve taken on. I’m also looking to scrap those goals that aren’t working.

I know some of you are contemplating taking the plunge this year to establish your own winery or wine based business. If so, this is a great time to lay your foundation towards developing a successful winery or wine and hospitality based business by creating your business plan.

Creating a business plan forces you to focus on identifying your goals and objectives as well as how to set plans on how to reach them. In other words, where do you see your business 1 year from now, 3 years from now, or even 5 years from now? Who are your customers? What specific products will you offer? Have you identified your competition? What are your start up costs and sources of funds? What is your mission? Who is your target market? How will you manage the local, state, and federal regulations governing the business of alcohol? Exactly how will your business take shape in 2016?

These are just a few questions to think about when starting your own winery, wine or hospitality based business. As the beginning of the year unfolds, use this time to build your business plan and set achievable goals. Your business plan will keep you on the right track in 2016 and the years to follow.

Does Alternative Lending For Your Pennsylvania Wine Or Hospitalty Business Sound Enticing?

We can all probably agree that building your new winery or hospitality business takes hard work, dedication, perseverance and boatload of money. Whereas the baby boomer generation typically relied on traditional forms of financing such as bank loans, savings accounts, small business administration loans and daddy, today’s millennial entrepreneurs are turning to non-traditional forms of financing and lending sources. seed$images

Millennial hospitality and wine business entrepreneurs who have struggled to find access to capital are relying now on more organic ways to fund their wine and hospitality businesses. One such way is by pursuing alternative crowd-funding financing. Crowd-funding, also known as peer-to peer lending, is a popular and growing alternative method of raising money.

Unlike an angel investment in which one person typically takes a larger stake in a small business, crowd-funding attracts a crowd of people, each of who take a small stake in a business by contributing towards an online funding target. Its main benefit is the creation of a strong network of support for your business. Your investors often become your evangelists for your brand.

On such crowd funding source is Kickstarter ( Typically there is no cost to launch a crowd-funding campaign. If you business is successful in its funding, Kickstarter takes a small fee plus payment processing. If your campaign fails, there are no fees.

Crowd-funding can provide a fantastic opportunity but it should not be taken lightly. You may wish to contact your lawyer or CPA for professional assistance. For more help and information on this alternative financing source, you should also consult the Small Business Administration’s (www.SBA.GOV) online course on Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs.

Now go out there and “show me the money.”

May Your Holiday Wishes Be Filled With Good Wine and Cheer!

Happy holidays and best wishes from the Law Offices of Judy M. Young, LLC. Its hard to believe its been almost eightchristmas-holiday-wallpaper years since the launch of Pennsylvania Winery and Hospitality Lawyer. Its been a real joy and a blessing to serve the needs of the Pennsylvania wine and hospitality community. As 2015 approaches, we look forward to serving your future legal needs. We hope your new year is filled with good health, happiness, and cheer.

Pennsylvania Wine Bloggers: Who’s Got The Juice In 2014?

The public voting is complete for the 2014 Wine Blog Awards. The public has spoken and these lucky winners are the folks who’ve got the juice! A special shout out to Philly’s own Wine School of Pennsylvania. You do Pennsylvania proud.

Best Blog Post of the Year

Lauren Mowery’s Turkish Wines: Vinkara Winery Working to Preserve Indigenous Varieties with Delicious Results, from the blog, Chasing the Vine.

Best Original Photography or Video on a Wine Blog

Jordan Winery’s blog, The Journey of Jordan Winery, organized by Lisa Mattson.

Best Industry/Business Wine Blog:

Tom Wark’s Fermentation: The Daily Wine blog

Best Wine Reviews on a Wine Blog:

Wine School of Philadelphia

Best Single Subject Wine Blog:

Washington Wine Report

Best Winery Blog:

The Lynmar Life

Best Writing On a Wine Blog:

HoseMaster of Wine

Best New Wine Blog:

Girl and the Grape

Best Overall Wine Blog:

Jamie Goode’s Wine Blog

PLCB Regulatory Changes Comes To Pennsylvania Limited Wineries

Effective March 1, 2014, the Pennslyvania Liquor Control Board announced regulatory changes that affect Limited Winery Licensees around the state. The PLCB has eliminated the requirement that prohibited in state wineries from selling bottles for less than the same wine sells for at the state operated Wine and Spirit Stores. The recent change is designed to promote in-state wineries. For more read: PLCB Changes Allow Wineries To Sell Products Below The State Sell Price.

Government Shutdown Stands To Create Economic Losses for Pennsylvania Wineries

For those of us in the wine industry, the government shutdown has brought the wine approval business to a halt. Federal approval for new wineries and/or wine labels is handled by the Federal Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). For purposes of the government shutdown, the TTB has been deemed non-essential. The Federal Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is not processing COLAs, new wine application permits, label approvals, or importation of wine in bond. Approximately 800,000 of the two million U.S. federal employees have been furloughed.

The suspension of the TTB’s regulatory functions means all reviews of alcohol beverage label permits, formulas are suspended until such time funding is reinstated. This means that many Pennsylvania wineries will not be able to sell their wines until the shutdown ends and their applications can be processed. The legal documents required to bottle and sell the wine has come to a halt, hence having severe financial impact to many of the State’s wineries.

The TTB has posted an Appropriations Lapse Notice. Once government services resume, a horrendous backlog for application processing is anticipated as we are now approaching Day 14 of the shutdown.

A Best Business Practice For Your Pennsylvania Hospitality Business

One of the most difficult factors to comply with when forming a Limited Liability Corporations (LLC) is to remember that you and your business are not the same. This is especially significant for LLC’s that have a single member or handful of members.best_practice2.6022437_std

As the LLC owner, you are distinguishable now as the Agent of the LLC. Thus, when signing contracts and other business documents, you should do so on behalf of the LLC and not as an individual. This can sometimes be difficult to remember if you have grown out of your role as Sole Proprietor or Partnership, and have transitioned into a LLC.

In order to maintain the maximum protection of personal liability that your LLC provides, you will want to maintain this important legal distinction. Failure to do so may put you into a position where a judge may determine that you are personally liable for the debts of your restaurant, winery, or wine based based hospitality business. Adherence to this best practice will help to shield the members of the LLC.

Forming the habit of maintaining best business practices will ensure the success your hospitality business.

Protecting Your Pennsylvania Winery and Hospitality Business Summertime Event

Now that summertime is here, your Winery, Restaurant, Wine Business or Bed and Breakfast may permit wineeventusing your facility for events such as festivals, weddings, outdoor jazz concerts and other events that attract customers to your venue and promote goodwill in your community.

When working with event planners you’ll need to remember to have a carefully prepared Agreement that will protect your risks and liabilities for the event.

A brief look at things you’ll want to consider:

**Outline the premises and facilities that the other party participating with you will be authorize to use. You may desire to restrict certain areas of your property.

**Identify the purpose of your agreement, the parties involved, and the duration of the agreement. Allow yourself a provision that gives you the power to terminate the agreement if necessary.

**Detail the necessary payments, deposits and schedule for which they are to be paid.

**Be clear about which party is responsible for particular services and amenities (food, beverages, security, entertainment, lighting, janitorial clean-up.)

**State which party will be responsible for event permits and licensing.

**Identify who will be responsible for monitoring alchohol consumption of the guests. Make sure the alcohol servers are RAMP trained so they may prevent underage service, excessive consumption and intoxicated guests from driving.

**Allow yourself a provision to be compensated for premise damages that may be incurred during such events.

**Have your legal counsel prepare and/or review your written Agreement prior to the execution by each party.

And by all means enjoy your summertime events!

A Comprehensive Look At American Wine In All Fifty States

Are you’re looking for a guide on American wines and those who make it? Is so you might wish to take a look at this new book by author and wine expert Janis Robinson. Janice takes a look at American winemakers in all fifty states. For more: