Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 4.1. Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control
Chapter 4. Wine Franchise Act

§ 4.1-406. Cancellation.

Notwithstanding the terms, provisions or conditions of any agreement, no winery shall unilaterally amend, cancel, terminate or refuse to continue to renew any agreement, or unilaterally cause a wholesaler to resign from an agreement, unless the winery has first complied with § 4.1-407 and good cause exists for amendment, termination, cancellation, nonrenewal, noncontinuance or causing a resignation. Good cause shall not include the sale or purchase of a winery. Good cause shall include, but is not limited to the following:

1. Revocation of the wholesaler's license to do business in the Commonwealth;

2. Bankruptcy or receivership of the wholesaler;

3. Assignment for the benefit of creditors or similar disposition of the assets of the wholesaler, other than the creation of a security interest in the assets of a wholesaler for the purpose of securing financing in the ordinary course of business; or

4. Failure by the wholesaler to substantially comply, without reasonable cause or justification, with any reasonable and material requirement imposed upon him in writing by the winery including, but not limited to, a substantial failure by a wine wholesaler to (i) maintain a sales volume or trend of his winery's brand or brands comparable to that of other distributors of that brand in the Commonwealth similarly situated or (ii) render services comparable in quality, quantity or volume to the services rendered by other wholesalers of the same brand or brands within the Commonwealth similarly situated. In any determination as to whether a wholesaler has failed to substantially comply, without reasonable excuse or justification, with any reasonable and material requirement imposed upon him by the winery, consideration shall be given to the relative size, population, geographical location, number of retail outlets and demand for the products applicable to the territory of the wholesaler in question and to comparable territories.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a winery from proposing or effecting an amendment to a contract with a wine wholesaler in the Commonwealth provided that such amendment is not inconsistent with this chapter.

Good cause shall not be construed to exist without a finding of a material deficiency for which the wholesaler is responsible in any case in which good cause is alleged to exist based on circumstances not specifically set forth in subdivisions 1 through 4 of this section.

Code 1950, § 4-118.27; 1985, c. 542, § 4-118.47; 1987, c. 246; 1989, c. 10; 1993, c. 866; 1996, c. 3.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.