Code of Virginia

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

§ 4.1-401. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Agreement" means a commercial relationship, not required to be evidenced in writing, of definite or indefinite duration, between a winery and wine wholesaler pursuant to which the wholesaler has been authorized to distribute one or more of the winery's brands of wine. The doing or accomplishment of any of the following acts shall constitute prima facie evidence of an agreement within the meaning of this definition:

1. The shipment, preparation for shipment or acceptance of any order by a winery for any wine to a wine wholesaler within the Commonwealth.

2. The payment by a wine wholesaler and the acceptance of payment by any winery for the shipment of an order of wine intended for sale in the Commonwealth.

"Brand" means any word, name, group of letters, symbol or combination thereof adopted and used by a winery to identify a specific wine product and to distinguish that product from other wine produced or marketed by that winery or other wineries. The use of general corporate logos or symbols or the use of advertising messages, whether appearing on the product packaging or elsewhere, shall not be considered to be a brand, brand extension, or part thereof as these terms are used in this chapter.

"Brand extension" and "extension of a brand" mean any brand which incorporates all or a substantial part of the unique features of a preexisting brand of the same winery and which relies to a significant extent on the good will associated with such preexisting brand.

"Dual distributorships" means the existence of agreements between a single winery and more than one wholesaler, each selling a different brand, in a given territory as the result of a purchase of another winery.

"Nonsurviving winery" means any winery which is purchased by another winery as provided in § 4.1-405 and, as a result, ceases to exist as an independent legal entity.

"Person" means a natural person, corporation, partnership, trust, agency or other entity as well as the individual officers, directors or other persons in active control of the activities of each such entity. Person also includes heirs, assigns, personal representatives and conservators.

"Purchase" includes, but is not limited to, the sale of stock, sale of assets, merger, lease, transfer or consolidation.

"Surviving winery" means the winery which purchases a nonsurviving winery as provided in § 4.1-405.

"Territory" or "sales territory" means the area of primary sales responsibility within the Commonwealth expressly or implicitly designated by any agreement between any wine wholesaler and winery for the brand or brands of any winery.

"Wine wholesaler" means any wholesale wine licensee offering wine for sale or resale to retailers or other wine wholesalers without regard to whether the business of the person is conducted under the terms of an agreement with a licensed winery.

"Winery" means every person, including any authorized representative of such person pursuant to § 4.1-218, which enters into an agreement with any Virginia wholesale wine licensee and (i) is licensed as a winery or is licensed as a Virginia farm winery, (ii) is licensed as a wine importer and is not simultaneously licensed as a wine wholesaler, (iii) manufactures or sells any wine products, whether licensed in the Commonwealth or not, or (iv) without regard to whether such person is licensed in the Commonwealth, has title to any wine products, excluding Virginia wholesale licensees and retail licensees, and has the manufacturer's authorization to market such products under its own brand or the manufacturer's brand.

Code 1950, §§ 4-118.21, 4-118.23; 1985, c. 542, § 4-118.43; 1986, c. 102; 1989, c. 10; 1991, c. 628; 1993, c. 866; 1997, c. 801.

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.