The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai A Professional Corporation

Business contract dispute surrounds California winemaking project

Wine is an important part of cultural sophistication to many, which is why it is essential to pay close attention to even the smallest details when creating a high-end wine. Therefore, obtaining help from the experts is critical for anybody looking to enter the wine business. However, even the experts are not perfect, which is what one entrepreneur found out after hiring a consultant winemaker. The failed business collaboration recently ended in a business contract dispute in California.

The problems began after the entrepreneur -- owner of Potelle, a wine manufacturing company -- hired a consultant winemaker to help create a high-end bottle of wine. The owner of the company is now suing the consultant for breach of contract and negligence. The winemaker consultant was supposed to help make a wine that could be retailed for as much as $200 per bottle. However, the plaintiff claims that the consultant allowed the wine to literally turn into vinegar.

The court documents filed by the entrepreneur claim that the plaintiff had agreed to pay the defendant $120,000 to be paid in installment payments over a 10-month period. The winemaker consultant was supposed to make the wine at his own vineyard where he also produced his own wine. However, the project began to go badly due to volatile acidity in the wine reaching high levels.

On the other hand, there are two sides to each business contract dispute in California. The defendant in the case denies the allegations regarding his alleged failure to fulfill the contract. The consultant winemaker claims that the wine is marketable and that he also worked for free for a significant amount of time to help save the project. However, it will be up to a judge to decide who will ultimately prevail in this court case.

Source:, "California winemaker sued over failed 'cult' wine", Chris Mercer, May 29, 2014

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