(Rutherford, Calif.—February 14, 2023) – Beckstoffer Vineyards has filed a lawsuit in the Northern District Federal Court in San Francisco against Last Bottle and its affiliated company Sleeper Cellars for trademark infringement. The Complaint, filed on February 11, 2023, alleges that Blicker Pierce Wagner Wine Merchants, LLC and its affiliated companies, Sleeper Cellars and Last Bottle, willfully committed trademark infringement by placing the Beckstoffer trademark on the front label of a wine without authorization.
The wine, which was bottled or labeled by Sleeper Cellars, was sold on Last Bottle in early February, and used the name “Beckstoffer To Kalon” on the front label. Seemingly acknowledging that the conduct was unlawful, Last Bottle promoted the wine stating, “There’s a lot more secret stuff we CAN’T tell you about…but really, we already let the cat out of the bag when we typed “Beckstoffer To Kalon”—no doubt our legal counsel is furious…not to mention the all-powerful To Kalon Illuminati.”
The Complaint further names a party as DOE 1 and alleges that DOE 1 sold the wine to Sleeper Cellars in breach of its Grape Purchase Agreement with Beckstoffer Vineyards. Once that party is identified, it will be added to the lawsuit.
Beckstoffer Vineyards’ wine business counsel Daniel Reidy states: “It is puzzling why these wine companies would place these valuable and well-known trademarks on a wine label without authorization. But then to brag about the unlawfulness via a marketing promotion boggles the mind.” Reidy adds, “Typically, when we see wine label infringements it is because someone got too close to a mark or missed it in a search. In those cases, we try to find a solution short of legal action. This incident does not appear to be anything of the sort, and my client had little choice but to file this lawsuit to protect its winery licensees’ rights.”
Andy Beckstoffer, the owner of Beckstoffer Vineyards, states: “We have worked hard over the past 50 years to ensure truthfulness and integrity to all that we do and to protect our winery licensees’ rights to the Beckstoffer marks and vineyard designates. It flies in the face of our winery licensees, who invest substantial resources to buy our grapes and sell their wine. We cannot allow an unlicensed party to flaunt the law and damage our winery licensees.”
ABOUT BECKSTOFFER VINEYARDS
Named “Napa’s most powerful grape grower” by both the Wall Street Journal and Wine Spectator, Beckstoffer Vineyards was founded in 1970. Beckstoffer Vineyards is firmly rooted in the soil of Northern California’s wine country, with Andy Beckstoffer playing an integral role in the evolution of the wine grape industry since 1970. Beckstoffer Vineyards’ goal is to produce the highest quality grapes in Northern California that form the foundation of exceptional wines, as well as a passion for the preservation of the land and viticultural expertise.