Nat DiBuduo and Jeff Bitter of Allied Grape Growers review more than 500 California wine contracts per year. Some contracts address grower interests well; others do not. The grower advocates suggest eight specific areas which should be in a contract to protect the grower's interest.
The wine grape purchase agreement, a very important document between the wine grape grower and the winery, should spell out the responsibilities and expectations of both parties.
Nat DiBuduo, Allied Grape Grower President, says a wine grape grower should never waive their producer’s lien right.
Allied Grape Growers Vice-President Jeff Bitter spends much of his time reviewing proposed grape contracts for Allied members.
The California wine grape industry includes about 525,000 acres of wine grapes, about 4,600 growers, and about 2,800 bonded wineries, according to the California Association of Winegrape Growers.
The basics of a wine grape contract include the varietal, acreage, specific appellation (if noted), and whether a limit exists on purchased tonnage.
The contract should specify the type and size of containers approved for the delivery of grapes to the winery.
The contract should include a list of viticultural practices used to produce the crop for the winery.