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LI vineyard sued for duck label

A Calif.-based lawsuit against Duck Walk Vineyards, based

A Calif.-based lawsuit against Duck Walk Vineyards, based in Southold, disputes Duck Walk Vineyards use of ducks on their labels. Credit: iStock

A Long Island winery was sued by a Napa County vineyard earlier this month for allegedly breaking a previous agreement involving the use of ducks on wine bottle labels.

The lawsuit, filed by St. Helena, Calif.-based Duck Horn Vineyards, says that Duck Walk Vineyards, based in Southold, has violated terms of the a settlement between the two wineries following a legal dispute in 2003. Duck Walk is part of Pindar Vineyards, Long Island's largest producer of wine.

Terms of the 2003 settlement required that Duck Walk indicate on front labels that the wine originated in Long Island, produce no more than 84,000 gallons of wine to sell under the word or a photo of a duck, and sell no more than 50 percent of the duck-labeled wines outside Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

Duckhorn is alleging that certain Duck Walk wine labels violate the agreement and that the vineyard is selling more than half of its duck labeled wines outside of the tri-state area. The lawsuit is asking Duck Walk to stop using the duck labels and pull back on sales, as well as an unspecified amount in damages.

Steven Schlesinger, a lawyer for Duck Walk, said the Napa vineyard lawsuit's allegations were “dead wrong,” and that the company has hired a lawyer in California to prepare a motion to dismiss the case.

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