Forget Banh-Mi Beefs: Introducing the Brooklyn Winery Wars


Remember good ol’ fashioned Brooklyn banh-mi rivalries? Well, the borough has now graduated to winery wars. The Brooklyn Paper reported today that a squabble has broken out between two wineries in Brooklyn, but one of them now says the episode is a nonissue. Brooklyn Wine Company, which bottles and sells its wine around the city, is concerned that a new winemaking center in Williamsburg will confuse local oenophiles. Brooklyn Winery is too similar to Brooklyn Wine Company’s trademarked name, says its founder, who hopes to pressure the newcomer into changing its name.

But Brooklyn Winery says there is no conflict.

“[We have] submitted a trademark application through the appropriate channels for the term ‘Brooklyn Winery Urban Winery + Winemaking Center,'” says co-founder and CEO Brian Leventhal. “We have not, and do not, intend to request a trademark for the term ‘Brooklyn Winery.’ With our wine production to commence on Sept. 20, 2010, our primary focus is opening our doors and proudly becoming part of the Brooklyn and greater New York City vinophile and oenophile community.”

That is one mouthful of a name — especially for those whose mouths will presumably already be filled with barrel samples of their own wine. And, to be fair, people will likely just end up calling it Brooklyn Winery. But considering the concepts are so different from each other — retail wines versus bespoke wines you make yourself with the winemaker — it shouldn’t be too hard to keep straight who is who. As long as you’re sober.