SOURCE: Inman Family Wines

February 27, 2007 13:00 ET

Inman Family Wines Introduces New Labeling

Olivet Grange Vineyard (OGV) in Sonoma's Russian River Valley Remains Source of Estate-Grown Fruit

HEALDSBURG, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 27, 2007 --Inman Family Wines has introduced new labeling as the result of a settlement reached with the Australian winery, Penfolds, over the use of the word "Grange" on the front of Inman Family's labels. The new label refers to Olivet Grange Vineyard, the source of Inman's estate-grown fruit in Sonoma's Russian River Valley, as the acronym OGV.

In 2005, Inman Family Wines, an artisanal producer of small lots of pinot noir and pinot gris, was approached by Penfolds, whose parent company is the wine, beer and spirits behemoth Foster's, with a demand that they cease using "Grange" on their labels. Penfolds produces an ultra-premium Australian shiraz called Grange. They claimed that the Inman's use of the word violated their trademark and would cause damage to their business, even though the use of the term on the Inman label simply referred to the name of their vineyard.

Kathleen Inman, winemaker and owner of Inman Family Wines, along with her husband, Simon, settled the dispute in April 2006 by agreeing to remove "Grange" from their front label.

"We really had no choice but to change our front label, as litigation with a giant corporation like Foster's would have drained our financial resources," said Kathleen Inman. "The name Olivet Grange Vineyard reflects our farm's location on Olivet Road in the Russian River Valley, along with the name of our country home in England, The Grange at Elvington. Grange is also a common agricultural term meaning a small farm with outbuildings, which perfectly described our 10-acre property. We don't produce a shiraz, so there was no serious prospect of consumer confusion, and there are already over 700 registered wine labels using the word 'Grange,' so I didn't understand their concern."

The Inmans bought their vineyard in 1999, and in 2000, carefully selected and planted clones of pinot noir and pinot gris that would thrive in the climate of the Russian River Valley. They are releasing their third vintage of pinot noir, the 2005 vintage, to wine club members in March of 2007.

In addition to producing their own wines, the Inmans have also sold fruit from their vineyard to other esteemed California pinot noir producers such as Siduri Wines and Pali Wine Co. All fruit purchased from the Inmans will be labeled as Inman Olivet Vineyard.

"In 2005, our inaugural vintage, Pali was very fortunate to receive terrific fruit from Kathleen Inman's Olivet Grange Vineyard, which we called Inman Olivet Vineyard on our label," said Tim Perr, co-founder of Pali Wine Co. "This wine received a score of 92 from Wine Spectator, our top scoring Pinot for the vintage. No matter the name, the Inman's vineyard produces amazing fruit."

About Inman Family Wines

Inman Family Wines handcrafts small lots of estate grown Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The estate wines reflect the unique imprint of the Olivet Grange Vineyard (OGV), located amidst some of Sonoma County's and the Russian River Valley's most respected vineyards. Inman Family Wines is committed to quality from grape to glass -- from their sensitive, organic and sustainable viticultural practices, to attention to detail in the winemaking. The wines are balanced, and made to complement and enhance food and conversation. Inman Family Wines can be found at many fine dining restaurants and are also available for purchase online. Private tastings are by appointment only.

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