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Winemaker Kathleen Inman Honored by Women for WineSense with Rising Star Award

Date: 05/08/12

Kathleen Inman, founder and winemaker of Inman Family Wines, a Russian River Valley producer of small-lot Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, received the Rising Star Award at the Women for WineSense Grand Event on May 6, at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, Calif.

The Rising Star Award is presented annually to women with 12 or fewer years in the wine industry who demonstrate leadership in their field, are considered innovators, serve as role models, and display a commitment to continuing their career in the wine business. Past recipients have included such esteemed winemakers as Celia Welch of Corra Wines and Scarecrow, Cathy Corison of Corison Winery, and Retour Wines proprietor Lindsay Woodard.

“It’s an honor to be acknowledged for my work by such a respected organization that encourages and supports the aspirations of women in wine,” says Inman. “Women for WineSense’s mission of encouraging women in the industry, and its support of food friendly wine with a sense of place are strongly in sync with my own views of what the wine business should represent. I feel deeply privileged to be recognized alongside a strong group of women that continue to make an imprint in this industry.”

Inman is a leading advocate of natural wine, and wine that possesses a more restrained and elegant style from the Russian River Valley, with moderate alcohol levels and healthy, natural acidity. A Napa Valley native, Inman fell in love with wine as a student at UCSB, holding a summer job at Napa Creek Winery. After years as a finance executive in England, she and her husband returned to California to indulge her passion for Pinot Noir. She obtained the 10.45-acre Olivet Grange property in Sonoma County and began planting it following organic farming practices in the year 2000. This year, Inman Family Wines celebrates the 10th anniversary since its first harvest in 2002. In the vineyards, Inman uses only organic fertilizers, including “Four Course Compost,” comprised of table scraps discarded by high-end San Francisco restaurants and hotels. In the winery, she takes a non-interventionist approach using native yeasts, natural clarification and gentle handling of the fruit. Her wines are now available primarily through the mailing list and at some of the nation’s finest restaurants.

Other recipients of this year’s Rising Star Award include Kathy Johanson of O Wines and City University of Seattle, Stacy Lill of O Wines and Cashmere Consulting, and Dr. Liz Thach MW of Sonoma State University. For more information about Women for WineSense, please visit

About Inman Family Wines
Inman Family Wines handcrafts small lots of estate grown Pinot Noir, Chardonnay 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 sensitive, organic and sustainable viticultural practices, to great attention to detail in the winemaking. Inman Family Wines can be found at many fine dining restaurants and are also available for purchase online at

Job Function: Winemaking

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