Kathleen Inman just received the Rising Star Award at the Women for WineSense Grand Event at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena.

The Rising Star Award is presented annually to women with 12 or fewer years in the wine industry that 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.

This amazing rising star does a remarkable job, not only making wines and growing the grapes but dealing with all of the other aspects of running the business end of a winery . Around the winery she is known  and the “jack of all trades “  working in  the sales & marketing department, the IT help desk, CFO and even as a  forklift driver and a devoted  mother of  two girls.

“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 food friendly wine with a sense of place are strongly in synch 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.”

She 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, she 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.

In the vineyards she  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.

There is an old adage in the wine industry that it takes 10 years to be an overnight success.  This award proves the point as they celebrate their 10th year of making Pinot Noir from the nearby Olivet Vineyards .Keep an eye on Kathleen and Inman Family Wines. They are on the rise and making some big noise in the wine industry.