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Kodak Helps Napa Valley Wineries Fight Wine Fraud

Press release from the issuing company

Friday June 1 -- ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- Eager to address the growing threat posed by producers of imitation wines, several of Napa Valley's most prestigious wineries have moved to employ a new high tech anticounterfeiting technology from Eastman Kodak Company to protect their brands and customers. The KODAK Security Solution provides confidence and assurance to Colgin Cellars, HL Vineyards, Vineyard 29 and Staglin Family Vineyard by allowing easy authentication of their products.

According to industry experts, counterfeit wine could affect as much as 5 percent of wines sold in secondary markets.

"Wine fraud is a rising problem that threatens to seriously damage the premium wine industry," said Steve Powell, General Manager & Director, Security Solutions, Kodak's Graphic Communications Group. "These industry leaders are taking proactive steps to address the problem now. Kodak's proprietary anticounterfeiting technology gives users a covert, easy to implement, cost effective, and long lasting solution for defending their products and reputations."

Ann Colgin, Owner, Colgin Cellars, immediately recognized the value that Kodak's solution could deliver in protecting her super premium vintages, which sell at auction for hundreds of dollars a bottle.

"While Colgin Cellars has not experienced any problems with counterfeit wine, the issue has concerned me for some time. As a vintner and an auctioneer, I felt it was necessary to take a stand and ensure my customers a guarantee of authenticity," said Colgin. "Kodak worked closely with me to quickly develop and implement a solution that met my demanding production schedule. Within 45 days, Kodak evaluated solution options, conducted a pilot test, delivered a proposal, and implemented a solution that protects Colgin Cellars products."

The time is right for protecting premium wines, said Shari Staglin of Staglin Family Vineyard.

"Our wines are enjoyed by customers around the world. The recent recognition by the EEU of the Napa Valley name and brand makes it even more important we offer our customers the protection afforded by the KODAK solution to ensure the integrity of the Staglin Family Vineyard brand and label," explained Staglin.

The KODAK anticounterfeiting technology uses invisible markers that can be added to printing inks, paper and other packaging elements, and are detectable only with proprietary handheld readers. The readers are leased to customers and delivered in tamperproof packaging. The system prevents counterfeiters from duplicating product packaging.

"This system enables us to quickly and easily determine if a suspect bottle is authentic or fake," said Jennifer Lamb, Owner, HL Vineyards. "Our passion for winemaking and our vineyard is driving us to vigorously address the issue of wine fraud. The KODAK solution fits our needs because it's simple yet robust. We're excited to be one of the first in our industry to use it and we hope others will employ similar protections."

For winemakers with unique bottling methods, the KODAK solution can be adapted to fit their product specifications. Chuck McMinn, Owner, Vineyard 29, appreciates the technology's flexibility.

"At Vineyard 29, our label information is silk screened directly on the bottle," explained McMinn. "Kodak was quick to adapt their technology to our specific needs. Our anticounterfeiting solution does not interfere with the process we use to bottle our wines -- it only enhances the product by ensuring the authenticity of our wines to our customers."

KODAK Security Solutions include a growing portfolio of security features that can be incorporated into a vast range of products, materials and documents to deliver unparalleled protection against counterfeiting and diversion. Kodak is already working with customers in a wide range of other industries affected by counterfeiting, including pharmaceuticals, apparel, cosmetics and identification documents. For more information about KODAK Security Solutions, visit www.kodak.com/go/security.

Kodak will exhibit its security solutions at VinExpo in Bordeaux, France, June 17-21 in booth 5H in "Marketers by VinExpo."