Soured Grapes

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SAN FRANCISCO: A federal jury put aside the wrath of grape magnate Jess Jackson, denying winery Kendall-Jackson's claim that industry giant E&J Gallo deliberately copied its bottle. The suit matched two of California's most stubborn and litigious vintners, Jackson and Ernest Gallo, over whether Gallo's Turning Leaf Chardonnay was designed to cleverly imitate the look (and sales success) of Kendall Jackson's top-selling Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay. Indeed, with its flanged top, visible cork and yellowing grape leaf, Gallo's bottle looks remarkably similar. It's been similar in the stores, as well: in just two years, Turning Leaf has rocketed into second place in the premium varietal market. For jurors, the similarities were not enough to prove that Gallo duplicated the 'trade dress' of Kendall-Jackson's bottle. Jackson says he will appeal.