THE Brand family, who sold the Brands Laira label in 1995, is back in the Coonawarra wine industry with its own label for the first time in over two decades. The Brand family has maintained its position as key vignerons in Coonawarra and are among the largest private landholders in the region. While various family members have worked as consultants in the area and have produced wines under a variety of labels, it is not until now that they have released a wine under their own name. The new releases honour the late Jim Brand, who passed away in 2005, at the age of 52, after a long battle with cancer. A third-generation vigneron, he was born into a winemaking dynasty and proudly continued the tradition. Brand Group director Sam Brand says the range is a fitting tribute to a man who was dedicated to growing and producing exceptional wines from the famous Coonawarra region. “Dad was absolutely committed to his role at Brands Laira and was highly regarded within the industry not only for his success on the show circuit but for his generous and friendly nature,” he says. “He was very proud of his family and our heritage and it means a lot to be able to fulfil his dream and pay tribute to his legacy by releasing these wines under his name. They are small batches of premium wines from the heart of Coonawarra, the way he intended.” The five wines include a chardonnay, two shiraz, a cabernet sauvignon and a cabernet, merlot, cabernet franc blend, and range from $26-$70 in price.