Jackson Family Wines • 91
Jackson Family Wines
Jackson Family Wines is a collection of independent, premium wineries founded by the late Jess Jackson
and his wife Barbara Banke; the company actively remains under the ownership of Barbara and her children
Christopher, Julia and Katie. The family vision is to make luxury wines from the great wine growing regions
of the world. In total they own approximately 14,000 acres of premium vineyards in California, all of which
are coastal and from renowned regions such as Sonoma, Napa, Monterey, Mendocino and Santa Barbara.
Jackson Family Wines also
own wineries in St.
Emilion, Chile, Tuscany
and McLaren Vale.
Top: The Jackson
Family, Barbara
Banke, Christopher,
Julia and Katie
Left: Alisos
Hills Vineyard
The family describe themselves as
temporary ‘stewards’ of the land and
are at the forefront of the sustainability
movement in the wine industry. Jess
Jackson quickly understood the
importance of ‘terroir’ and much of the
success of the company has been built
on his astute selection of vineyards.
The Californian vineyards
are located on mountains,
ridges, hillsides and
benches where the vine
has to struggle to survive under difficult
conditions producing a higher quality
High elevation and close proximity to
the ocean both play a crucial role in
moderating temperatures, resulting
in greater flavour, concentration and
92 • Jackson Family Wines
Wineries and Estates
Atalon, based in Calistoga, Napa Valley,
specialises in small production Merlot
and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The philosophy of the winery is to
blend fruit from carefully selected and
dramatically different vineyard sites
across Napa Valley, from the fertile clay
soils in the heart of the valley to the
rocky, mineral-laden soils of the Napa
Bottom: View from
Jackson Park
Cambria, located in Santa Maria Valley
in Santa Barbara County, specialises in
quality single vineyard Chardonnays
and Pinot Noirs together with limited
quantities of Viognier and Syrah.
Santa Maria Valley has a unique westeast orientation, giving it one of the
longest growing seasons in California.
Each wine captures the varied textures
and contours of the Napa landscape.
Winemaker: Brian Kosi.
The Viognier and Syrah are sourced
from the Tepusquet vineyard which was
one of the first commercially planted
vineyards in Santa Barbara County.
Winemaker: Denise Shurtleff.
Top Right:
Cabernet Grapes
Middle: Early
morning fog at
La Crema Winery,
Sonoma Coast
Bottom Right:
Winery garden
Edmeades is steadily attaining cult status
as the authentic taste of ‘Zinfandel’
from one of California’s viticultural
frontiers, the Anderson Valley in
Mendocino County.
Head pruned, old vines (30-125 years
old) produce low yields and ultra-ripe
sugars. Combined with wild yeast, small
lot, open-top fermentation, no filtration
and no fining – Edmeades is the ultimate
expression of Zinfandel.
Aficiandos of Zinfandel are encouraged
to try the small lot single vineyard wines
– Ciapusci, Shamrock, Perli, Zeni and
Piffero plus the spectacular late harvest
wine from Perli vineyard.
Winemaker: Dave Ready Jr.
Hartford Family Winery is located in
the Russian River Valley, Sonoma,
just 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean;
it is owned by Jenny (Jess Jackson’s
daughter) and Don Hartford.
The couple farm some of the most
marginal vineyards in California and
believe in ‘quality through adversity’;
this is demonstrated by the exceptional
series of Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs
that they produce under the Hartford
Court label which are akin in quality to
Premier and Grand Cru Burgundy.
Under the separate Hartford label, they
offer a range of high quality Zinfandels
which they refer to as ‘Zinot Noirs’. The
average age of the vines is 80 years old.
Winemaker: Jeff Stewart.
La Crema is located in the heart of the
Russian River Valley in Sonoma and
is dedicated to the production of the
Burgundian varietals Chardonnay and
Pinot Noir.
La Crema explores these varietals
across various cool-climate appellations
including Sonoma Coast, Russian River
Valley and most recently Monterey.
Each wine showcases the nuances of
its own specific AVA but maintains
a characteristic sophistication and
elegance for which La Crema has
become known.
Winemaker: Elizabeth Grant-Douglas
Jackson Family Wines • 93
94 • Jackson Family Wines
Kendall-Jackson was established in 1982
by Jess Jackson with the first vintage of
Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay.
It fast became one of the leading premium
quality Californian wineries and has
maintained this position by continually
enhancing the quality of the wines.
Avant is a new addition to the winery,
offering a lighter style of wine while still
retaining its Californian provenance.
The lightly-oaked Chardonnay is
clean and refreshing and the Cabernet
Sauvignon is round and fruity.
Vintner’s Reserve is the signature series
of Kendall-Jackson. This extensive range
of single varietals provides an excellent
illustration of what the coastal regions
of California can produce. Increasingly,
the wines are County specific and
each bears the quality stamp of ‘100%
Jackson Estate Grown’.
Artisan Wines
Artisan Wines is a small but growing
collection of wineries which can
collectively be defined by Jess Jackson’s
vision of producing ‘wine without
Cardinale creates a single wine from
each vintage. The wine is a small
production Cabernet Sauvignon-based
blend made from distinct and diverse
mountain and benchland vineyards
situated in the Mayacamas and Vaca
mountain ranges surrounding the
Napa Valley. Made from selected lots of
meticulously farmed, low-yielding vines,
Cardinale is in essence, many wines
merged seamlessly into one.
Winemaker: Chris Carpenter
Coug Ridge Vineyard
Grand Reserve represents approximately
the top 3% of Kendall-Jackson’s production.
Year on year, specific low-yielding
vineyard blocks produce exceptional
fruit which is set aside for the Grand
Reserve programme.
Jackson Hills showcases key wine
growing regions in California and the
varietals for which they are best known.
Highland Estates is a collection of tiny
production single vineyard wines which
explore the complexity and diversity of
California’s terroir and micro-crus.
Winemaster: Randy Ullom
Lokoya produces minute quantities
of appellation-specific Cabernet
Sauvignon from very low-vigour
vineyard sites in the Napa mountains.
Sparse soils, high elevations, good
drainage and the cool climate of the
mountains form the backbone of these
four superbly intense and powerful
wines, each of which reflects a distinctly
different terroir – Mount Veeder, Howell
Mountain, Diamond Mountain and
Spring Mountain.
Winemaker: Chris Carpenter.
Verite is located in the foothills of
the Mayacamas mountain range on
the southern tip of Sonoma County’s
Alexander Valley.
The project began in the late 1990s,
when Jess Jackson met Bordelais
winemaker, Pierre Seillan, and invited
him to come to California and make ‘a
wine as good as Petrus’.
Pierre settled in the Sonoma mountains
and the result is three Bordeaux-style
blends – La Joie, La Muse and Le Desir.
These highly-acclaimed wines are
a unique confluence of old world
experience and new world fruit which
rival the best in the world.
Vigneron: Pierre Seillan.
Arcanum is located in Tuscany on the
historic Tenuta di Arceno estate in the
Chianti Classico region.
Its vineyards are planted on hillside
slopes ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 ft
in elevation and the varietal focus is
Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet
Sauvignon rather than the surrounding
Carefully applying his micro-cru
philosophy, Pierre Seillan has
handcrafted a range of high quality
Super Tuscan wines.
Vigneron: Pierre Seillan
Château Lassegue, St.Emilion Grand Cru
was purchased by the Jackson and
Seillan families in 2003.
The 24 hectare estate on the Cote de
Pavie boasts 12 distinctly different soil
types and its perfect sun exposure
is symbolised by the ornate sundials
that adorn the façade of the 17th
Century Chateau.
Another significant advantage is the age
of the vines which ranges between 40
and 50 years old.
Approaching the 10th anniversary of
its purchase and after significant care
and investment, the Chateau has been
brought back to life and is producing
increasingly great quality wines
under the labels of Chateau Vignot,
Les Cadrans de Lassegue and
Chateau Lassegue.
Vigneron: Pierre Seillan
International Properties
Jackson Family Wines • 95
Kendall-Jackson Winery