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Kendall Jackson

In 1974 Jess Jackson and his wife Jane Kendall Wadlow Jackson bought a 32 hectare pear and walnut orchard in Lakeport in California's Lake County, towards the north of the Napa Valley and converted it into a Chardonnay vineyard, initially selling their grapes to local wineries. But in 1982 a decline in the grape market led them to produce their own wine, and so the Kendall-Jackson winery was founded. The first wine was released in 1983 to much acclaim - a Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay - which made people take notice of this new winery. The Vintner's Reserve is considered one of their flagship wines and was drunk in the White House when Ronald Reagan served as President of the US. The Chardonnay was so popular with his wife that it became known as ”Nancy's wine”! Soon after the winery’s inception Jess Jackson began to expand his business and built a virtual wine empire, acquiring huge plots of vineyards in Alexander Valley and Sonoma County. Following the success of the Vintner's Reserve wines, Jess created Grand Reserve, an ultra-premium collection designed to show the potential of the vineyards, made from a blend of mountain, ridge and benchland [valley floor] vineyard sites from the cool coastal appellations. Today Kendall-Jackson are based in Santa Rosa, in Sonoma County and continue under the name of Jackson Family Wines, run by the heirs of the family. Kendall-Jackson have vineyards in six regions: Lake County, Mendocino County, Sonoma County, the Napa Valley, Monterey County and Santa Barbara. They are proud of their cool Californian coastal vineyards. It’s not easy to be considered coastal in California, where 85% of the vineyards are considered inland, 15% coastal, and only 5% of those coastal vineyards are found on mountains, ridges, hillsides, and benchlands! Kendall-Jackson are the first and only American winery to share ownership with a French stave mill. To ensure a steady supply of the highest quality barrels possible, they invested in a French-based stave mill and formed a partnership with one of the leading cooperage companies to guarantee they had the best barrels possible at their disposal. With a team of expert coopers to work with, they are able to match barrel styles to individual wine lots, carefully guiding the character and complexity of their finished wines. They are also passionate about the environment. All their estate vineyards are certified sustainably farmed, and the wines are made and bottled leveraging the biggest solar generator in the wine industry. Kendall-Jackson are one of California's largest wine producers and craft an extensive portfolio of wines from their myriad vineyard sites featuring a diversity of altitudes, micro-climates and soil types. They are a benchmark of excellence in family-owned Californian wine-making and their wines have become a tradition - still considered by many to be “America's favorite” with their Vintners Reserve Chardonnay being the country's top selling Chardonnay since 1992 – a legacy they plan to pass down for generations to come!