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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Legacy of Jess Jackson

Jess Jackson, founder of Kendall-Jackson Winery, 1930-2011.

Not many people have seen success like Jess Jackson has.  First as a lawyer, then winemaker, and horse owner.  He didn't start in the wine biz until middle-age when most are probably worried about their 401k and paying off their mortgage.   Within a couple decades he built a huge wine empire.

It started when he couldn't sell his Lake County grapes (I mean, who wants to see a Lake County appellation, right)?   So he made his own Chardonnay, it accidentally turned out slightly sweet, and was a huge success.  KJ Chardonnay is probably responsible for turning more Americans onto wine than any other.

He had a vision that was different from the norm and that made him a billionaire.

The family owns thousands of acres of vineyards and over a dozen wine labels.  It's expected the holdings will be divided up amongst his children.   Some may be sold off.