Yesterday, one of the giants of the wine world passed away. Jess Jackson, who had more of an impact on American wine than almost anyone in the past 50 years, died at 81 years old in California. As WineSpectator.com reported, “During nearly three decades, Jackson launched or acquired more than 30 wine brands in California, Italy, South America, Australia and France. Combined, they currently produce more than 5 million cases annually. In addition to Kendall-Jackson, the labels include La Crema, Stonestreet, Cardinale, Arrowood and Matanzas Creek in California, Villa Arceno in Italy, Yangarra in Australia and Château Lassègue in Bordeaux.”
It’s impossible to overstate his importance to the development and growth of the California wine industry, and his contributions will continue to be assessed for years to come. The Wine Spectator has an excellent piece on Jackson, as does his own KJ.com. Both offer comprehensive, moving portraits of a man who will be missed by wine lovers everywhere.