Updated: Dec 8, 2018
A Sonoma county staple, the legacy known as Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates and Gardens began with a pear and walnut orchard bought in 1974 by Jess Jackson and his then wife Jane Kendall Wadlow Jackson in Lake County, California. After planting the property with Chardonnay grapes and selling them for a decade to local wineries, they decided to produce their own wine and sold their first award winning case in 1983 to a New York bar. An invitation to be poured at the White House by President Reagan followed, and they went on to unprecedented success as California wine makers. In 1995 Jess Jackson bought 5,000 acres of land in the Mayacamas Mountains in Alexander Valley, and in 1996 moved the operation to its current location with the opening of the grand estates and gardens we know today. Situated on a stunning property, the grounds boast a lush and bountiful garden featuring a wide variety of fruits and vegetables which are used for their daily, seated wine and food parings as well as private events and festivals open to the public. Since their opening in 1996, one of the largest events hosted every September at the property has been the annual Heirloom Tomato Festival, now known as the Harvest Celebration, showcasing over 150 estate grown heirloom tomato varieties along with cooking demonstrations, gardening workshops, art, music and Kendall-Jackson wines.
Today, Jackson Family Wines, the umbrella company of Kendall-Jackson, boasts a portfolio of 40 brands with wineries in California and Oregon, as well as France, Italy, Australia, Chile, and South Africa. At the estate, you will find 6 lines of wines for all palates and budgets, some of which are available at retail distributors or restaurants, while others are more exclusive and found only at the winery.
Stay tuned for a future post where we take you with us to our private, seated wine and food pairing, where we were indulged by the chef with cooking tips and pairing descriptions, and even left with a copy of their new cookbook featuring their delectable cuisine.