In 1974, Kendall-Jackson founder, Jess Jackson, famously bought an 80-acre pear and walnut orchard in rural Lakeport, California, where he planned to try his hand at creating wine from some of his favourite varietals while on weekends away from his successful career as a San Francisco attorney. "I was attracted by the lifestyle," Jess said. "I wanted to get away from law and become a farmer."
By the early 1980s, Jess and his growing family had transformed the orchard into a working winery that produced grapes Jess sold to other wineries. During a fateful harvest in 1980, a large order from another winery was cancelled, and Jess was stuck with a bumper crop of unused grapes: from this the first bottle of Kendall-Jackson was produced. This first bottling, the 1982 Vintner's Reserve, garnered attention for its unique bright fruitiness. It was an immediate, if modest, hit. Though Jess and his family shipped less than 20,000 cases of that legendary '82 Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay, the release went on to become the most popular Chardonnay in America. In 1983, Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay won the first Double Platinum Award ever presented by the American Wine Competition, and has gone on to win accolades year after year.
Now, almost three decades later, Kendall-Jackson Winery produces an array of super-premium wines whose quality, taste and integrity embody the very spirit of our founder's mission. In Jess Jackson's own words, "We grow grapes on our own 15,000 acres of California coastal vineyards. We take the no-compromise, high road approach to quality required to grow our world-class grapes and produce acclaimed award-winning wines."
Kendall-Jackson being family-owned winery absolutely affects their winemaking. It affords them the luxury to take the long view. They can take risks and grow grapes in mountain and hillside vineyards - even though it is more difficult for both the farmer and the vine. But grapes grown on mountains have more character and more flavour and that's why they grow them there.
Whole cluster pressed to retain the fresh fruit qualities without the bitterness from stems and seeds. Fermented and aged in French and American oak barrels for richness, toastiness and complexity. Sur lie aging with monthly battonage (lees stirring) for our signature velvety texture and creamy flavour.
Beautifully integrated tropical flavours such as pineapple, mango, and papaya with citrus notes that explode in your mouth. These flavours delicately intertwine with aromas of vanilla and honey to create depth and balance throughout. A hint of toasted oak and butter rounds out the long, lingering finish.