In some newspapers around the country, the obituary for Jess
Jackson probably was placed in the Sports section.
Jackson was well known in the world of thoroughbred horse racing
as the owner of two-time American Horse of the Year Curlin, as well as 2009
Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra.
According to reports, he spent $22 million in 2004 to acquire 95
horses, mostly broodmares.
He had that kind of cash thanks largely to his involvement in the
world of wine.
Jackson was a successful attorney, specializing in land-use and
property rights law when the wine bug bit. He purchased an 80-acre pear and
walnut orchard in California’s North Coast region, uprooted the plantings, and
replaced them with grapevines.
That was in the mid-1970s. In 1982, he founded Kendall-Jackson
Winery. By the time of his death from cancer on Thursday, he had amassed 14,000
acres of vineyards in numerous California microclimates, which gave his
winemaking team the ability to blend wines to a specific, consistent style.
Kendall-Jackson’s iconic wine has long been its Chardonnay–a
mainstay on restaurant wine lists and popular with a wide spectrum of wine
drinkers because of its kiss of sweetness on the palate. You always know what
you’re getting with KJ Chardonnay, and that helped make it so popular.
Jackson also was a producer of higher-end wines, mainly under the
various Jackson Family Wines labels.
Jess Jackson was 81.