Kendall-Jackson Vineyard Estates is a vineyard and winery, under the Kendall-Jackson brand, located in Santa Rosa, California in the Sonoma Valley wine country. As of 2010 Kendall-Jackson was the highest-selling brand of "super-premium" wine (an industry term referring to wine retailing for more than $15 per bottle) in the United States.
In 1974, San Francisco land-use attorney Jess Jackson and his wife Jane Kendall Wadlow Jackson converted an 80-acre (320,000 m2) pear and walnut orchard in Lakeport, California to a vineyard and sold wine grapes to local wineries. In 1982, a downturn in the grape market led them to produce their own wine instead of selling the grapes, and the Kendall-Jackson brand was established. That label now continues under the umbrella company, Jackson Family Wines, that Jackson later created.
In the 1980s, Kendall-Jackson rejected the California wine industry's trend toward vineyard-specific wine labeling. It ignored the concept of terroir in favor of blending wines from different regions to achieve desired wine characteristics. They reversed that direction in the mid-2000s, along with a push to upgrade their quality.
In April 2011 Jess Jackson died in his sleep at his Geyserville estate after a battle with cancer. He was 81. His son-in-law, Don Hartford, had been already serving as chief executive officer of the company. The company disclosed a succession plan in March, announcing that president Rick Tigner would be transitioning into the position of CEO. Tigner was featured on the third season, second episode of Undercover Boss. Don Hartford and Barbara Banke oversee the family's interests on the board of directors.
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