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Friday Fishwrap
On The Passing of Jess Jackson

By Charles Olken

Jess Jackson, the founder of Kendall-Jackson, who wound up being so much more to the California wine business than simply another supplier of inexpensive wine by the oceanful, passed away the other day. You will find tributes to Mr. Jackson in every corner of the wine community. Here is a brief appreciation of his importance that we posted on Steve Heimoff’s ( very long and complete essay.

When one thinks of all the energy and funding that has gone into the CA wine business over the last forty years, Jess Jackson, more than anybody else, carved out the biggest niche during that time. His place in history will rank alongside the Gallos and Robert Mondavi. His commitment to vineyard land was established by his becoming the single largest holder of grape-growing property in California. He may ultimately be more remembered for oceans of Vintner's Reserves, but his Highland Series wines, his Verite label and his Jackson Park Merlots were and will be important members of the high-end trade as well.

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