The History of Kendall-Jackson Wines

Winery History

Founded in 1982, the Kendall-Jackson story is one of family, quality and stewardship.

Jess Jackson purchases land in Lake County

Jess Jackson purchases an 80-acre pear and walnut orchard and replants it with Chardonnay grapevines in Lake County, just north of Napa Valley.

JESS PURCHASES LAND IN LAKE COUNTY

Jess Jackson purchases an 80-acre pear and walnut orchard and replants it with Chardonnay grapevines in Lake County, just north of Napa Valley.


1974
1982 Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay Bottle Shot

Evolution of

Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
The original Kendall-Jackson Winery located in Lake County, California.

Jess and family set out to make a premium, yet affordable, California wine.

Kendall-Jackson is Born

Jess and family set out to make a premium, yet affordable, California wine.


1982
Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay

Evolution of

Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
Jess Jackson sells first case of Kendall-Jackson in New York City in 1983

Jess sold the first case ever of Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay at the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station. That same year, the inaugural vintage of Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay won the first-ever Platinum Award for an American Chardonnay at The American Wine Competition. Kendall-Jackson was officially on the map.

JESS SELLS FIRST CASE OF KENDALL-JACKSON IN NEW YORK CITY

Jess sold the first case ever of Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay at the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station. That same year, the inaugural vintage of Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay won the first-ever Platinum Award for an American Chardonnay at The American Wine Competition. Kendall-Jackson was officially on the map.


1983
Kendall-Jackson

The Reagan’s insisted on serving California wines at the White House and Nancy loved the taste of Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay. San Francisco Chronicle’s Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and city icon, Herb Caen, caught wind of the story and wrote a column about the wine referring to the Chardonnay as “Nancy’s wine.”

K-J GOES TO WASHINGTON

The Reagan’s insisted on serving California wines at the White House and Nancy loved the taste of Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay. San Francisco Chronicle’s Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and city icon, Herb Caen, caught wind of the story and wrote a column about the wine referring to the Chardonnay as “Nancy’s wine.”


1983
Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 1986 Bottle Shot

Evolution of

Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
The Grand Reserve collection is introduced

Stemming from the success of Vintner's Reserve, Jess debuts a new collection of wines under the Kendall-Jackson label. The Grand Reserve collection is a winemaker’s blend of mountain, ridge, hillside and benchland grapes, grown along California’s cool coastal appellations.

The Grand Reserve collection is introduced

Stemming from the success of Vintner's Reserve, Jess debuts a new collection of wines under the Kendall-Jackson label. The Grand Reserve collection is a winemaker’s blend of mountain, ridge, hillside and benchland grapes, grown along California’s cool coastal appellations.


1986
Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 1991 Bottle Shot

Evolution of

Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
Jess Jackson purchases stave mill

Kendall-Jackson is the only American Winery to share ownership in a French stave mill. Our commitment to aging & fermenting in French oak barrels has helped us deliver America’s favorite Chardonnay since 1982.

JESS PURCHASES STAVE MILL IN NORTHEASTERN FRANCE

Kendall-Jackson is the only American Winery to share ownership in a French stave mill. Our commitment to aging & fermenting in French oak barrels has helped us deliver America’s favorite Chardonnay since 1982.


1991
Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 1992 Bottle Shot

Evolution of

Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay
Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay becomes #1 selling Chardonnay in America, and remains so to this day.

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay becomes #1 selling Chardonnay in America, and remains so to this day.

#1 Chardonnay in America

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay becomes #1 selling Chardonnay in America, and remains so to this day.


1992
Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 1995 Bottle Shot

Evolution of

Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
Jess purchases the 5,000 acre Gauer Ranch along the Mayacamas Mountains in Alexander Valley

He renames it Alexander Mountain Estate (AME) and insists that all the coveted grapes on this mountain are grown with extra care. The average grape is touched 12 times during the growing season, but AME grapes get, on average, nearly twice the attention. Our Grand Reserve, Jackson Estate and Stature collections all source Cabernet Sauvignon from some of AME's prized mountain top vineyard blocks.

Jess purchases the 5,000 acre Gauer Ranch along the Mayacamas Mountains in Alexander Valley

He renames it Alexander Mountain Estate (AME) and insists that all the coveted grapes on this mountain are grown with extra care. The average grape is touched 12 times during the growing season, but AME grapes get, on average, nearly twice the attention. Our Grand Reserve, Jackson Estate and Stature collections all source Cabernet Sauvignon from some of AME's prized mountain top vineyard blocks.


1995
Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 1996 Bottle Shot

Evolution of

Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
KENDALL-JACKSON WINE ESTATE AND GARDENS OPENS ITS DOORS IN THE HEART OF SONOMA COUNTY

The Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens was built by Ken De Baun in 1990. He originally built this facility to be used as the tasting room and as a special events site for his winery, Chateau de Baun. Kendall-Jackson purchased the building in 1996 to be an educational destination for all things food and wine.

KENDALL-JACKSON WINE ESTATE AND GARDENS OPENS ITS DOORS IN THE HEART OF SONOMA COUNTY

The Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens was built by Ken De Baun in 1990. He originally built this facility to be used as the tasting room and as a special events site for his winery, Chateau de Baun. Kendall-Jackson purchased the building in 1996 to be an educational destination for all things food and wine.


1996
Kendall-Jackson hosts the first annual Heirloom Tomato Festival

The Heirloom Tomato Festival was founded on the vision of Jess Jackson. It was created to showcase the bounty of the annual harvest, the marriage of wine and food as perfected by the vintners and chefs who create fabulous foods in K-J’s kitchen and the heritage heirloom tomatoes grown in our garden — more than 150 different varieties.

Kendall-Jackson hosts the first annual Heirloom Tomato Festival

The Heirloom Tomato Festival was founded on the vision of Jess Jackson. It was created to showcase the bounty of the annual harvest, the marriage of wine and food as perfected by the vintners and chefs who create fabulous foods in K-J’s kitchen and the heritage heirloom tomatoes grown in our garden — more than 150 different varieties.


1996
Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay

Evolution of

Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
Randy Ullom officially becomes Winemaster for Kendall-Jackson

In March of 1997, Randy Ullom was named Winemaster for Kendall-Jackson Winery, a distinction he still holds today. Ullom’s unusual title “Winemaster” reflects his intimate involvement in the intricacies of the viticultural and winemaking programs of Kendall-Jackson.

Randy Ullom officially becomes Winemaster for Kendall-Jackson

In March of 1997, Randy Ullom was named Winemaster for Kendall-Jackson Winery, a distinction he still holds today. Ullom’s unusual title “Winemaster” reflects his intimate involvement in the intricacies of the viticultural and winemaking programs of Kendall-Jackson.


1997
First vintage of Stature launches

Stature represents the pinnacle of Kendall-Jackson winemaking excellence. Created from only our finest estate vineyards and handcrafted without compromise, it offers the ultimate expression of wine artistry in Chardonnay and Bordeaux blend.

First vintage of Stature launches

Stature represents the pinnacle of Kendall-Jackson winemaking excellence. Created from only our finest estate vineyards and handcrafted without compromise, it offers the ultimate expression of wine artistry in Chardonnay and Bordeaux blend.


1997
Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2007 Bottle Shot

Evolution of

Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
Jess Jackson is awarded lifetime achievement by Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Each year, the editors of Wine Enthusiast honor the individuals and companies that have made outstanding achievements in the wine and beverage world including the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Among his major achievements, Jess Jackson was one of the first and largest winemakers to introduce America to varietal-specific wine, not only increasing the public’s understanding and appreciation of wine, but also making it affordable.

Jess Jackson is awarded lifetime achievement by Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Each year, the editors of Wine Enthusiast honor the individuals and companies that have made outstanding achievements in the wine and beverage world including the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Among his major achievements, Jess Jackson was one of the first and largest winemakers to introduce America to varietal-specific wine, not only increasing the public’s understanding and appreciation of wine, but also making it affordable.


2007
Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2011 Bottle Shot

Evolution of

Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
Jess Jackson passes away on April 21st

Jess Jackson was that rare individual whose vision, perseverance and work ethic transformed an entire industry. A truly self-made man, his legacy will endure, inspiring all those who believe that being successful in business does not mean that one must compromise those basic values: family, hard work, integrity and stewardship of the land.

Jess Jackson passes away on April 21st

Jess Jackson was that rare individual whose vision, perseverance and work ethic transformed an entire industry. A truly self-made man, his legacy will endure, inspiring all those who believe that being successful in business does not mean that one must compromise those basic values: family, hard work, integrity and stewardship of the land.


2011
Kendall-Jackson wins its 10th Wine & Spirits “Winery of the Year” award

Wine & Spirits Magazine selects Kendall-Jackson as one of its Top 100 Wineries of Year, marking the tenth time K-J wins the award.

Kendall-Jackson wins its 10th Wine & Spirits “Winery of the Year” award

Wine & Spirits Magazine selects Kendall-Jackson as one of its Top 100 Wineries of Year, marking the tenth time K-J wins the award.


2011
JESS AND RANDY DEVELOP A NEW, FRUIT FORWARD STYLE OF CHARDONNAY

They called it "K-J AVANT," French for "before," signifying the wine before the wood of the barrel imparts its flavor. K-J AVANT is fermented in a combination of stainless steel tanks and neutral oak barrels, delivering a vivid, crisp and bright style.

JESS AND RANDY DEVELOP A NEW, FRUIT FORWARD STYLE OF CHARDONNAY

They called it "K-J AVANT," French for "before," signifying the wine before the wood of the barrel imparts its flavor. K-J AVANT is fermented in a combination of stainless steel tanks and neutral oak barrels, delivering a vivid, crisp and bright style.


2011
Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2012 Bottle Shot

Evolution of

Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
RICK TIGNER, CEO, STARS IN AN EPISODE OF “UNDERCOVER BOSS”

Among the positive results stemming from our participation in "Undercover Boss," we implemented a broad language training program to teach Spanish and English across our employee base.

RICK TIGNER, CEO, STARS IN AN EPISODE OF “UNDERCOVER BOSS”

Among the positive results stemming from our participation in "Undercover Boss," we implemented a broad language training program to teach Spanish and English across our employee base.


2012
Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2013 Bottle Shot

Evolution of

Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
The Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building opens at UC Davis

With the Jackson's commitment to the advancement of sustainable winemaking and sustainable agriculture, the University's Department of Viticulture and Enology opened the 8,500 square-foot Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building. Fully equipped, it will enable the winery to become the first self-sustainable, zero-carbon teaching and research facility in the world.

The Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building opens at UC Davis

With the Jackson's commitment to the advancement of sustainable winemaking and sustainable agriculture, the University's Department of Viticulture and Enology opened the 8,500 square-foot Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building. Fully equipped, it will enable the winery to become the first self-sustainable, zero-carbon teaching and research facility in the world.


2013
K-J is named “Green Company of the Year” by The Drinks Business, Europe’s leading drinks trade publication

The Drinks Business announces Kendall-Jackson as the The Green Company of the Year. The award was given based on our implementation of environmentally sensitive practices in all aspects of our operations and for our overall impact on energy savings, waste reduction and conservation.

K-J is named “Green Company of the Year” by The Drinks Business, Europe’s leading drinks trade publication

The Drinks Business announces Kendall-Jackson as the The Green Company of the Year. The award was given based on our implementation of environmentally sensitive practices in all aspects of our operations and for our overall impact on energy savings, waste reduction and conservation.


2013
Barbara Banke is the first female to receive the Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Wine Personality of the Year award

Wine Enthusiast names Barbara Banke its 2013 Wine Person of the Year. The first woman to win the award, Barbara now shares it with Jess, the magazine’s inaugural recipient in 2000.

Barbara Banke is the first female to receive the Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Wine Personality of the Year award

Wine Enthusiast names Barbara Banke its 2013 Wine Person of the Year. The first woman to win the award, Barbara now shares it with Jess, the magazine’s inaugural recipient in 2000.


2013
Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2014 Bottle Shot

Evolution of

Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
JACKSON ESTATE COLLECTION IS LAUNCHED

Jackson Estate is a terroir focused, limited bottling collection that demonstrate the depth and complexity possible from coastal California appellations influenced by the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean.

JACKSON ESTATE COLLECTION IS LAUNCHED

Jackson Estate is a terroir focused, limited bottling collection that demonstrate the depth and complexity possible from coastal California appellations influenced by the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean.


2014
Jackson Family Wines Collaborates with Tesla Energy to pilot stationary energy storage systems

Using Tesla's battery storage system allows us to reduce impact on our local electric grid as well as store solar energy to utilize throughout production — “turning” the sun on" at night. 

Jackson Family Wines Collaborates with Tesla Energy to pilot stationary energy storage systems

Using Tesla's battery storage system allows us to reduce impact on our local electric grid as well as store solar energy to utilize throughout production — “turning” the sun on" at night. 


2015
Jackson Family Wines awarded the California Green Medal Leader Award for sustainable winegrowing leadership

The prestigious Green Medal Award was developed to recognize California vineyards and wineries excelling in sustainability in four categories. The Leader award is given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates excellence in balancing the three E’s of sustainability: environmentally sound, socially equitable, and economically viable. The three other categories include the Environment Award, Community Award, and Business Award. The Leader category is the exemplary achievement in all of the three categories.

Jackson Family Wines awarded the California Green Medal Leader Award for sustainable winegrowing leadership

The prestigious Green Medal Award was developed to recognize California vineyards and wineries excelling in sustainability in four categories. The Leader award is given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates excellence in balancing the three E’s of sustainability: environmentally sound, socially equitable, and economically viable. The three other categories include the Environment Award, Community Award, and Business Award. The Leader category is the exemplary achievement in all of the three categories.


2016
  • 1974
  • 1975
  • 1980
  • 1982
  • 1983
  • 1985
  • 1986
  • 1987
  • 1990
  • 1991
  • 1992
  • 1993
  • 1995
  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 2000
  • 2003
  • 2005
  • 2007
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016