Growing Up In A Family Winery

Hi Kendall-Jackson blog readers!

My name is Julia Jackson and I just graduated from Scripps College, a small liberal arts college that provides an amazing education. The only downside is that Scripps is located close to an area known as the “armpit of LA” thanks to the smog that gets trapped by the neighboring mountain range. Leaving wine country made me appreciate the clean, crisp air I’d taken for granted in Sonoma.

Growing up in a family wine business, my dad taught me to appreciate the hard work that goes into a bottle of wine. I remember picking grapes in 100º weather so we could get them harvested before they shriveled into raisins.

I also have specific memories of my dad holding my hand while he led me through the vineyard, making me taste grapes to understand the balance between sugar and acid. Being six-years old, I could only tell the difference between sweet and sour. My palate has definitely improved since then. Last year, I worked harvest in Bordeaux, France, where I learned how to tell if grapes had reached optimum maturity just by chewing their skins and seeds.

I also remember being confused when my dad would give me a handful of dirt and tell me to look closely at it. Later I learned that soil has a huge influence on the quality of wine and that different varieties thrive in different types of soils and microclimates. I like being able to educate my friends and other Millennials about wine, especially varietal characteristics and quality. It’s so interesting to me that one varietal can exhibit such different characteristics, even when the distance is sometimes only a matter of vineyard rows.

Twenty-five years ago, my mother and father built Kendall-Jackson from a small vineyard in Lakeport County, to a compelling family owned business. A recent poll shows that the average consumer doesn’t view Kendall Jackson as a family business, but rather as a large corporation. I’ll be writing here to give voice to my family’s vision because it is important to me that everyone know what my family company is truly about.

Of course, there’s more to me than just wine. My interests include participating in blind tastings, drawing with graphite, running long distances, traveling, playing piano, and learning as much as I possibly can about the wine industry. Last year I played guitar in an aspiring band called “the Pterodactyls” that unfortunately hasn’t made it past college (but I have hopes that we will reunite).

I look forward to taking you through my journey as a young family member in the business and as a Millennial with a growing passion for wine.