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Jackson shutters White Rocket wine division

Vintner Jess Jackson has shuttered his White Rocket Wine Company in another cost-cutting move.

Nine of the 12 people who worked at the Napa-based wine company lost their jobs when the company was consolidated back into Jackson Family Wines, spokeswoman Caroline Shaw said.

Jackson founded White Rocket in 2006 ?to serve the new wine consumers of the Millennial generation.? At the time, he claimed to have invested ?millions? to start the new division.

But its 10 brands, all far less known than his flagship Kendall-Jackson wines, can be more efficiently managed at the company?s headquarters in Santa Rosa, Shaw said.

The move does not indicate a shift in focus away from Millennial consumers.

?We are still marketing to Millennials. The brands are not going away,? Shaw said.

The wines, many of which sold for under $10 and had names like Dog House and Tin Roof, will continue to be made by winemaker Melissa Bates.

The move is the latest in a series of efforts by Jackson to respond to slumping wine sales. Earlier this year, the company laid off about 170 workers and cancelled a $100,000 sponsorship of Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.


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