Wine visionary Jess Jackson remembered

  • 6/5/2005: 24: After a brief retirement, Jess Jackson, shown with his dog, Robbie, is back at the helm of Kendall-Jackson Winery.
    PC: Charlie Gesell/The Press Democrat Jess Jackson sits on the patio of his redwood house with his dog, Robbie.

Memories of Jess Jackson poured in Thursday as word of his death at the age of 81 spread across Wine Country. A sampling:

"Jess Jackson was a force to be reckoned with. He was a tough guy but on the other side he was a straight-shooter — very honest and he directed the people in his company to do things in an honest way ... So often in the industry you get the posers, but Jess Jackson really talked the talk and walked the walk." — Richard Arrowood, co-founder and winemaker of of Amapola Creek Vineyards

"Jess was man of very strong principle who stood up for what he believed in. There won't be another one to come along like Jess Jackson for a long time." — Fred Furth, friend, attorney, and former owner of Chalk Hill winery.

"Jess Jackson introduced an audience to the premium and super-premium level that no one knew existed. Once they got there, they continued to try other high end brands. That's how he benefited so many of us in our industry, and for that we will always be grateful. People who taste and learn about good wine tend to keep buying up." — Christopher Silva, president, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

"He was a guy that just didn't accept the status quo. He said &‘If I can do it better, I'll just do it myself,' and he did." — Jon Fredrikson, wine industry analyst

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