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Jackson Family Wines expands Oregon holdings

Published:  23 June, 2014

Jackson Family Wines has appointed key staff to its new Willamette Valley winery in Oregon, one year after it bought to 220-acre vineyard.

The firm, which owns a host of prestigious properties across California and into Oregon, as well as a burgeoning international portfolio which includes assets in St Emilion, Tuscany, McLaren Vale and Chile, has named Eugenia Keegan general manager and winemaker and Ken Kupperman as vineyard director.

The new Gran Moraine winery in Yamhill, in the Willamette Valley, will focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It released its first wine last month - a Pinot Noir from the Yamhill-Carlton appellation.

The vineyard takes its name from the floods that happened in the valley during the last ice age, which created the region's distinctive landscapes and soils. The group says Pinot Noir from the area has black fruit, minerality, and rose and violet floral elements as a result of these soils.

"As we expand our winemaking in the Willamette Valley, we couldn't be happier to have Eugenia and Ken as part of our Oregon team," said Hugh Reimers, chief operating officer for Jackson Family Wines.

"Their expertise in the field and passion for the Willamette Valley is unmatched, and no one could ask for a more respected and admired winemaking and farming team."

Jackson Family Wines is privately-owned by Barbara Banke and the Jackson family. Over the years, the Banke-Jackson family has assembled a collection of vineyards and wineries along California's cool coastal ridges, from Santa Barbara up through Monterey, Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties, and continuing into Oregon's Willamette Valley.

Brands include Kendall-Jackson, Anakota, Champ de Rêves, La Jota, Matanzas Creek  and Tenuta di Arceno.

Jess Jackson, the founder of Jackson Family Wines, started the company in 1982. Today, it is one of the largest family-owned winemaking businesses in California, with an impressive 37 brands and 26 wineries. Jackson himself passed away in 2011 but his wife Barbara took the helm, with Rick Tigner, appointed in 2010, alongside as president.

A representative from Jackson Family Wines will be speaking at WineVision 2014, the William Reed Business Media conference which will focus on how the wine industry can innovate and prepare better for the future. It will be held at The Hurlingham Club in London from November 17 to 19.