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English Wine Week: WineGB welcomes Jackson Family Wines

The UK division of wine producer Jackson Family Wines has joined forces with trade association WineGB as English Wine Week continues apace.

Jackson Family Wines, one of the first major still wine producers to invest in the English wine industry, has now formally joined WineGB. The family-owned wine company made the move to demonstrate its dedication to supporting the development of the UK’s fastest growing agricultural sector.

The team is aiming to bring its collective knowledge and expertise, as well as being involved in the global wine trade, to its membership of WineGB.

In addition, the producer is committed to transitioning all of its US vineyards to regenerative farming practices by 2030, and will be sharing its experience on the matter to the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain Scheme.


In 2019, the producer co-founded International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) with Spain’s Familia Torres to galvanize the global wine industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate impacts in vineyard and winery operations.

Jackson Family Wines is based in Santa Rosa, California, and is known for its Kendall-Jackson and La Crema labels. As reported by Patrick Schmitt MW last summer, it become the first US business to buy into the English wine industry. It appointed the former Gusbourne winemaker Charlie Holland, and also acquired land in Essex.

Winemaker Charlie Holland

As first reported by db back in August 2017, Barbara Banke, who owns the Californian-headquartered Jackson Family Wines, had previously expressed a serious interest in England for the group’s next vineyard investment, both due to the quality of the sparkling wines, and the group’s focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but also because Banke, who is a major Thoroughbred owner and breeder, visits the UK regularly for its racing scene.

It aims to make “a full range of vintage and non-vintage sparkling wines and vintage still wines” in the UK, with James Dodson, CEO of VineWorks, who is acting as the lead viticulturist on this project assisting Holland. Notably, the US business – which also has properties in Bordeaux and Tuscany – acquiring land to be planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Essex’s Crouch Valley.

Statement of faith

Commenting on the new partnership, Nicola Bates, CEO of WineGB, said that the producer’s “statement of faith” in planting in the UK and joining WineGB offered a “huge opportunity” to have global attention on the “value of our wine estate”.

She said: “Jackson Family Wines is one of 35 new grower and producer members that have joined us this year, highlighting the importance of our work and the vibrancy and diversity of the UK’s fastest growing agricultural sector.”

Winemaker at Jackson Family Wines, Charlie Holland, added: “We are excited about our new partnership with WineGB, coinciding perfectly with the recent planting of our first English vineyard in Essex’s Crouch Valley.

“This next step marks an important milestone in our journey to produce world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir still wines as well as a full range of vintage and non-vintage English sparkling wine.”

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