JAX Vineyards: A Family Tradition in Napa Valley

In 1996, green thumb David Jackson purchased an exceptional 28 year old, dry farmed vineyard in northern Calistoga.Having developed a great eye for detail as a former successful printing executive, David now refocuses these qualities on managing his vineyard.

jax vineyard

Shortly after David purchased the vineyard, his entrepreneurial son, Trent got inspired to build on his father’s dream. Using the grapes from his father’s vineyard, Trent bottled and produced his first vintage in his San Francisco garage. An award winner? No, but there was promise here and an even greater determination to make wine. Trent immediately enlisted cult winemaker Kirk Venge to take over.

By the late 90’s, Trent’s focus on quality and limited production attracted a loyal word of mouth following. However working full time in technology, Trent soon began to realize that his promising hobby required full time attention. In 2002, Trent turned to his sister Kimberly, a newly minted MBA who co-founded the wine club at Vanderbilt University. Without hesitation, Kimberly jumped into the business with tenacity and passion. Within one year, Kimberly restructured the business, rebranded the wine, placed the wine in top restaurants in the Bay Area and New York, received great press, and established distribution in 8 states. The vision is to produce high quality wines, with a chic label, and fair price point. Kimberly asserts that “the next generation is looking for a modern brand, great quality, and a good story.” Now we are distributed in 16 states plus Canada, Japan and China. Our production averages 8,000 cases per year among all varietals.

winemaker kirk venge wine

By early 2004, when Kimberly mastered her JAX Cabernet Sauvignon, she realized that it was time to expand production and branch into additional varietals. Kimberly’s stylistic vision is to produce high quality wines that “accurately reflect their varietal.” In other words, she focuses on making wines that are not overstyled by excessive oak or malolactic fermentation. To people who prefer the “butterball” styles, Kimberly poses, “We source from super premium fruit sources so why would I mask the delicate fruit layers from shining through?”

Working closely with venerable winemaker Kirk Venge, the team has access to some of Napa Valley’s premier vineyards. They decided to branch out and source from the best vineyards throughout Napa Valley and Sonoma. To differentiate from the estate JAX Cabernet Sauvignon, she launched JAX “Y3” representing her new varietal portfolio, JAX “Y3”. “This gives us the liberty and flexibility to seek the very best vineyards for each varietal that we carry under the Y3 label. The Y3 symbol was the cattle symbol used on our grandparents’ cattle ranch, Yarrayne. Trent and I wanted to pay tribute to three generation as land-tilling entrepreneurs.” Currently Kimberly offers a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Taureau (Red Blend), and a Pinot Noir under the Y3 label.

kimberly jackson jax vineyards

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