Jackson Family Wines (JFW) stakes its success on the fruit of the vine. Among the largest winemakers in the US, JFW produces the best-selling chardonnay: Vintner's Reserve. The company's other flagship wine is its trophy Grand Reserve label. Sold in restaurants, retail stores, and via the company's website (where legal), JFW's dozens of fermeted offerings include its well-known chardonnay, as well as merlot, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, and zinfandel. JFW encompasses 35 wineries around the world that support production of about five million cases a year. Founded in 1982 by the late Jess Jackson, the winemaking and marketing enterprise is carried on by his family.
JFW owns around 15,000 acres of California coastal vineyards and produces close to 5 million cases of wine annually. The company also owns vineyards in Australia, Chile, France, and Italy. Other wines produced and sold are the Highland Estates, Jackson Hills, Kendall-Jackson, and Sature.
While privately-owned Jackson Family Wines doesn't report its financials, the winemaker rang up an estimated $500 million in annual revenues.
Branching out is what keeps JFW competitive in a constantly evolving industry. JFW branched out in 2011 as it acquired Australian-based vineyard Hickinbotham known for such notable wines as Clarendon, Hardys Eileen Hardy, and Penfolds Grange. The purchase price for Hickinbotham was estimated to be around $10 million. Also in 2011, the company launched the 2009 Avant Chardonnay. Unlike its big oaky style Vintner's Reserve, the Avant is intended for palettes preferring a delicately oaked white wine.
JFW is also known for its philanthropy. The company has given millions of dollars to charities, as well as wine education and research. One beneficiary, the University of California Davis, received $3 million in 2011 for construction a new facility dedicated to sustainable winemaking techniques.
JFW has viewed China as an important footprint in wine consumption. With the recent purchase of the landmark Hickinbotham vineyard in South Australia, JFW moves closer to selling its wines to the Chinese wine connoisseur. It's estimated that China is Australia's fastest-growing wine export destination as sales grew around 25% by value, a reflection Chinese consumers are trending toward more expensive wines.