Mark Aselstine
May 24, 2011 | Mark Aselstine

Another California Wine Passing

It seems that there have been a series of events in the wine world of late which signify the end of an era. From the recent passing of Patty Bogle to Robert Mondavi’s passing a few years ago, we’ve begun to see the conclusion of the generation of California vintners whom first put the Golden State on the world stage when it comes to wine.

That trend continued this week, although in a much less tragic way when Jess Jackson effectively turned over control of Kendall-Jackson’s wine empire to company President Rick Tigner and his son in law/current CEO Don Hartford.

While I won’t attempt to get into any motivation for the change in this space since major media such as Forbes has done a better job than I possibly could, I couldn’t see a story like this pass without mentioning it. Literally everyone in the wine industry owes a debt of gratitude to the pioneers in California. My business certainly couldn’t exist without the massive gains in quality led by Mondavi, the willingness to acquire brands while keeping their production levels small like Kendall-Jackson and a willingness to experiment with different grape combinations and AVA’s like Bogle.

As someone in the business, I only hope that this next generation of winemakers and wine companies can have half the impact of the generation only now winding down their influence.


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