by Fred McMillin
for November 17, 1997

A Dilly From Chile

Prologue:

Jess Jackson has been on a tear the last 18 months buying wineries and vineyards, signing top talent, and launching new brands... including a line of Chilean wines.

..."Wine Spectator," July 31,1995

"Kendall-Jackson's Calina wines are destined to establish Chile as a top quality contender in the world marketplace."

- Randy Ullom, Director of International Winemaking for Kendall-Jackson, August, 1997

The Rest of the Story: Among the top talent Jess Jackson signed was Randy Ullom, who started his wine career in Chile over 20 years ago while visiting during a break from college. Back in the USA he completed his wine science studies at Ohio State University, managed eastern vineyards for six years, and ultimately rose to Vice President-Winemaking at the award-winning De Loach Winery in California. But who could resist the opportunity to join Kendall-Jackson and return to your first love, winegrowing in Chile...particularly when charged with raising the country's wines to new heights. and he is clearly on his way.

My tasters just tried his '96 Calina Chardonnay, made with all the bells and whistles modern technology can provide... fruit from two different microclimates...canopy management for optimum sun exposure...cluster thinning to reduce yields and increase flavor...barrel fermentation (40%)...top quality French oak... lees (sediment) contact to add richness...etc. The biggest suprise: about 0.6% sugar, not enough to taste sweet, but enough to add body. (Kendall-Jackson first fame came from some sugar in their Chardonnay.) This is a pioneering wine...and best of all, you can try it for only $9.50.

The Wine:
1996 Calina Chardonnay, Chile
By Kendall-Jackson, Santa Rosa
Phone—(707) 544-4000
Rating—Highly Recommended in its price range.
$9.50

Postscript:—The Name Game
The winery was not called Kendall-Jackson originally. In 1981 Jess Jackson was married to the former Jane Kendall and their new Lake County winery was called Chateau du Lac. A bit later it became Kendall-Jackson.


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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