Add France to the list of countries in which Jess Jackson and his family own wineries. In a joint venture, the founder of California's Kendall-Jackson winery has purchased Château Lassègue, a small, obscure grand cru estate in the Bordeaux appellation of St.-Emilion. The sale price was not disclosed.
Jackson's partners in the deal are Pierre and Monique Seillan. Pierre, a French winemaker with 20 years experience in Bordeaux, has been working with the Jackson family on several projects, including Vérité and Archipel. The two new high-end red brands are Bordeaux-style blends, made from grapes from Sonoma and Napa counties.
The château purchase, according to a statement from Jackson Wine Estates, "represents Jess Jackson's desire to be more present in Europe."
Jackson Wine Estates already owns a winery in Europe, Tenuta di Arceno, in Italy's Tuscany region; several new wines from that estate will be released in the United States next year. The company also has projects in two other countries: Viña Calina, a value-priced label based in Chile, and Yangarra Park, an Australian-based brand launched two years ago. The company recently sold Tapiz, its winery in Argentina. The company's California wineries include Kendall-Jackson, Camelot, Edmeades, La Crema, Lokoya and Matanzas Creek, among others.
Château Lassègue, which Jackson purchased from the Freylon family, has been producing wine since the 17th century, according to Jackson Wine Estates. The property is located near châteaus Pavie, Ausone and Angélus.
Lassègue has 60 acres of vineyard property and can produce between 7,000 case and 9,000 cases annually. Jackson and Seillan were involved with Lassègue's 2003 harvest, according to the company. The first wines produced under their direction will be released in 2005.