Behind The Butter

raise your glass

Early this morning Jess Jackson passed away after a long battle with cancer. Without Jess, my life, along with hundreds of others, would have been dramatically different.

On top of ruling the wine (and horse!) world, Jess was also a loving father, husband and friend. Without him, I never would have come out California or met the guy I love. Without Jess, my life would have taken an extremely different path and I’m thankful for the role he has played in my life. I feel extremely blessed to have known him, and will never forget chatting with him in July of 2009 when I came out to California for the very first time. I couldn’t believe I was actually having coffee with “the” Jess Jackson! He was so down to earth and genuine.

So please say a little prayer for the Jackson family today and let Jess be an example to us all for how to live life to the absolute fullest, without holding anything back.


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  • Barbara
    April 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    This is a great loss:(

    I’m glad he played a role in your life and now those memories live on….

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas
    April 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Terrible loss, but a wonderful post to celebrate his life!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    April 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    What amazing memories you have of him. And I am so sorry to hear this news.

    You live in such a wine-centric region of the world…no doubt, the world, especially in your neck of the woods, is feeling this loss.

    Such a great message: “live life to the absolute fullest, without holding anything back.”

    Many prayers to the family.

  • Paige @Running Around Normal
    April 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    It’s incredible how much one person can have an influence on our lives.

    My prayers go out to the Jackson family.

  • Baking 'n' Books
    April 21, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    That’s neat that you met him. When in wine country I guess…

    I think we should all have a drink to Jess.

  • Krystina (Organically Me)
    April 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Such a loss. 🙁 Kendall-Jackson has a special place in my heart.

  • Melissa @ Journey to Marvelous
    April 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    This is a nice tribute. Sonoma County, and the wine industry worldwide, lost one of the greats today. Cheers to Jess!

  • French Heart
    April 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    That makes me sad. I didn’t know about him until you & Adam mentioned what totally wonderful people the Jacksons are. So I came back and Googled read about truly one of the Greatest Generation. Appreciated drinking their wines, especially the La Crema label, even more.

    It’s hard to say goodbye to this beautiful world–but am certain he has tremendous spot in Heaven. Yes, definitely, Cheers!

  • Molly
    April 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Crazy how one person can change your life so unexpectantly!

  • Heather at Heather's Dish
    April 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Isn’t it crazy how people come into our lives and make such a fantastic impact? Jess sounds like he was an amazing man…cheers!

  • Kath
    April 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I will be having a glass of wine in 10 minutes in his honor. Tribute to KJ + Jess

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing
    April 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    That is a big loss. Will pick up some KJ in his memory.

  • Mom
    April 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. Our glass is being raised now.

  • Lauren L.
    April 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I read your blog because I have so much respect for how you put thoughts and emotions into words. Well said, lady. Thanks for letting your readers be a part of your life and indirectly the Jackson family as well.

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    April 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Wonderful tribute Jenna!

  • kaila @ healthy helper!
    April 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Here’s to a life well lived!

  • Mallory
    April 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Our glasses are raised…

  • Mama Pea
    April 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I’m so sorry, Jenna.

  • staceyhealthylife
    April 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    That’s so sad, may he rest in peace.

  • M
    April 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Sounds like he lived quite a life,with horse racing and winery and passing away
    at 81 or so?
    Kudos to a life lived with adventure and joie de vivre no doubt!

  • val - lots of dishes
    April 21, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Always sad to lose someone you respect. But very nicely put.

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    April 21, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I am so sorry Jenna. I will be thinking of you and the Jackson family.

  • Sharon
    April 21, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Raising a glass of the 2009 Savignon Blanc. To Jess. What an amazing life.

  • Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food
    April 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of his death. Cancer really is highway robbery, stealing such talent and joy from the world.

    I am thinking of his family and friends and wishing all the love and peace possible during such a tough time.

  • Jen Reyneri
    April 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    He was loved and will be dearly missed by my family… great tribute on your blog. Cheers!

  • French Heart
    April 21, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    LOVE wine/horse racing biographies/autobiographies like Robert Mondavi’s ‘Harvest of Joy’, ‘The Widow Clicquot’, ‘Seabiscuit’…and hope someone does one on Mr. Jackson! He was AMAZING. From often existing on RICE for breakfast-lunch-dinner in the Depression! To highly respected lawyer (appearing before the Supreme Court!). Billionaire wine-maker. Record shattering thoroughbred racing-owner. All that alone is quite a bio but just scratches the surface. Plus he was movie-star handsome in that Robert Mitchum kind of way. I just think incredible stories like this do a service to humanity and history when told. So inspiring. Hope his family, friends, employees and admirers can take some solace in his challenge to live full out everyday.

  • Stacey
    April 22, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Beautiful tribute, Jenna. I got the chills reading about what a profound impact he had on your life. Cheers to Jess 🙂

  • Sonia (the Mexigarian)
    April 22, 2011 at 8:14 am

    I heard about his passing on the news and immediately thought of you. My heart goes out to his family and all those who he touched in some way, and cheers to his life.

  • katie
    April 22, 2011 at 9:02 am

    may he rest in peace, and I will have wine in his honor tonight : )

  • Susan
    April 22, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Jenna, such a lovely and moving tribute to Jesse. Thank you for sharing. He came in to the Tasting Room numerous times (always) on Sundays, the only day I work. I had some really great conversations with him and was so taken by how very intelligent he was , but also a very simple man. I am sad for his family and sad for losing our Leader.

  • Megan@Dirty Dishes Daily
    April 24, 2011 at 12:19 am

    That is a sad loss. My prayers go out to his family.