Julia Jackson of Jackson Family Wines is the middle daughter of Barbara Banke and Jess Jackson. She was born in 1988 in San Francisco and remembers working in the family vineyards since she was a small child.
As a girl, Julia seemed to really hit it off with the daughter of a winemaker employed by the Jacksons. Julia was invited to spend a summer in Bordeaux, where she developed a lifelong passion for all things French. Her intensive study of the French language led Julia to pursue teaching French to children as part of her college studies.
Julia is the founder of the Cambria Seeds of Empowerment. The non-profit organization awards $100,000 annually to non-profit organizations that embody the qualities of community, equality, and spirit. Specifically, Julia seeks to empower “warrior women” who have overcome hardships to become leaders and inspire others.
In her own life, Julia Jackson had to overcome the male-dominated nature of the wine industry, which she says is present even in California. She learned that while the industry sometimes discourages female executives from being true to themselves, Julia had to learn to stand her ground.
Julia says she learned from her father Jess’s emotional intelligence, which she says has been one of the keys to his more than 30 years of success in the wine business. She describes her father as the “dreamer” of the family and her mother as the “genius” with the head for business.
Jess Jackson founded Jackson Family Wines (not be confused with Kendall-Jackson wines) in 1982. Barbara Banke has served as the company’s Chairman and Proprietor for more than 25 years. Jess and Barbara’s three children Kate, Julia, and Christopher all serve in positions within the company, as do Jess’s daughters Jennifer and Laura. Jennifer’s husband, Don Hartford, serves as the company’s CEO. It truly is a family-run business.