List of celebrities who own wineries and vineyards

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New Zealand actor Sam Neill owns a winery in the Central Otago region of New Zealand

The trend of celebrities owning wineries and vineyards is not a recent phenomenon, though it has certainly garnered more attention in today's Information Age. In ancient Greek and Roman times, the leading philosophers, playwrights, politicians and generals of the day often owned a vineyard for personal use.[1] There are many reasons why celebrities gravitate to the world of wine. Usually celebrities have a large amount of wealth accumulated which makes the significant investment of opening a winery or vineyard negligible.

Starting a winery or vineyard, as with nearly any business, could offer some tax benefits. Some celebrities, such as the Italian-American director Francis Ford Coppola, come from a family with a long history of winemaking. Some, such as the British singer Cliff Richard, have been lifelong wine enthusiasts and enter the wine industry in order to do something that they enjoy. Others like the challenge of a new enterprise and some celebrities enter the wine industry simply because they can.[2]

While some celebrities, such as the American actors Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, British association football star David Beckham and his wife Victoria Beckham, own vineyards and wine estates solely for personal use, some celebrities are leveraging their name recognition as a selling tool in the wine industry. Today celebrity-owned wineries can be lucrative business endeavors. In 2007, Nielsen research of supermarket wine purchases showed that sales of celebrity wines were up 19% over previous years.[3]

Types of celebrity involvement[edit]

South African musician Dave Matthews owns a winery in Virginia

There are different degrees of involvement that celebrities will have in their winery and vineyard. Nearly all of them partner, in some form of collaboration, with a winery or winemaker who is already established in the industry. An example of this is retired American football player Joe Montana who partnered with long time Beringer winemaker Ed Sbragia to make their joint venture wine Montagia. While Sbragia oversees most of the viticultural and winemaking task, Montana is involved in deciding on the overall "vision" of the wine and participates in tasting and blending trials.[2]

To a similar extent, the celebrity may own their own "wine brand" which is produced with their collaborating winery instead of owning a physical winery or wine estate itself. An example of this is the brand Mike Ditka Wines owned by former American football coach Mike Ditka. The wine is produced in partnership at the physical winemaking facilities of the Mendocino Wine Company. While it could be described as a "winery", technically Mike Ditka Wines would be a "wine brand" that is owned by Ditka who participates in blending and tasting trails.[4] Some, such as French actor Gérard Depardieu, will be very active in both the production and business dealings of the winery. Depardieu, who owns wineries in several countries across the globe, even has his passport listing his occupation as vigneron.[2]

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi owns two vineyards that sell grapes to California producers.

A celebrity may only have "legacy" attachments to the wines that bear their name. One example is the Gallo wine brand MacMurray Ranch which uses some grapes that are grown on a California ranch that was once owned by the American actor Fred MacMurray. Under the actor's ownership, the ranch was dedicated mostly to raising horses.[5] After MacMurray died, his family sold most of the land to the Gallo family and has little connection to the wine brand.[3] Another "legacy" celebrity who was more intimately connected with the winery that now carries his name was the American actor Raymond Burr. Burr bought the ranch with his domestic partner and had planted grapevines for wine production before he died in 1993. His partner, Robert Benevides, renamed the estate after Burr and continued making wines featuring his name.[6]

Some celebrities will lend their names to a winery for a special "one time" wine production. An example of this would be Mexican-American musician Carlos Santana, who partnered with the Champagne house G.H. Mumm to create a sparkling wine in 2005 titled Santana DVX.[7] While Santana helped select the final blend and received royalties for the use of his name and image, he doesn't particularly "own" the brand nor does he continue to be involved in the wine industry.

American musician Bob Dylan participated in a similar arrangement with the Italian winery Fattoria Le Terrazze. Dylan gave permission for the winery to use his name, likeness and album art to create a wine that pays tribute to his 1974 album Planet Waves.[8] In 2007, American entrepreneur Martha Stewart announced a collaboration with the American winery Gallo to produce value marketed wines to be sold at K-mart, which also features her Martha Stewart Living line of housewares.[9] In 2009, British chef Gordon Ramsay allowed a Bordeaux winery to use his name, without royalties, to celebrate the release of their 10th vintage.[10]

List of celebrities[edit]

Below is a partial listing of celebrities who own commercial wineries, wine brands or vineyards. This is not a listing of a celebrities who only own vineyards for private use.

CelebrityWinery/VineyardLocationNotesReference
Mario AndrettiAndretti WineryNapa Valley, CaliforniaFounded winery with Joe Antonini, CEO of sponsor Kmart during final eight years of CART career (1987–94)[3]
Frank ArcieroArciero Family VineyardsPaso Robles, CaliforniaAlso owns EOS Estate Winery in Paso Robles. Owned racing teams that featured Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Parnelli Jones, Dan Gurney and Michael Andretti[11]
Dan AykroydDan Aykroyd WinesOntario, CanadaAlso produces a Sonoma County, California, series of wines[7]
Francisco J. Ayala

[12]

Antonio BanderasAnta BanderasRibera del Duero, Spain

[13]

Drew BarrymoreBarrymore WinesItalyA collaboration with wine importer Wilson Daniels[14]
Lidia BastianichBastianich WineryFriuli, ItalyCollaboration with son and Italian restaurateur and author Joe Bastianich[15]
Mario BataliLa MozzaTuscany, ItalyCollaboration with Italian winemaker and author Joe Bastianich[7]
Drew BledsoeDoubleback WineWalla Walla Valley, WashingtonCollaboration with Washington winemaker Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellars[16]
Carole BouquetSanguo d'orSicily, Italy[17]
Lorraine BraccoBracco WinesTuscany, ItalyProduces wines from several Italian wine regions[7]
Kevin BucklerAdobe Road WinesSonoma County, California[11]
Valeri BureChateau Boswell WineryNapa Valley, CaliforniaIn partnership with his wife - actress Candace Cameron.[18]
Raymond BurrRaymond Burr VineyardsDry Creek Valley, CaliforniaEstablished by the late actor in 1986. Currently run by his partner.[7]
Jonathan CaindelaCain VineyardsSonoma County, CaliforniaCollaboration with California winemaker Dennis De La Montanya[19]
Richard ChildressChildress VineyardsNorth Carolina[20]
Les ClaypoolClaypool CellarsRussian River Valley, California[21]
Bruce CohnB.R. Cohn WinerySonoma County, CaliforniaCohn was manager of The Doobie Brothers[7]
Francis Ford CoppolaRubicon Estate WineryNapa Valley, CaliforniaRenamed Inglenook in 2011.[3]
Gérard DepardieuChateau de TigneAnjou, Loire Valley, FranceAlso owns vineyards in Bordeaux, Languedoc, Algeria, Argentina, Morocco, Spain, Sicily and United States[3]
Diane MillerSilverado Vineyards WineryNapa Valley, CaliforniaWalt Disney daughter owned winery with husband, former professional American Football player Ron W. Miller[7]
Mike DitkaMike Ditka WinesMendocino County, CaliforniaCollaboration with the Mendocino Wine Company

[22]

Dave Del DottoDel Dotto VineyardsNapa Valley, CaliforniaIn 2007, experimented with fermenting wine in amphorae[23]
E-40Earl Stevens SelectionsCalifornia[24]
Ernie ElsErnie Els WinesStellenbosch, South AfricaCollaboration with Ernie Els Vineyards[3]
Emilio EstevezCasa DumetzMalibu, California[25]
Nick FaldoNick Faldo WinesCoonawarra, AustraliaCollaboration with Katnook Estate[26]
Mick FleetwoodMick Fleetwood Private CellarLake County, CaliforniaCollaboration with Langtry Estate and Vineyards[19]
Peggy FlemingFleming Jenkins Vineyards and WinerySanta Cruz Mountains, CaliforniaFounded with her husband, Greg Jenkins[3]
FergieFerguson CrestSanta Ynez Valley, California[27]
David GinolaCoste BruladeCôtes de Provence, FranceIn partnership with the Coste Brulade co-op at Puget-Ville[28]
Jeff GordonJeff Gordon WinesNapa Valley, CaliforniaCollaboration with August Briggs Wines[7]
Wayne GretzkyNo. 99 Estates WineryNiagara Peninsula, CanadaCollaboration with Peller Estates[29]
Terry HoageTerry Hoage VineyardsPaso Robles, CaliforniaUniversity of Georgia American Football player, Owner, Winemaker, Viticulturist[30]
Mick HucknallIl CantanteSicily, ItalyCollaboration with Italian winemaker Salvo Foti[7]
Andrés IniestaBodega IniestaFuentealbilla, Spain[31]
Günther JauchWeingut von OthegravenMosel (wine region), Rhineland-Palatinate, GermanyVineyard a listed cultural heritage site.[32]
Maynard James KeenanCaduceus CellarsVerde Valley, ArizonaAlso owns Merkin Vineyards in Arizona[33]
John LasseterLasseter Family WinerySonoma County, California[7]
Randy LewisLewis CellarsNapa Valley, California[11]
Lil JonLittle Jonathan WineryCentral Coast, CaliforniaCollaboration with California winemaker Alison Crowe

[34]

Jack London, Estate ofJack London WineryGlen Ellen, Sonoma County, Californiaoperated by the Shepards, descendants of London's sister Eliza Shepard

[35]

Nigel LythgoeVilla San-JuliettePaso Robles, CaliforniaCo-owner with Ken Warwick[36]
Luis MiguelViña Ventisquero - UnicoMaipo Valley, ChileCollaboration with Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes Del Campo[37]
Kyle MacLachlanPursued by Bear WineColumbia Valley, WashingtonCollaboration with Washington winemaker Eric Dunham

[38]

MadonnaCiccone Vineyard and WineryLeelanau Peninsula, MichiganCollaboration with her father Silvio "Tony" Ciccone[39]
Dan MarinoVintage 13 Marino EstatesCalifornia[30]
Dave MatthewsBlenheim VineyardsCharlottesville, Virginia[40]
Joe MontanaMontagia WinesNapa Valley, CaliforniaCollaboration with Ed Sbragia, former winemaker of Beringer Wines[7]
Mickey MorandiniSecond Base WinesCooperstown, New YorkCollaboratrion with Pat Burrell[3]
Dave MustaineMustaine VineyardsFallbrook, California[41]
Jim NantzThe CallingCaliforniaCollaboration with winemaker Peter Deutsch[42]
Vince NeilVince Neil VineyardsSonoma County, California[3]
Sam NeillTwo PaddocksCentral Otago, South Island, New Zealand[43]
Olivia Newton-JohnKoala Blue WinesSouth AustraliaFounded in 1983 with business partner Pat Farrar[7]
Greg NormanGreg Norman EstatesSouth Australia and CaliforniaCollaboration with Beringer Blass[3]
Arnold PalmerArnold Palmer WinesCaliforniaCollaboration with Luna Vineyards

[19]

Jacques ParizeauCoteau de l'ÉlisetteLanguedoc, France[44]
Fess ParkerFess Parker WinerySanta Ynez Valley, CaliforniaWas featured in the movie Sideways[3]
Robert M. Parker, Jr.Beaux Freres Vineyards & WineryWillamette Valley, OregonCo-owns winery with brother in law. To avoid a conflict of interest with his wine rating publication The Wine Advocate, Parker delegates the task of rating Oregon wines to another associate.[45]
Terri ParsonsBenny Parsons Rendezvous RidgePurlear, North CarolinaWinery established before his death and operated by his widow.[46]
Nancy PelosiZinfandel Lane VineyardSt. Helena, CaliforniaAlso owns Skellenger Lane Vineyard in Napa Valley. Pelosi sells her grapes to other California winemakers instead of producing her own wine.[7]
Carmen PolicyCasa PienaYountville, California[7]
Jason PriestleyBlack Hills Estate WineryOkanagan, British ColumbiaThe British Columbia born actor is a co-owner in the estate

[47]

Cliff RichardAdega do CantorAlgarve, PortugalCollaboration with Quinta do Miradouro[7]
Savanna SamsonSavanna Samson WinesTuscany and Lazio, ItalyHer first wine Sogno Uno is a red blend consisting mainly of the obscure Italian grape variety Cesanese[48]
Boz ScaggsScaggs VineyardCalifornia[49]
Cathy SchembechlerBo Schembechler WinesCaliforniaNamed after her late husband, former University of Michigan American football coach Bo Schembechler[30]
Tom SeaverGTS VineyardsNapa Valley, California[7][50]
Michael SeresinSeresin EstateMarlborough New Zealand[51]
Ramona SingerRamona SingerDelle Venezie, in Veneto, ItalyPinot Grigio[52]
Tommy SmothersRemick Ridge VineyardsSonoma County, California[3]
Alex SpanosSpanosBerberian WineryNapa Valley, CaliforniaAlso owns Bell Wine Cellars in Yountville[11]
StingTenuta il PalagioTuscany, Italy[53][54]
Jarno TrulliPodere CastoraniAbruzzo, Italy[55]
Dick VermeilVermeil WinesNapa Valley, CaliforniaCollaboration with OnThEdge Winery[11]
Mark WarnerIngleside VineyardsNorthern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA, VirginiaGrows grapes and makes privates label with Ingleside's owners and winemaker[56]
Mike WeirMike Weir WineNiagara Peninsula, Canada[7]
Sigurd WongravenLuca RoagnaPiemonte, ItalyThe front figure of black-metal band Satyricon has also launched other brands including an organic Champagne cuvée produced by Baron-Fuenté.[57]
Charles WoodsonTwentyFour WinesNapa Valley, CaliforniaUnder NFL regulations, Woodson is currently prohibited from endorsing his own wines publicly until he retires[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Johnson, Hugh (1989). Vintage: The Story of Wine. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 35–90. ISBN 0-671-68702-6. 
  2. ^ a b c Harding, Graham (2005). A Wine Miscellany. New York: Clarkson Potter. pp. 76–80. ISBN 0-307-34635-8. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kung, Michelle, Forbes Magazine (August 4, 2008). Top Celebrity Vineyards
  4. ^ Arnold, Eric, Wine Spectator (January 30, 2007). Wine Talk: Mike Ditka
  5. ^ University of California Press MacMurray Ranch pg 1, Accessed: December 14th, 2009
  6. ^ Mersmann, Andrew, Passport Magazine Robert Benevides, Raymond Burr Vineyards Sonoma County, California. Accessed: December 14th, 2009
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q D. Grossman "Wine Stars" Wine Country Magazine Spring 2007/Summer 2007 issue
  8. ^ Asimov, Eric, The New York Times: The Pour (May 18, 2006). "Wine on the Tracks"
  9. ^ Chronicle Staff/Associated Press San Francisco Chronicle (September 15, 2007). "Stewart to market $15 wine"
  10. ^ Anson, Jane, Decanter.com (April 24, 2009). "Gordon Ramsay lends his name to a Bordeaux wine"
  11. ^ a b c d e Murphy, Linda, San Francisco Chronicle (April 21, 2005). Athletes and Wine
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Associated Free Press (November 22, 2009). Antonio Banderas plans hotel at Spanish vineyard
  14. ^ Matthew DeBord "Drew Barrymore is now a...winemaker?" DeWine Report, April 17th, 2012
  15. ^ Deucy, Erica, "Fodor's" (December 13, 2007)
  16. ^ Taylor, Robert, Wine Spectator (September 25, 2008). Wine Talk: Drew Bledsoe
  17. ^ Italy Magazine (October 17, 2007). "Passito wine risks extinction". 
  18. ^ BureFamilyWines.com "BureFamilyWines.com" January 12th, 2010
  19. ^ a b c Lucus, Greg, LuxLife Magazine (January 12, 2009). Celebrity Vintners – More Than Just A Name
  20. ^ Arnold, Eric, Wine Spectator (July 15, 2005). Wine Talk: Richard Childress
  21. ^ "Rock star Les Claypool’s winery sets up shop in Sebastopol railcar caboose". Carey Sweet. SF Gate. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  22. ^ Rausa Fuller, Janet, Chicago Sun Times (January 28, 2007). Ditka's wine does just fine against big boys
  23. ^ Goldfarb, Alan, Wines & Vines (September 1, 2007). Ancient wine technology: Del Dotto to release amphora-fermented Cab
  24. ^ http://www.complex.com/music/2013/10/you-can-now-buy-wine-from-e40
  25. ^ Wallace, Amy (22 January 2011). "Growing Grapes as Part of a Real-Life Script". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  26. ^ Styles, Oliver, Decanter.com (September 24, 2003). Nick Faldo drives onto new range
  27. ^ Edward Deitch "Are celebrity wines worth the price?" MSNBC, May 11th, 2012
  28. ^ Savage, Helen, Decanter.com (August 29, 2008). "David Ginola returns to Newcastle to launch award-winning rosé". 
  29. ^ Pinhey, Craig, Telegraph Journal (April 3, 2009). Hockey Wine In Time for Playoffs
  30. ^ a b c d Unfiltered, Wine Spectator (September 24, 2009). Are You Ready for Some Football (Wines)?
  31. ^ Bodega Iniesta
  32. ^ Bernd Freytag: Der beliebteste Deutsche Günther Jauch wird Winzer (The most popular German Günther Jauch becomes wine-grower), FAZ.net 26 February 2010 – Online-Version.
  33. ^ Carle, Chris, IGN.com (November 13, 2006). Maynard James Keenan Interview
  34. ^ Associated Press/MSNBC (April 3, 2008). Rapper Lil Jon starts his own wine label
  35. ^ The Shepards
  36. ^ [2]
  37. ^ Mexican music icon Luis Miguel releases signature Cabernet Sauvignon
  38. ^ Woolever, Laurie, Wine Spectator (September 16, 2008). Wine Talk: Kyle MacLachlan
  39. ^ Ciccone Vineyards Madonna Wine Series. Accessed: December 14, 2009
  40. ^ Hirshey, Gerri, Food & Wine Magazine (October 2005). The Wine World's No. 1 Rock Star: Dave Matthews. Accessed: December 14th, 2009
  41. ^ Mustaine Vineyards
  42. ^ Jennifer Mayerle "Sports Commentator Jim Nantz has a second calling, wine" CBS Atlanta, April 11th, 2013
  43. ^ Two Paddocks: Our Story
  44. ^ Gagnon, Marc-André (April 29, 2006). "Le vin de Jacques Parizeau serait retiré des tablettes". Vin Québec. 
  45. ^ Murphy, Linda, San Francisco Chronicle (July 7, 2005). First book on Robert Parker details his impact on the wine world
  46. ^ Benny Parsons' Rendezvous Ridge
  47. ^ Unfiltered, Wine Spectator (October 4, 2007). Beverly Hills 902-wine-0?
  48. ^ Raswell, James, Ask Men.com Celebrity Wineries Accessed: December 14, 2009
  49. ^ "Boz Scaggs launches wine brand". Food-and-cooking. Napa Valley Register. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  50. ^ Lindbloom, John (August 26, 2010). "St. Helena gets a taste of Seaver and Sinatra". St. Helena Star (Napa, CA: Lee Enterprises, Inc.). Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  51. ^ Arnold, Eric, Wine Spectator (2011). "Wine Talk: Michael Seresin". Snooth.com. 
  52. ^ Arnold, Eric, Wine Spectator (July 10, 2006). "Winery Profiles: Ramona Singer Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie 2010". 
  53. ^ Brownman, Matt (27 March 2012). "Il Palagio by Sting". Highlander Wine Blog. 
  54. ^ Wine Spectator (19 March 2009). "Unfiltered: Sting Becomes a Tuscan Vintner". Wine Spectator. 
  55. ^ Peregrine, Anthony (16 July 2005). "Trulli on the right track". The Telegraph. 
  56. ^ Bedard, Paul (November 20, 2005). "A Modern-Day Thomas Jefferson?". U.S. News. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  57. ^ Berglund, Nina, News From Norway (April 26, 2011). Black metal and red wine