Johnny Hallyday to put name to wine

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  • Thursday 26 January 2006

Ageing French rocker Johnny Hallyday is to join the ever-growing group of celebrities with their names on bottles of wine.

The 62 year-old star is lending his name to a Coteaux du Languedoc wine, produced in the south of France. Around 50,000 bottles will be produced with a label proclaiming, ‘wine discovered by Johnny Hallyday’ (‘vin découvert par Johnny Hallyday’).

The wines will be distributed through Hallyday’s own company, Hallyday Wines Diffusion. The bottles will hit French supermarket selves in March and will cost around €10.

According to the Jacques Fanet, head of the Coteaux du Languedoc wine producers’ union, Hallyday’s move comes at the right time for the struggling region.

‘This is good news for the sector,’ Fanet told AFP. ‘Languedoc wine is all too often wrongly treated as being second-rate. This wine will spawn imitations and increase the morale of Languedoc winemakers.’

According to Fanet, Hallyday was driven by ‘the desire to make wine’. Hallyday may also become the first celebrity Belgian to promote French wine – he has applied for Belgian citizenship, stirring much media controversy in France.

Hallyday, whose real name is Jean-Philippe Smet, is not the first to arrive in the area. He joins actor Gérard Depardieu who runs his own châteaux in the Loire and Languedoc.

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