Rock superstar Sting has just paid €6m (US$6.16m) for 40ha of prime Tuscan vineyard from which he plans to produce his own wine.
The former Police frontman – whose real name is Gordon Sumner – snapped up a 182ha farm adjoining the Palagio estate near Figline Valdarno which he has owned for five years, and where he has a recording studio.
According to Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, Sting was principally interested in the estate – which includes 10 farmhouses, grazing land, forests and olive groves – for its Chianti DOCG vineyards. The estate lies 25km south of Florence, in the Chianti Aretini subzone.
Sting intends to make red wine from Sangiovese, the grape common to all Tuscany. The wine will be released with a personalised numbered and signed label, for his friends only.
Chianti Aretini, although a largely unknown area, is home to some noted producers like Villa La Selva and Tenuta di Petrolo.
The multimillionaire singer is renowned for entertaining – Madonna and Guy Ritchie met at one of his dinner parties, and gourmets such as Luciano Pavarotti have been guests at his estate.
The new estate will be called I Serrestori, after its former owners, a family of silk merchants. It’s understood the land had been taken over by the local government, and Sting and his wife Trudie Styler bought it at auction for a fraction of its real value.
Sting was not at the auction but his farm manager Paolo Rossi bid in his place. Rossi only had to raise the bid by 5% as there were no other bidders there, Corriere della Sera said.
Written by Adam Lechmere, and Michele Shah20 December 2002