Celebrities from all walks of fame are stepping into the wine world. Sports stars, actors, musicians and TV personalities are all jumping on the wine bandwagon, some owning vineyards and others getting more hands-on in the winemaking itself.
This growing trend shows no sign of slowing with recent celebrities to launch their own wines including George Clooney, Gordon Ramsey and Gary Barlow.
The Take That star follows in the footsteps of pop singer Kylie Minigue, who launched a successful range of wines in the UK in 2020 and has since grown her range with a second set of wines.
Arguably the most well-known celebrity wine is the Armand de Brignac Champagne, nicknamed ‘Ace of Spades’, which until last year was owned by rap star and entrepreneur Jay-Z. In 2021 he sold a 50% stake in the luxury Champagne brand to LVMH’s wine and spirits arm Moët Hennessy for an undisclosed sum.
Other top tier winemaking celebs include The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola who makes wines under the Inglenook and Francis Ford Coppola Winery labels, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie whose Miraval rosé – produced by the Provence estate owned by former couple – has done wonders for the premium rosé market.
There’s also professional golfer Ernie Els’ Stellenbosch wines, Cliff Richard’s Portuguese reds, Sam Neill’s Central Otago Two Paddocks winery, and fashion designer Roberto Cavalli’s wines from Tuscany.
Cricketer Sir Ian Botham has his own range of wines, as does talk show host Graham Norton, and rock star Maynard James Keenan – of Tool and Puscifer fame – who makes wine in Jerome, Arizona under the Caduceus Cellars label.
In July last year George Clooney became the owner of Domaine du Canadel, a 170 hectare estate in the Var region of Provence. The vineyards are just down the road from Hollywood director and Star Wars creator George Lucas’ estate Château Margüi.
Also making wine in southern France is soft rocker Jon Bon Jovi, who teamed up with Gérard Bertrand in 2019 to produce a rosé under the Hampton Water label. According to the pair, the wine ‘captures the art of living and conviviality common to the Hamptons and the South of France.’
Celebrity winemakers: How involved are they?
‘Decanter readers may be mildly suspicious of celebrity wines,’ wrote Andrew Jefford in his column for the July 2021 issue of Decanter magazine following an interview with Kylie Minogue.
‘You’re buying a famous person and their image rather than a beautiful drink imbued with a sense of place, right? Don’t hurry to conclusions, though.
‘Minogue (2.2 million followers on Instagram and Twitter) has sold one million bottles of wine in the past year, many of them to people who have never drunk wine before.’
Similarly, after the success of Château Miraval, Brad Pitt, along with co-owners of the estate, the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel, joined forces with the Péters family to produce a rosé Champagne.
The team behind Fleur de Miraval rosé Champagne, emphasised Pitt’s active role in the project and described it as ‘not some new celebrity wine, but an authentic project’.
Sting, ex-frontman of The Police, is also a winemaker, producing wine from the Tuscan estate Il. Here he discusses the wines that have played a major part in his life.
Introducing new wine lovers?
Jefford believes that through Minogue’s Collection series wine drinkers may come to appreciate other wines made by the producers she has teamed up with; Howard Park in Western Australia, de Bortoli in the Yarra Valley and Château Sainte Roseline in Côtes de Provence.
‘Some may even become Decanter readers,’ he says, ‘as Minogue herself has.’
‘Minogue’s genuinely involved; those helping her have done a good job; the wines are accessible, not ‘luxury’; she’s opening up the wine world to new palates. Anything wrong with that?’
The following list of wines were tasted and rated by a range of Decanter experts at the time of their release. Find more in-depth tastings of Armand de Brignac and Kylie’s wine range, plus more in our wine database.