A growing number of celebrities are getting involved with the wine world – some owning vineyard estates but others getting more hands on in the winemaking itself.
Well known ones include Jay Z’s involvement with the ‘Ace of Spades Champagne‘ Armand de Brignac, which he sold a 50% stake to LVMH earlier this year; The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola’s Inglenook wines (and Sonoma based Francis Ford Coppola Winery) and Miraval rosé, from the Provence estate owned by former couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
There’s also professional golfer Ernie Els, with Stellenbosch wines, Cliff Richard’s Portuguese reds, Sam Neill’s Central Otago Two Paddocks 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 popstar Kylie Minogue, who recently discussed her wine range with Andrew Jefford.
Celebrity winemakers: How involved are they?
‘Decanter readers may be mildly suspicious of celebrity wines,’ wrote Jefford in his latest column for the July 2021 issue of Decanter magazine.
‘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 Palagio. Here he discusses the wines that have played a major part in his life.
Introducing new wine lovers?
‘Through [Minogue’s] Collection series, those new drinkers may come to appreciate the wines of Howard Park in Western Australia, de Bortoli in the Yarra Valley and Château Sainte Roseline in Côtes de Provence,’ wrote Jefford.
‘Some may even become Decanter readers – 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?’