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Ginola on the lookout for domaine

Former French international footballer David Ginola wants to follow in the footsteps of Antonio Banderas, Gerard Depardieu and a clutch of other stars – and buy a vineyard.

The perfectly-coiffed former Everton winger’s dream is not new – Ginola tried to buy the Domaine de la Bastide Blanche near St Tropez a few years ago but was outbid.

‘My dream is to buy a domaine in France’, he told Tim Atkin in the Observer. ‘There are a few places near my home that would be ideal. I’d love to make a top-quality red in Provence and sell it over here. I’ve got good contacts.’

Ginola (pictured) is a connoisseur of fine wine, and has a large air-conditioned cellar in his house in Sainte Maxime in the South of France, which he maintains with a detailed cellar-book. The first person to spark his enthusiasm was his father, with whom he used to fill demijohns from the local cooperative. Then when he was playing for Paris Saint-Germain he met Philippe Faure-Brac, champion sommelier and owner of Le Bistro de Sommelier in Paris, who ‘became a bit of a mentor.’

Ginola’s 3000-bottle cellar now ranges from local Proveneal wines to 1990 Château Latour and 1982 Petrus and 1990 Domaine de la Romanee Conti. The best advice he was given, he said, was to invest in a case of 1982 Chateau Petrus. ‘It cost me nearly £3,000 a case even then. But it’s being sold at auction for around £16,000.’

‘I buy wine to give other people pleasure,’ Ginola said, recommending vendange tardive as the perfect seduction wine. ‘I know women who never drink wine but love vendange tardive. It’s soft, sweet and intense, but there’s nothing aggressive about it.’

Written by Nicky Manson16 May 2002

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