List of celebrities who own wineries and vineyards

The trend of celebrities owning wineries and vineyards is not a recent phenomenon, though it has certainly garnered more attention in today's Information Age. In ancient Greek and Roman times, the leading philosophers, playwrights, politicians and generals of the day often owned vineyards for personal use.[1] Usually celebrities have a large amount of wealth accumulated, which makes the significant investment of opening a winery or vineyard negligible.

There are many reasons that celebrities gravitate to the world of wine. Starting a winery or vineyard, as with nearly any business, can offer some tax benefits. Some celebrities, such as the Italian-American director Francis Ford Coppola, come from a family with a long history of winemaking. Some, such as the British singer Cliff Richard, have been lifelong wine enthusiasts and enter the wine industry in order to do something that they enjoy. Others like the challenge of a new enterprise. Some celebrities enter the wine industry simply because they can.[2]

While some celebrities, such as the American actors Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, British association football star David Beckham and his wife Victoria Beckham, own vineyards and wine estates solely for personal use, some celebrities leverage their name recognition as a selling tool in the wine industry. Today celebrity-owned wineries can be lucrative business endeavors. In 2007, Nielsen research of supermarket wine purchases showed that sales of celebrity wines were up 19% over previous years.[3]

Cliff Richard Denmark 2015 ubt
Cliff Richard promotes his wine in Denmark, 2015.
SamNeill08TIFF
New Zealand actor Sam Neill owns a winery in the Central Otago region of New Zealand.

Types of celebrity involvement

DaveMatthews2
American musician Dave Matthews owns a winery in Virginia.

Celebrities have different degrees of involvement in their wineries and vineyards. Nearly all of them partner, in some form of collaboration, with a winery or winemaker who is already established in the industry. An example of this is retired American football player Joe Montana, who partnered with longtime Beringer winemaker Ed Sbragia to make their joint venture wine Montagia. While Sbragia oversees most of the viticultural and winemaking tasks, Montana is involved in deciding on the overall "vision" of the wine and participates in tasting and blending trials.[2]

Similarly, the celebrity may own their own "wine brand" which is produced with their collaborating winery instead of owning a physical winery or wine estate itself. An example of this is the brand Mike Ditka Wines, owned by former American football coach Mike Ditka. The wine is produced in partnership at the physical winemaking facilities of the Mendocino Wine Company. While it could be described as a "winery", technically Mike Ditka Wines is a "wine brand" owned by Ditka, who participates in blending and tasting trials.[4] Other celebrities, such as French actor Gérard Depardieu, are very active in both the production and business dealings of the winery. Depardieu, who owns wineries in several countries across the globe, even has his passport listing his occupation as vigneron.[2]

Nancy Pelosi.jpeg
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi owns two vineyards that sell grapes to California producers.

Some celebrities may only have "legacy" attachments to the wines that bear their names. One example is the Gallo wine brand MacMurray Ranch, which uses some grapes grown on a California ranch that was once owned by the American actor Fred MacMurray. Under his ownership, the ranch was dedicated mostly to raising horses.[5] After MacMurray died, his family sold most of the land to the Gallo family, and has little connection to the wine brand.[3]

Another "legacy" celebrity who was more intimately connected with the winery that now carries his name was the American actor Raymond Burr. Burr bought the ranch with his domestic partner and planted grapevines for wine production before he died in 1993. His partner, Robert Benevides, renamed the estate after Burr and continued making wines featuring his name.[6]

Some celebrities lend their names to a winery for a special one-time wine production. Mexican-American musician Carlos Santana partnered with the Champagne house G.H. Mumm to create a sparkling wine in 2005 titled Santana DVX.[7] While Santana helped select the final blend and received royalties for the use of his name and image, he doesn't particularly "own" the brand nor does he continue to be involved in the wine industry.

American musician Bob Dylan participated in a similar arrangement with the Italian winery Fattoria Le Terrazze. Dylan gave permission for the winery to use his name, likeness and album art to create a wine that pays tribute to his 1974 album Planet Waves.[8] In 2007, American entrepreneur Martha Stewart announced a collaboration with the American winery Gallo to produce value-marketed wines to be sold at Kmart, which also featured her Martha Stewart Living line of housewares.[9] In 2009, British chef Gordon Ramsay allowed a Bordeaux winery to use his name, without royalties, to celebrate the release of their 10th vintage.[10]

In 2009, actor Gianni Russo launched his wine brand, Gianni Russo Wines. [11]

Legendary Hollywood Tough Guy, Robert Davi acquired a stake in Georgós Greek Wine Company, Sonoma Valley, California in August 2018 after he purchased a bottle of their wine at a Whole Foods Market. He called Georgós, "One of the smoothest damn wines I've ever had." [12]

List of celebrities

Below is a partial listing of celebrities who own commercial wineries, wine brands or vineyards. This is not a listing of a celebrities who only own vineyards for private use.

Celebrity Winery/vineyard Location Notes Reference
Stephen Amell Nocking Point Wines Walla Walla, Washington Columbia Valley wines; co-owned with Walla Walla native Andrew Harding [13]
Mario Andretti Andretti Winery Napa Valley, California Founded winery with Joe Antonini, CEO of sponsor Kmart during final eight years of CART career (1987–94) [3]
Frank Arciero Arciero Family Vineyards Paso Robles, California Also owns EOS Estate Winery in Paso Robles. Owned racing teams that featured Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Parnelli Jones, Dan Gurney and Michael Andretti [14]
Francisco J. Ayala

[15]

Dan Aykroyd Dan Aykroyd Wines Ontario, Canada
Antonio Banderas Anta Banderas Ribera del Duero, Spain

[16]

Drew Barrymore Carmel Road Italy In partnership with Carmel Road Winery [17]
Lidia Bastianich Bastianich Winery Friuli, Italy Collaboration with son and Italian restaurateur and author Joe Bastianich [18]
Mario Batali La Mozza Tuscany, Italy Collaboration with Italian winemaker and author Joe Bastianich [7]
Drew Bledsoe Doubleback Wine Walla Walla Valley, Washington Collaboration with Washington winemaker Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellars [19]
Carole Bouquet Sangue d'oro Sicily, Italy [20]
Lorraine Bracco Bracco Wines Tuscany, Italy Produces wines from several Italian wine regions [7]
Kevin Buckler Adobe Road Wines Sonoma County, California [14]
Valeri Bure Chateau Boswell Winery Napa Valley, California In partnership with his wife, actress Candace Cameron [21]
Raymond Burr Raymond Burr Vineyards Dry Creek Valley, California Established by the late actor in 1986; currently run by his partner [7]
Jonathan Cain delaCain Vineyards Sonoma County, California Collaboration with California winemaker Dennis De La Montanya [22]
Al Bano Carrisi Al Bano Carrisi Winery Cellino San Marco, Apulia, Italy
Gerald Casale The 50 by 50 Napa Valley, California [23]
Richard Childress Childress Vineyards North Carolina [24]
Les Claypool Claypool Cellars Russian River Valley, California [25]
Bruce Cohn B.R. Cohn Winery Sonoma County, California Cohn was manager of The Doobie Brothers. [7]
Francis Ford Coppola Rubicon Estate Winery Napa Valley, California Renamed Inglenook in 2011 [3]
Gérard Depardieu Chateau de Tigne Anjou, Loire Valley, France Also owns vineyards in Bordeaux, Languedoc, Algeria, Argentina, Morocco, Spain, Sicily and the United States [3]
Ron W. and Diane Miller Silverado Vineyards Winery Napa Valley, California Owned by Ron Miller, who was married to Walt Disney's daughter until her death in 2013, and their children. [7]
Mike Ditka Mike Ditka Wines Mendocino County, California Collaboration with the Mendocino Wine Company

[26]

Dave Del Dotto Del Dotto Vineyards Napa Valley, California In 2007, experimented with fermenting wine in amphorae [27]
E-40 Earl Stevens Selections California [28]
Ernie Els Ernie Els Wines Stellenbosch, South Africa Collaboration with Ernie Els Vineyards [3]
Emilio Estevez Casa Dumetz Malibu, California [29]
Nick Faldo Nick Faldo Wines Coonawarra, Australia Collaboration with Katnook Estate [30]
Guy Fieri Hunt & Ryde Winery Sonoma County, California Named after sons, Hunter and Ryder. [31]
Elías Figueroa Vinos Don Elías Maipo Valley, Chile First celebrity-owned winery in Chile & South America, established 1999 [32]
Mick Fleetwood Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar Lake County, California Collaboration with Langtry Estate and Vineyards [22]
Peggy Fleming Fleming Jenkins Vineyards and Winery Santa Cruz Mountains, California Founded with her husband, Greg Jenkins [3]
Fergie Ferguson Crest Santa Ynez Valley, California [33]
David Ginola Coste Brulade Côtes de Provence, France In partnership with the Coste Brulade co-op at Puget-Ville [34]
Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Wines Napa Valley, California Collaboration with August Briggs Wines [7]
Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Estates Winery Niagara Peninsula, Canada Collaboration with Peller Estates [35]
Terry Hoage Terry Hoage Vineyards Paso Robles, California University of Georgia football player, owner, winemaker, viticulturist [36]
Mick Hucknall Il Cantante Sicily, Italy Collaboration with Italian winemaker Salvo Foti [7]
Andrés Iniesta Bodega Iniesta Fuentealbilla, Spain [37]
Günther Jauch Weingut von Othegraven Mosel (wine region), Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany Vineyard a listed cultural heritage site [38]
Maynard James Keenan Caduceus Cellars Verde Valley, Arizona Also owns Merkin Vineyards in Arizona [39]
John Lasseter Lasseter Family Winery Sonoma County, California [7]
John Legend LVE - Legend Vineyard Exclusive Napa Valley, California Legend Vineyard Exclusive is a partnership with Raymond Vineyards.[40] [41]
Randy Lewis Lewis Cellars Napa Valley, California [14]
Lil Jon Little Jonathan Winery Central Coast, California Collaboration with California winemaker Alison Crowe

[42]

Jack London, Estate of Jack London Winery Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, California Operated by the Shepards, descendants of London's sister Eliza Shepard

[43]

Nigel Lythgoe Villa San-Juliette Paso Robles, California Co-owner with Ken Warwick [44]
Luis Miguel Viña Ventisquero - Unico Maipo Valley, Chile Collaboration with Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes Del Campo [45]
Kyle MacLachlan Pursued by Bear Wine Columbia Valley, Washington Collaboration with Washington winemaker Eric Dunham

[46]

Madonna Ciccone Vineyard and Winery Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan Collaboration with her father Silvio "Tony" Ciccone [47]
Dan Marino Vintage 13 Marino Estates California [36]
Dave Matthews Blenheim Vineyards Charlottesville, Virginia [48]
Joe Montana Montagia Wines Napa Valley, California Collaboration with Ed Sbragia, former winemaker of Beringer Wines [7]
Mickey Morandini Second Base Wines Cooperstown, New York Collaboratrion with Pat Burrell [3]
Dave Mustaine Mustaine Vineyards Fallbrook, California [49]
Jim Nantz The Calling California Collaboration with winemaker Peter Deutsch [50]
Vince Neil Vince Neil Vineyards Sonoma County, California [3]
Sam Neill Two Paddocks Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand [51]
Olivia Newton-John Koala Blue Wines South Australia Founded in 1983 with business partner Pat Farrar [7]
Greg Norman Greg Norman Estates South Australia and California Collaboration with Beringer Blass [3]
Graham Norton Invivo Wines Marlborough, New Zealand Graham Norton's Own Sauvignon Blanc, collaboration with Invivo Wines in 2014 and 2015 [52]
Arnold Palmer Arnold Palmer Wines California Collaboration with Luna Vineyards

[22]

Jacques Parizeau Coteau de l'Élisette Languedoc, France [53]
Fess Parker Fess Parker Winery Santa Ynez Valley, California Was featured in the movie Sideways [3]
Robert M. Parker, Jr. Beaux Freres Vineyards & Winery Willamette Valley, Oregon Co-owns winery with brother in law. To avoid a conflict of interest with his wine rating publication The Wine Advocate, Parker delegates the task of rating Oregon wines to another associate. [54]
Nancy Pelosi Zinfandel Lane Vineyard St. Helena, California Also owns Skellenger Lane Vineyard in Napa Valley. Pelosi sells her grapes to other California winemakers instead of producing her own wine. [7]
Andrea Pirlo Pratum Coller Vineyard Coller, Trentino, Italy Vineyard purchased in 2007 in his father's hometown. Produces Merlot amongst others. Family historically owned vineyards in the same area. [55]
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Chateau Miraval Provence, France Bought winemaking estate in 2012. Consult with Marc Perrin. [56]
Carmen Policy Casa Piena Yountville, California [7]
Jason Priestley Black Hills Estate Winery Okanagan, British Columbia The British Columbia born actor is a co-owner in the estate

[57]

Cliff Richard Adega do Cantor Algarve, Portugal Collaboration with Quinta do Miradouro [7]
Savanna Samson Savanna Samson Wines Tuscany and Lazio, Italy Her first wine Sogno Uno is a red blend consisting mainly of the obscure Italian grape variety Cesanese. [58]
Boz Scaggs Scaggs Vineyard California [59]
Cathy Schembechler Bo Schembechler Wines California Named after her late husband, former University of Michigan American football coach Bo Schembechler [36]
Brian Schmidt Maipenrai Vineyard and Winery Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Owns and operates the winery with his wife. Nobel prize winner and vice-chancellor of the Australian National University. [60]
Tom Seaver Seaver Vineyards Napa Valley, California [7][61]
Michael Seresin Seresin Estate Marlborough New Zealand [62]
Ramona Singer Ramona Singer Veneto, Italy Pinot Grigio [63]
Tommy Smothers Remick Ridge Vineyards Sonoma County, California [3]
Alex Spanos SpanosBerberian Winery Napa Valley, California Also owns Bell Wine Cellars in Yountville [14]
Sting Tenuta il Palagio Tuscany, Italy [64][65]
Train Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co. Livermore Valley, California Collaboration with Concannon Vineyard. Named after the band's fifth album. [66]
Jarno Trulli Podere Castorani Abruzzo, Italy [67]
Donald and Eric Trump Trump Winery Charlottesville, Virginia Owned by Donald Trump and run by his son Eric. [68]
Dick Vermeil Vermeil Wines Napa Valley, California Collaboration with OnThEdge Winery [14]
Mark Warner Ingleside Vineyards Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA, Virginia Grows grapes and makes privates label with Ingleside's owners and winemaker [69]
Mike Weir Mike Weir Wine Niagara Peninsula, Canada [7]
Sigurd Wongraven Luca Roagna Piemonte, Italy The front figure of black-metal band Satyricon has also launched other brands including an organic Champagne cuvée produced by Baron-Fuenté. [70]
Charles Woodson Charles Woodson Wines Napa Valley, California [36]
Yao Ming Yao Family Wines Napa Valley, California [71][72]

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b c Harding, Graham (2005). A Wine Miscellany. New York: Clarkson Potter. pp. 76–80. ISBN 0-307-34635-8.
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  5. ^ University of California Press MacMurray Ranch pg 1, Accessed: December 14th, 2009
  6. ^ Mersmann, Andrew, Passport Magazine Robert Benevides, Raymond Burr Vineyards Sonoma County, California Archived 2011-07-15 at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed: December 14th, 2009
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p D. Grossman "Wine Stars" Wine Country Magazine Spring 2007/Summer 2007 issue
  8. ^ Asimov, Eric, The New York Times: The Pour (May 18, 2006). "Wine on the Tracks"
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  11. ^ https://italialiving.com/articles/food-wine/the-intriguing-life-of-gianni-russo-beyond-the-godfather/
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Andretti Winery

Andretti Winery is a boutique winery in the Oak Knoll District portion of Napa, California.

B. R. Cohn Winery

B.R. Cohn Winery is a winery in Sonoma Valley, California in the United States.

Blenheim Vineyards

Blenheim Vineyards is a winery located in the Piedmont region of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the county of Albemarle. It is located within both the Virginia and Monticello viticultural areas and is among the 23 wineries located on the "Monticello Wine Trail".

Caduceus Cellars

Caduceus Cellars is a winery in Jerome, Arizona, United States. It is owned by Maynard James Keenan, who is best known as the vocalist for Grammy Award-winning progressive metal band Tool. He is descended from Northern Italian winemakers. While the winery is named after caduceus, an ancient symbol for commerce and staff of the Greek god Hermes, the vineyard is named Merkin Vineyards, after a pubic wig (merkin).

Carmen Policy

Carmen Policy (born January 26, 1943) is an attorney and American football executive best known for his work for the San Francisco 49ers during the 1980s and 1990s. He also led the Cleveland Browns until he sold his minority ownership stake in 2004.

Carole Bouquet

Carole Bouquet (born 18 August 1957) is a French actress and fashion model, who has appeared in more than 50 films since 1977. She played Bond girl Melina Havelock in the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. In 1990, she was awarded the César Award for Best Actress for her role in Too Beautiful for You.

Childress Vineyards

Childress Vineyards is a winery in Lexington, North Carolina owned by NASCAR Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series championship team owner Richard Childress. The connection between NASCAR and fine wine is reflected in the labeling of some of the wines produced by Childress, featuring a checkered flag motif.

Dave Del Dotto

David "Dave" P. Del Dotto is a former real estate investor from Modesto, California, who sold a course called the "Cash Flow System" through infomercials on late-night television in the 1980s and early 1990s. In addition to his Cash Flow System course, Del Dotto also wrote a book, How to Make Nothing but Money, which is no longer in print.

Gerhard Eichelmann

Gerhard Eichelmann (born in 1962) is a leading German wine critic with an international influence on German wine.

Kevin Buckler

Kevin Buckler (born c. 1959) is an American race car driver and entrepreneur. He founded Adobe Road Winery and currently owns The Racer's Group, a professional sports car racing team, TRG Motorsports, formerly a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, and TRG-AMR.

Michael Seresin

Michael Stephen Seresin, ONZM BSC, (born 17 July 1942) is a New Zealand cinematographer, best known for several collaborations with the British director Alan Parker. As a film director, Seresin directed Homeboy, starring and written by Mickey Rourke.

In addition to his work in film, Seresin is a winemaker, having founded Seresin Estate in Marlborough in 1992.He is the son of Harry Seresin (1919-1994), who was a key figure in the hospitality and café scene in Wellington, and brother of Ben Seresin, who is also a cinematographer.

In the 2009 New Year Honours, Seresin was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to the film and wine industries.

Nigel Lythgoe

Nigel Lythgoe OBE (born 9 July 1949) is an English television and film director and producer, television dance competition judge, former dancer in the Young Generation and choreographer. He was the producer of the shows Pop Idol and American Idol and is the creator and executive producer of, and a regular judge on, So You Think You Can Dance. He also created the 2009 competition Superstars of Dance.

Peggy Fleming

Peggy Gale Fleming (born July 27, 1948) is an American former figure skater. She is the 1968 Olympic Champion in Ladies' singles and a three-time World Champion (1966–1968). Fleming has been a television commentator in figure skating for over 20 years, including several Winter Olympic Games.

Randy Lewis (racing driver)

John Ranson Lewis III (born July 18, 1945 in Charlotte, North Carolina), better known as Randy Lewis is a five-time starter of the Indianapolis 500 USA automobile race. His best starting position was 11th in 1988 and 1989. His best finish was 14th in 1990 and 1991. His last race at Indy was the 1991 Indianapolis 500. In his 81 CART starts his best finish was an 8th in 1987. He started his career in Formula Three in Europe and gradually moved up to the Formula 5000, then the Can-Am series.

Remick Ridge Vineyards

Remick Ridge Vineyards is a California-based vineyard and winery owned and operated by the Smothers Brothers. The setting of this viticulture operation is in the Sonoma Valley on a ridge of the northern Sonoma Mountains above Sonoma Creek. The name Remick is the maiden name of the mother of the Smothers Brothers. It was established in 1977.

Sigurd Wongraven

Satyr (born Sigurd Wongraven on 28 November 1975) is the vocalist, lead and rhythm guitarist, bassist, and keyboardist for the Norwegian black metal band Satyricon.

Silverado Vineyards Winery

Silverado Vineyards is located east of Yountville, California in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley. Ron and Diane Miller chose to purchase land with existing vineyards in the mid-1970s after a long time romance with the Valley. Although the Millers' original intention was to only grow grapes, it wasn't long before they began construction of their own winery on the property in 1981. Architect Dick Keith designed the old California mission style structure, which is often mistaken for an actual restoration. The winery has acquired a total of seven family owned vineyards located in various districts throughout the Valley. Silverado produces Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon.The previous owners of the vineyard were the See family of See's Candies.

Two Paddocks

Two Paddocks is a wine producer based in Central Otago, New Zealand. It is owned and operated by actor Sam Neill.

Weingut von Othegraven

Weingut von Othegraven is a wine-growing estate in the Mosel wine region with a wine-growing history of the site from the 2nd–4th century and a documented tradition of more than 600 years. It is located on the lower banks of the Saar River a tributary of the Moselle River, opposite to the village of Kanzem.

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