June 26, 2009 Celebrity winemakers
Further evidence that the only way to make a small fortune in the wine industry is to start with a big one, is the number of celebrities involved in wineries. Here’s my growing list.
1. Sam Neil, Two Paddocks
New Zealand actor Sam Neil, Jurassic Park, Hunt for Red October, owns Gibbston Valley winery, Two Paddocks. <link>
2. Greg Norman, Greg Norman Estates
Greg writes, “Fine wine is one of my great passions, and Australian wine in particular. This passion and curiosity led me to launch Greg Norman Estates, a collection of wines from my native Australia. From the beginning, I have been committed to the promise that every bottle of my wine delivers exceptional quality and value. And gratefully, the wine press agrees. My wines have consistently been awarded high ratings and critical acclaim.”
3. Dan Ackroyd, Niagara Cellars
Blues Brother and Ghostbuster, Dan Ackroyd has invested $1 million into Niagara Cellars Inc. (NCI), the holding company that owns four of Ontario’s top wineries including Lakeview Estates, Birchwood Estates, Thomas & Vaughan and EastDell Estates.
4. Antonio Banderas, Anta Banderas
I resisted the temptation to include a photo of the Spanish-Zoro-hunk, instead I used a bottle of his wine. As the announcement says, “Antonio Banderas is the new co-owner of the renamed Anta Banderas winery at Duero River in northern Spain. The vineyard specialises in red and rose wines and excels in Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons.”
5. Francis Ford Coppolla and the eponomous winery.
This man needs no introduction, so here’s a link to his winery <link>
6. Ernie Els
Naturally Ernie’s winery is in South Africa <link>. He joins Greg Norman as golfer-supreme turned winery owner.
7. Mick Fleetwood, Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar
The first musician on my list. (I know Dan Ackroyd can sing but he’s really an actor). Mick’s California winery is here <link>
8. Laetitia Bléger, aka Miss France 2004
“Any excuse to include a beauty queen,” I hear you say. No. Wine Spectator reports, “Beauty queen Laetitia Bléger, the ex-Miss France 2004 who was forced to relinquish her title after posing that year for French Playboy, now has a new title: winemaker. Her first bottling, called Précieux (Precious), is a blend of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer from Domaine de Windmuehl, the Alsace estate where her father Claude Bléger makes white and red wines. The brand has been rolled out in a label-free version of the traditional Alsace-style bottle that features, naturally, the serigraphic image of a slender and attractive woman.”
And here’s their site <link>