A great many celebrities are having fun making a name for themselves in the wine business. Actors, athletes and musicians alike all want their part in producing, owning or promoting wine. Here are a number of well-known actors that are trying their hand at owning wineries or being winemakers – and they’re producing some excellent results!
Dan Aykroyd: Collaboration with Lakeview Wine Co. | Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
The Original Blues Brother himself has been collaborating with Canadian wine producer Diamond Estates for a number of years now to create his own line of fantastic wines. Passionate about wine and taking inspiration from his own global adventures, Aykroyd’s collection of VQA Niagara Peninsula wines are vibrant and bring out the best the region has to offer. These wines won’t have you singing the blues, that is, unless you run out!
Francis Ford Coppola: Owner of Francis Ford Coppola Winery | Sonoma Valley, California, USA
One of the most well-known directors of our time, Francis Ford Coppola is no stranger to the Hollywood crowd, but he’s also a big player in the California wine industry. Producing wines out of Sonoma County in California, Francis Ford Coppola Winery produces nine different wine brands, over 40 different wines and a plethora of choice for wine drinkers. The winery is located in the Alexander Valley and was created by Academy Award-winning designer, Dean Tavoularis. Coppola and Tavoularis met on the set of The Godfather. The inspiration behind this wonderland was the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. Winner of the 2017 Winery of the Year award at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, Coppola Winery is a must-see for any wine enthusiast and movie goer.
Jason Priestley: Co-Owner of Black Hills Estate Winery | Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada
With a sweeping range of acting and directing under his belt as well as being active in race car driving, you would think Priestley wouldn’t have time for other ventures. However, the former Beverly Hills 9021 star has a self-proclaimed passion for wine that stretches 20 plus years as well as a personal cellar with over 5,000 bottles. Priestley is another Canadian-born celebrity to get into the wine game. Co-partner with four other individuals, he’s invested in Black Hills Estate Winery, a 27-acre vineyard with a state-of-the art winery in the heart of South Okanagan, British Columbia.
*Editors Note: In 2018, Black Hills Estate Winery was sold to major wine family, Peller Estates. It is unknown at this time if Jason Priestly continues to have any involvement in the Canadian winery.
Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt: Collaboration with Famille Perrin, Provence, France
While it really isn’t surprising that the Jolie-Pitts would own their own château and vineyards, it does leave you asking the question, where do they find the time? Chateau Miraval, a 1,200 acre estate located in the village of Correns, France, was purchased by the couple in 2012. The vineyards were once the property of American winemaker Tom Bove and he crafted the vines into top producers of organic wines in France. Jolie and Pitt released their first vintage in March 2013 in collaboration with the Famille Perrin, and sold all 6,000 bottles of rosé wine within five hours.
*Editors Note: Now that the Jolie-Pitts are no longer together, it is rumoured that the Miraval Rosé only comes in splits!
Drew Barrymore: Collaboration with Carmel Road Winery, Monterey, California, USA
Actress. Model. Fashion Designer. Author. Producer. Business woman. Powerhouse. Now, she can add winemaker to her impressively extensive resume. In collaboration with Carmel Road Winery, Barrymore worked with winemaker Kris Kato to create Barrymore Wines Pinot Grigio, the first release from this partnership. Finding a passion for wine through her own personal travels and pulling inspiration from her family, Barrymore created this Monterey grown vintage.
Gerard Depardieu: Proprietor at Château de Tigné, Loire Valley, France
A native of France, Depardieu, well known on both sides of the Atlantic, has had a huge film career in France with over 180 roles as well as a handful of North American projects. A man with a big personality, both in character and physicality, Depardieu is a business man with many passions. True to his French heritage, he is a lover of wine and has also taken over the role as a wine producer, purchasing the Château de Tigné estate in Anjou in 1989. His estate produces 12 cuvées and 350,000 bottles each year.
Kurt Russell: Winemaker & Proprietor at GoGi Wines, Santa Rita Hills, California, USA
No stranger to Hollywood, Russell began as a child star in the late 1950s and his impressive acting career spans multiple decades. In his travels through some of the world’s best wine regions in France, Italy and California, Russell developed a passion and love for wine. This love would translate into his desire to craft his own wines, which he would go on to do in Santa Rita Hills in northern Santa Barbara County. With the help and tutelage of Peter and Rebecca Work of Ampelos Cellars, he was able to create GoGi Wines where he is involved in almost every aspect of the wine-making process.
Sam Neill: Proprietor at Two Paddocks, Central Otago, New Zealand
Another veteran actor with decades worth of work under his belt, Neill began his winery Two Paddocks in 1993. Located in Central Otago, New Zealand, the winery prides itself on being family run and focuses on producing high quality Pinot Noir, with a little Riesling thrown in for good measure. Neill’s goal when he began was to create good Pinot Noir, or at least something that was drinkable. The first vintage in 1997 proved better than imagined, and the vintages have only become more distinguished since then. Two Paddocks is also focused on creating ecologically friendly wines, and two of the vineyards, Red Bank and Last Chance Paddock, have achieved organic status.
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