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. 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.
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.
Types of celebrity involvementEdit
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.
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. 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.
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. After MacMurray died, his family sold most of the land to the Gallo family, and has little connection to the wine brand.
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.
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. 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. 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. In 2009, British chef Gordon Ramsay allowed a Bordeaux winery to use his name, without royalties, to celebrate the release of their 10th vintage.
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." 
List of celebritiesEdit
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.
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- Design, Monte Atherton at The Royal We. "The 50 by 50 - Estate - Wines". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- Arnold, Eric, Wine Spectator (July 15, 2005). Wine Talk: Richard Childress
- "Rock star Les Claypool's winery sets up shop in Sebastopol railcar caboose". Carey Sweet. SF Gate. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
- Rausa Fuller, Janet, Chicago Sun Times (January 28, 2007). Ditka's wine does just fine against big boys
- Goldfarb, Alan, Wines & Vines (September 1, 2007). Ancient wine technology: Del Dotto to release amphora-fermented Cab
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- Wallace, Amy (22 January 2011). "Growing Grapes as Part of a Real-Life Script". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
- Styles, Oliver, Decanter.com (September 24, 2003). Nick Faldo drives onto new range
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- Edward Deitch "Are celebrity wines worth the price?" MSNBC, May 11th, 2012
- Savage, Helen, Decanter.com (August 29, 2008). "David Ginola returns to Newcastle to launch award-winning rosé".
- Pinhey, Craig, Telegraph Journal (April 3, 2009). Hockey Wine In Time for Playoffs
- Unfiltered, Wine Spectator (September 24, 2009). Are You Ready for Some Football (Wines)?
- Studio, Chocolate. "Bodega Iniesta - La pasión va por dentro". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- Bernd Freytag: Der beliebteste Deutsche Günther Jauch wird Winzer (The most popular German Günther Jauch becomes wine-grower), FAZ.net 26 February 2010 – Online-Version.
- Carle, Chris, IGN.com (November 13, 2006). Maynard James Keenan Interview Archived 2007-10-28 at the Wayback Machine
- Raymond Vineyards
- Boone, Virginie, Wine Enthusiast (April 26, 2016). LVE & Love: An Exclusive Interview with John Legend
- Associated Press/MSNBC (April 3, 2008). Rapper Lil Jon starts his own wine label
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- "Nigel + Ken, Proprietors". 20 October 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
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- Woolever, Laurie, Wine Spectator (September 16, 2008). Wine Talk: Kyle MacLachlan
- Ciccone Vineyards Madonna Wine Series. Accessed: December 14, 2009
- Hirshey, Gerri, Food & Wine Magazine (October 2005). The Wine World's No. 1 Rock Star: Dave Matthews. Accessed: December 14th, 2009
- "Mustaine Vineyards". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- Jennifer Mayerle "Sports Commentator Jim Nantz has a second calling, wine" CBS Atlanta, April 11th, 2013
- Scott, Cathy. "Two Paddocks: Our Story". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- Invivo Wines (24 April 2014). "Watch UK star Graham Norton make his own New Zealand wine!". Retrieved 19 June 2016 – via YouTube.
- Gagnon, Marc-André (April 29, 2006). "Le vin de Jacques Parizeau serait retiré des tablettes". Vin Québec.
- Murphy, Linda, San Francisco Chronicle (July 7, 2005). First book on Robert Parker details his impact on the wine world
- "Andrea Pirlo... Playmaker to some, winemaker to others (but will he produce a vintage display tonight?)". Daily Mail. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
- "Brangelina's French wine finally hits the High street!". Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- Unfiltered, Wine Spectator (October 4, 2007). Beverly Hills 902-wine-0?
- Raswell, James, Ask Men.com Celebrity Wineries Accessed: December 14, 2009
- "Boz Scaggs launches wine brand". Food-and-cooking. Napa Valley Register. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
- "Cosmic Pinot".
- Lindbloom, John (August 26, 2010). "St. Helena gets a taste of Seaver and Sinatra". St. Helena Star. Napa, CA: Lee Enterprises, Inc. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
- Arnold, Eric, Wine Spectator (2011). "Wine Talk: Michael Seresin". Snooth.com.
- Arnold, Eric, Wine Spectator (July 10, 2006). "Winery Profiles: Ramona Singer Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie 2010".
- Brownman, Matt (27 March 2012). "Il Palagio by Sting". Highlander Wine Blog.
- Wine Spectator (19 March 2009). "Unfiltered: Sting Becomes a Tuscan Vintner". Wine Spectator.
- "A Night Out with Jimmy Stafford". Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- Peregrine, Anthony (16 July 2005). "Trulli on the right track". The Telegraph.
- "The Money Is Gone, but the Winery and a Woman’s Resolve Remain". The New York Times. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
- "The Winemakers". Retrieved 25 March 2019.
- Bedard, Paul (November 20, 2005). "A Modern-Day Thomas Jefferson?". U.S. News. Archived from the original on 21 January 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- Berglund, Nina, News From Norway (April 26, 2011). Black metal and red wine
- "Yao Family Wines". www.yaofamilywines.com. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
- "Yao Ming opens St. Helena wine tasting room". The North Bay Business Journal. 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2016-11-16.