Actor Kurt Russell, Winemaker
Add actor Kurt Russell to the list of celebrities — actors, musicians, athletes, and the like — who've gone into the wine business. The label is called Gogi (Russell's nickname) and it's a collaborative project with Peter and Rebecca Work of Ampelos Cellars in Sta. Rita Hills, California.
If you're rolling your eyes thinking, Yeah, yeah, another movie star "making" his own wine. Don't. According to Rebecca, the actor was intimately involved in the entire process, "pruning, picking, on the bottling line, blending."
A long-time wine enthusiast, Russell became a fan of the region's wines while working on a film in the area. After talking to several different wineries he was eventually introduced to the Works through a mutual friend, Greg Gorman, also a wine producer. "He suggested he [Russell] check us out, and liked what we were doing," Work said.
The label's just-released first vintage is a 2008 Pinot Noir. Why Pinot Noir? "It's his favorite." However Work did note that the label will be adding Chardonnay and Viognier to its repertoire in the future (according to the wine's Facebook page, it looks like they will be released as 2009 and 2010 vintages, respectively). As for how you can get your hands on the product, Work said that first vintage was small — only one barrel was produced — but that it will be available at a few selected restaurants in addition to a few cases for their wine club members.