The Winemakers of Hollywood Slideshow
Francis Ford Coppola
The director/producer/screenwriter takes his wine seriously: After a brief hiatus to remodel, the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, Calif. is complete with a wine tasting bar, two restaurants, swimming pools, and more amenities. Coppola’s wines (from his Napa Valley winery) swept the 2012 Decanter World Wine Awards in London, winning a gold, silver, and bronze medal for cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel.
Spanish wines for a sexy Spanish dude — the actor introduced his line of fine wines this past year. From the Ribero del Duero region, the Anta Banderas collection of vintages premiered at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. But don’t think Banderas is making the wine himself — he’s a spokesman for the family winery. (But hey, it’s effective.)
Pitt, a sommelier? To prepare for his upcoming nuptials to Angelina Jolie, the "Bra" in "Brangelina" is supposedly set to serve his own "homemade" wine at the reception. What does that actually mean? Pitt owns an estate in France, where the wine is made. (We doubt Pitt is getting down and dirty in the grapes.) He’s also reportedly picked out the wines for the wedding, including a bordeaux, burgundy, champagne, and some German wines.
Because nothing beats a glass of cabernet after a long day on the ice? Legendary hockey player Wayne Gretzky established his own winery, Wayne Gretzky Estates, in Ontario, back in 2007. His wines have even won awards at some prestigious competitions, such as the 2012 San Francisco International Wine Competition. Plus, a portion of proceeds from the wine sold goes to the Wayne Gretzky Foundation for disadvantaged children. That’s one celebrity wine line we can get behind.
The former Chicago Bears coach first got in the wine business in 2008, with Mendocino Wines. This month, Ditka partnered with Terlato wines to continue a sports-themed line of wines, with vintages called "The Player," "The Coach," "The Icon," and so on. (Not to be modest, or anything.)
Another former NFL player who enjoys his wine is Keyshawn Johnson, who began selling his own premium wine this year. The 2007 KJ1 by Keyshawn Johnson Cabernet Sauvignon is made in Oregon, and quite pricy: it costs about $125 for a bottle. Still, cabernet is "king" to the all-star.
Back in 2011, Russell teamed up with winemakers Peter and Rebecca Work of California’s Ampelos Cellars; the first released vintage was a 2008 pinot noir. Gogi wine (yes, that’s Russell’s nickname) was a collaborative project, but Russell is said to have been intimately involved with the process behind the wine. Heck, he even poured it himself this month in Santa Barbara.
Rocker Dave Matthews gets the award for most sustainable celebrity wine: As owner of the Charlottesville, Va.-based Blenheim Vineyards, Matthews has taken the environmental impact of wine seriously. The buildings are built with reclaimed wood and solar heating; and the vineyard is home to a certified organic farm called "Best of What’s Around" (yes, like the song). Back in 2011, Matthews teamed up with winemaker Steve Reeder for the "Dreaming Tree" line of wines in addition to his own portfolio of wines.
Groban’s wine ventures aren’t just limited to the winemaking process; it’s a huge production with Mondavi that includes a music collaboration, a wine collaboration, and a concert with the Robert Mondavi Winery Summer Concert Series. Would you like some of his dreamy music to go with your wine?
Robin Williams made headlines when he put his California winery and vineyard up for sale for $35 million (and the pictures made us drool). He bought the villa and property in 1994, after he made it big in Mrs. Doubtfire. (Flashback!) At his vineyard, there’s a mix of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and merlot grapes, which are used in Robert Craig’s Mt Veeder cabernet sauvignon.
From musician to winemaker, naturally: Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, began producing their own Tuscan wines back in 2009. He purchased a 16th-century villa, called Tenuta il Palagio, which he turned into a farm and vineyard in no time; the first wine he launched was a vintage made from sangiovese grapes. And yes, Sting really does take his grape venture seriously: he said to Wine Enthusiast last year, "I have a job in the winery, I go down and play to the wine. I practice down there. And you know, if I play it true, the wine is better."
Called "Napa’s tallest winemaker," the recently retired eight-time NBA all-star player launched his own wine label in 2011. "Napa Valley wines are the wines I fell in love with when I lived in the U.S.," he told Wine Spectator back in 2011. Now, his winery sells two cabernet sauvignons (one reserve) from Napa Valley.
The whole world took a step back in 2008 when they heard rapper Lil Jon was making his own wine, in his own winery, aptly named Little Jonathan Winery. (How sophisticated.) And then his chardonnay won an award in 2009, during the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Competition. And then he tweeted, "FOR ALL YALL SUKKAS THAT WERE HATING ON MY WINE CHECK THIS OUT!! WE WINNING AWARDS TWITT!!! GET U SOME." And then Little Jonathan Winery disappeared off the radar, as quickly as it appeared. No new news from the winery; were assuming he got distracted.