Celebrities Take Hands-On Approach to Making Fine Wines
Care to sip champagne backed by Jay Z or 50 Cent? Or mellow out with a fine Chianti from Sting and Trudie Styler? Behind every wine label is an incredibly expensive team effort of surprising proportions. Wine lovers may consider making their own as the ultimate dream; however, few can afford the buy-in. Vineyards are wonderfully picturesque and they are pricey. (Prime planted Napa Valley vineyards can cost upward of $400,000 per acre).
Those in showbiz who are serious oenophiles have taken different paths to wine renown. These projects are distinct from licensing deals: remember Celebrity Cellars’ Madonna wines, which were more collectible than drinkable? These marquee names have real input into the winemaking process from vineyard cultivation to harvest, blending and vitally, marketing.
“Whatever people’s preconceptions about our wine, the scores given by some of the most demanding wine critics in the business speak for themselves,” says multihyphenate Styler, who along with husband Sting, owns Il Palagio, a historic estate in rural Tuscany, which produces well-reviewed Chiantis, and Sangiovese-forward blends. “We take this part of our lives very seriously, we love making wine and we’re very proud of the results.”
Some are aptly named after tunesmith Sting’s hits “Message in a Bottle” and “When We Dance.” Since purchasing the estate vineyard in 1997, the couple has invested significantly, replanting vineyards and updating the winery’s practices.