Wineries going to Hollywood
What do Mario Andretti, Lorriane Braco, Mick Fleetwood, and Wayne Gretzky all have in common? They all own wineries.
I’ve often said that when I have so much money I need to get rid of some it, I’ll buy a winery. Funny enough these people actually have that problem. The list of celebrities, athletes, socialites, and musicians that purchase vineyards as an ‘investment’ increases in length every year. But what kind of audience are they attracting? Would you, as a wine consumer, really buy a bottle from Jeff Gordon Wines? Or is Jeff Gordon just trying to attract the wine-buying, NASCAR fans? (Do those even exist??)
Either way there are two definite strategies when it comes to attaching a celebrity name to a winery.
1. Put my name (and sometimes face) on the bottle and sell a crap load of it. Winemaker? No problem, we’ll find someone out there to make grape juice. Did I mention that I’m so & so?
2. Keep a ‘silent’ ownership, find the best damn winemaker out there and sell premium wines. Oh and use my celebrity status to get in with the best suppliers, retailers and restaurants across the county.
I’m more a fan of style #2. In fact, after looking at this list on Wikipedia, I was actually shocked to learn some of my favorite wineries have celebrity interest ownership.
Here’s a shorter list of my favorite celebrity-owned vineyards/wineries:
- La Mozza, Italy (Mario Batali)
- Bracco Wines, Italy (Lorraine Bracco)
- Del Dotto Vineyards, Napa (Dave Del Dotto)
- Beaux Freres Vineyard, Oregon (Robert Parker co-owns with his brother-in law)