Jean Leon saw it firsthand: people in Hollywood like wine. A lot. The stars were looking for the best, and this led our founder to dream of having his own winery. Over the years, many other stars have also decided to set out on similar paths and have ended up getting into the wine business, too. Many were able to secure contracts with big brands, while others bought and founded their own wineries.
Let’s take a look at some of the big names from the movie world that we can find among the vines today.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
The now ex-couple bought the château and vineyard Château de Miraval in the heart of Provence back in 2008. Despite subsequently divorcing in late 2016, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie still have the business that is one of the focuses of their charitable activity through charity auctions, and one that has benefited from the assistance of highly regarded French winemaker Marc Perrin since they started out. A magnum of their Muse de Miraval rosé sold for a record 2,600 euros at auction last May.
The Australian singer and actress discovered her passion for wine while traveling the world as an artist. In the 1980s she founded the brand Koala Blue, a project that fell apart in the 1990s despite having previously found success. A decade later, Koala Blue was revived thanks to the insistence of a friend, and in 2002 a 13-million-dollar contract was signed to start distributing Koala Blue wine in the US, one of the artist’s main aims. In 2015, Newton-John also took advantage of her relationship with wine to launch Pink and Blue For Two, a charity wine project consisting in a Merlot and a Chardonnay from California, with 10% of the proceeds going towards her cancer and wellness center in Australia.
Twin Peaks star Kyle MacLachlan is growing ever bigger in the wine business. The owner of a winery called Pursued by Bear in Walla Walla County, Washington, the first bottle released was a Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2005 harvest that was recognized by the specialist magazine Wine Spectator with a score of 91 out of 100.
A native of France, Depardieu is no stranger to Hollywood, or the wine world, although that’s not a surprise. The actor has also been a winery owner for 30 years, since purchasing Château de Tigné and its 25 hectares of land in 1989, where he makes over 350,000 bottles per year distributed over 11 different brands. Depardieu’s wine projects go beyond borders and even reach Spain, where, together with Bernard Magrez, he launched one project in the Toro region (Castile and Leon) and another in Priorat (Catalonia).
Francis Ford Coppola
After finishing The Godfather: Part II, the film director bought one of the most historically important properties in California: Inglenook. His Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery enjoys great prestige among the biggest US wine experts and is one of the most visited in the world. Coppola acquired Château Souverain in Geyserville (Sonoma County, California) in 2006, and nine years later, in 2015, he opened the Virginia Dare Winery in Geyserville, his third winery. His strong interest in wine has brought him results: Some of his bottles can fetch up to 200 euros. He was also a pioneer in producing canned wine: He started in 2002, and in 2004 presented his 187-ml “Sofia” mini, a blend of Pinot Blanc, Riesling, and Muscat. White wines came next, and in 2018 he canned one of his reds for the first time.
An example from Spain: Imanol Arias
While we’ve focused on Hollywood stars up to now in this post, there are also examples of this passion between art and wine in Spain. One example is actor and director Imanol Arias, who for more than a decade has been a minority shareholder in one of the Ribera del Duero wineries that was bottling the wine “Cepa,” among other brands. In 2014, after visiting Murcia with his partner, the actor Juan Echanove partnered with Miguel Gil, owner of Bodegas Juan Gil, and presented “Bruto,” a wine made from the Monastrell variety.
These are just some examples of how movie stars have turned their passion for wine into a business. Do you know of any others? And, more importantly: Have you ever tried any of their wines?