You may not know it but your favorite celebrity might own a vineyard. It’s very in vogue these days. Many of you may know of Francis Ford Coppola, who I would argue is the best known celebrity vintner. Coppola is very successful with a wide range of wine, including ones under the Coppola name, and to amazing wineries, Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Inglenook (formerly Niebaum-Coppola). But, what you might know is that a number of other celebrities also owner wineries, among them Dan Aykroyd, Antonio Banderas and Mario Andretti.
In his book Celebrity Vineyards, Nick Wise tours celebrity vineyards in California, Canada, Italy and Spain. These vineyards are owned by actors, race car drivers, people in the music family and even the family of Walt Disney. In each winery profile, the author provides an overview of the winery, the winery’s history, the vintners connection to the winery or the desire to own a winery and tasting notes for the winery’s signature wines. It’s a fun way to look at wineries and makes me want to hit the road and try all of them.
As part of the book launch, we attended an event with the author and a few of the key wineries at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa. The wineries included Vermeil Wine (football coach), B.R. Cohn Winery (manager of the Doobie Brothers), Lewis Cellars (race car driver) and Charlie Clay Wines (famous chef). Each winery brought a selection of their signature wines that were paired with food. As part of the presentation, the author and a representative of the winery discussed the winery, the author’s research of the winery and a quick Q & A session. It was an interesting exercise and the best book launch we have ever been too.
If you are looking for a fun book to give a friend, this is one to consider. If you love wine and celebrities, this is a perfect combination.