Gossip and entertainment magazines refer to it as the latest celebrity trend. Many stars have gotten into the wine business, snapping up vineyards, signing their names to labels, and in many cases making the wine themselves. Sure, several stars endorse fashion lines, makeup, and perfume and many have a hand in the design, colour, or scent of the products that bear their names. But there is something a little more awe-inspiring in making wine, a little more august, or noble. It calls upon a specific kind of knowledge; winemakers have to know about soil, and how the air surrounding it, the climate of a region, and other factors affect grapevines from year to year. Some celebrities simply buy the wineries and then sit back and reap the profits while the real winemakers take care of the product. Others take it upon themselves to learn the craft, to cultivate the varietals of grapes by themselves, and get involved in the winemaking process beginning to end. For some it’s just a hobby. For others it’s a lifetime passion. Some of the actors and rock stars who have their own wines may be surprising. For instance, Australian rock band AC/DC has gotten into the wine business, with whites and reds named for several of their songs. Whitesnake has its own Zinfandel, which singer David Coverdale describes as “a bodacious, cheeky little wine, filled to the brim with the spicy essence of sexy, slippery, Snakeyness.” Even the band Kiss has their own “bold and fruity” Zinfandel, which they call “Zin Fire Wine.” Below are a few celebrities who have indulged their winemaking passion.
10. Gerard Depardie
French actor Gerard Depardieu is probably the king of the celebrity wine industry with several wineries in France, Algeria, Argentina, Spain, Morocco, Italy, and the U.S. He’s been in the wine business for upwards of 30 years. Although he doesn’t actually make the wine (he leaves that to his partner, vintner Bernard Magrez), he is an expert taster. And apparently no Gerard Depardieu-owned wines leave the press without his approval. He is behind at least 13 wines of excellent reputation. They have been described as “powerful and modern with intense oak.” That intensity is not to Depardieu’s personal taste, but he recognizes that it’s what people like and want.