In most of our articles, we’re quick to talk about the many families that have built the Italian wine industry into what it is today. Many of these families have become celebrities in their own rights. The Antinori brand is one that has endured for centuries, after all.
But these families have built their celebrity on the back of their exploits in the Italian wine industry.
This isn’t a unique thing either. After all, it only takes a passion for wine coupled with the right amount of money to create a winery. That doesn’t mean the winery will be a success, of course. But celebrities are perfectly placed to enter the wine business on the back of their successes elsewhere.
So, which celebrities have you heard of who have their own wineries? This article looks at some of the most famous people to get involved with the wine industry.
Dan Aykroyd isn’t necessarily a name that will be familiar to many of the younger people reading this article. After all, his career has wound down during the 2000s and he rarely makes appearances in movies anymore.
But in the 1980s, Aykroyd was one of comedy’s megastars. His biggest success may have come with the first two Ghostbusters movies, which inspired cartoons and a ton of merchandise. Naturally, he’d have made plenty of money from all of this, and that’s without considering the many other films that he’s starred in.
People of a certain age will always love the character of Ray, whose love of the paranormal sets off many of the events in Ghostbusters. What some don’t know is that this character isn’t too far removed from the real-life character of Aykroyd himself. He has a genuine passion for the supernatural, coupled with a love of UFOs and similar out-there stories and pursuits.
On top of all of that, Aykroyd has a passion for wine. In fact, he’s owned and operated Dan Aykroyd Wines for a number of years. Located in Ontario, Canada, the winery may not seem to be in a prime spot. But the winery produces regional varieties that have been inspired by the work of some of the great winemakers of the world. Moreover, he commits to keeping his wines reasonably-priced, rather than trying to use his celebrity to earn more money from the bottles.
You can’t have an article talking about the celebrities who own wineries without talking about Johnny Depp. The man who brought Captain Jack Sparrow to life has a well-known penchant for red wine. So, it was no surprise when he decided to buy a vineyard so that he could make wines that exactly suit his tastes.
Depp differs from many of his fellow celebrities though. While the other people in this article have created their wineries with the intention of sharing their products with as many people as possible, Depp has a slightly more selfish desire in mind. All of the wines made in his winery go to Depp himself, with none being made available for commercial sale.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, it harkens back to the days when the old Italian winemaking families first started. Many a company has a story of taking an old family winemaking technique and commercialising it in later years.
Who knows, perhaps Depp’s winery will start selling commercial wines after he leaves us. Or, Depp may have a change of heart and start selling his wines. But for now, the only people who’ve tried his wines are himself and the lucky few that he may have gifted a bottle to.
Les Claypool may not be a name that’s too familiar to even the most ardent of music fans. But it’s likely that you’ve heard his work at some point during your life. In particular, any fans of South Park will have heard his superb bass work in action.
The bassist and singer in Primus, Claypool has built a reputation on the back of some of the most innovative and finger-bending basslines in the history of modern music. In fact, many would argue that he’s certainly a part of the discussion when trying to find the best rock bassist of all time.
But Claypool has another passion outside of his love for the bass guitar. He also owns a winery in California’s Russian River Valley. Named the Claypool Cellars, the winery produces a host of wines that are as eclectic as the man himself. Even its signature label, which features an elephant delicately balancing on a barrel while holding a glass of wine with its trunk, gives you a few hints about the type of wine that you can expect.
There’s one thing that’s for certain. Claypool approaches his work with wine with the same fervour as his work with his band. That makes for a quality product in anybody’s book.
We conclude with a celebrity who’s as Italian as the wines that he produces. Andrea Pirlo is a true legend of the modern football world. Once of the most graceful figures to ever ply his trade on the pitch, Pirlo wowed fans for years with his remarkable touch and extensive range of passing skills.
But Pirlo has a passion that many football fans don’t know about. Moreover, it’s a passion that extends back for many generations of his family. The man loves his wines and has a family history in the winemaking industry. His vineyard, which is located in Trentino, Italy, is just one of several in the region to be owned by a Pirlo at some point in history.
Pirlo may be one of the few celebrities who already had a history in the Italian wine industry to build upon. Naturally, that means you can expect a certain amount of quality from his wines.
The Final Word
There’s always room for new ideas and more people in the wine industry. These celebrities have the advantage of having the money needed to build their own wineries. But without the passion for the grape, it would mean little.
Thankfully, that passion is alive and well in everybody on this list. And there are many more celebrities who own their own wineries too. Let us know in the comments section if you’ve ever tried a celebrity wine.