Each November, Hollywood comes to Wine Country for the annual Napa Valley Film Festival. With 100+ film screenings over 5 days, there is some serious star power on display. Past guests include Matthew McConaughey, Kurt Russell, Katie Holmes, Dev Patel, Viggo Mortensen, we can go on…
But that’s not the only way stars are making their names in Wine Country. More and more celebs are joining the biz with their very own wineries and labels. Check out our first installment of wine list A-listers below to learn who’s who in the world of celebrity wine.
One of the most well known names in film, Francis Ford Coppola, delved into the world of wine over 35 years ago when he and his family were living in San Francisco. They first restored the Niebaum-Coppola Estate in Napa — 30 years in the making — and now the family has turned their focus to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery near Geyserville, California. In their words, “a wine wonderland.” It boasts a wide selection of estate grown varietals as well as a bocce court, swimming pools and sweeping lawns. Movie buffs take note: they host a collection of movie memorabilia and even have a few of Coppola’s own Oscars. Tastings like the Bottling Ballet Mecanique give you a chance to learn the personal significance behind some of their most prestigious wines. And here’s an offer you can’t refuse: make sure to grab a photo in front of Vito Corleone’s desk from The Godfather while you’re there.
While the Jolie-Pitt family might be a thing of the past, the winery they purchased together in 2011 for $60 million is still going strong. Château Miraval in France produces a lovely variety of white and rosé wines as well as sustainably farmed olive oil. And they have three new wines coming soon: a Provence red, a Mourvèdre, and a Cabernet Franc. And why wouldn’t they? Their first 6,000 bottles of Rosé sold out in all of five hours. The large estate has been standing for hundred of years, with notable visits from Saint Thomas Aquinas in 1252 as well as the Prince of Naples years later. It’s notable history and beautiful grounds have been designated as a Noble House of France, which seems appropriate for the former King and Queen of American cinema.
The ultimate child star, rising to fame when she was seven in the 1980’s smash hit, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Drew Barrymore has been a staple among Hollywood royalty for pretty much her entire life. Being in the spotlight hasn’t always been easy, this self-proclaimed flower child has gracefully found a life which is equally full on screen and off. While acting, directing, and becoming a NY Times bestselling author, she also became enamored by Pinot Grigio while spending time in Italy. Looking to create her own wine, she found her wine soulmate right here in California and now makes Barrymore Wines: a unique partnership with Carmel Road in Soledad, California, part of the Jackson Family Wines collection. Drew and Carmel Road Winemaker Kris Kato partner to create fresh, lively offerings, including Drew’s own namesake Barrymore Pinot Grigio.
OK, so important confession here — we’ve always been huge fans of Kyle MacLachlan. He and David Lynch make movie and television magic. Plus, his stint as Portlandia’s mayor is pure gold. So when a friend of ours in the NYC restaurant biz told us years ago she got to hang out with Kyle in his new role as winemaker, well, we were more than a wee bit jealous. Originally from Washington, Kyle has gone back to his geographical roots and all-in on the wine making aspect of his life, putting his stake into the Pacific Northwest’s wine movement while still finding time for the Twin Peaks reboot. His label, pursued by bear, references Shakespeare’s most famous stage direction from The Winter’s Tale: “Exit, pursued by a bear.” We are sold. Kyle is equally involved in the winemaking and business sides of things, often attending events to promote his label, which produces limited production reds and the occasional rosé.
Known for his roles in a stunning 170 films since his debut in 1967, and a seeming fixture in the 80s and 90s (did you know he won a Golden Globe for the movie Green Card?) in both French and American movies, Gerard Depardieu is a renowned French actor, director and — you guessed it — accomplished winemaker. While he has mentioned wanting to sell off all of his French wine holdings, for now he still owns the stunning vineyard estate, Château de Tigné, in the Loire Valley in France and several more joint wine ventures including La Croix de Peyrolie in Lussac St-Emilion and Le Bien Decidé in the Hérault, Languedoc.