Celebrities in the Industry-2015

California Beverage Retailers Association

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Celebrities in the Industry 2015


Celebrities in the Industry-January 2015

Actress, Kate Hudson and her fiance Matt Bellamy have been making Hudson Bellamy Wines since 2011. They are promoting their latest release by partnering with Farmville, an online game. In the Farmville 2 Country Escape players get an Avatar. With the Avatar they virtually grow, press, bottle, and sell Hudson Bellamy Wines.




Pro golfers Graeme McDowell, Keegan Bradley, and Freddie Jacobson have teamed up to brew up a trio of craft beers. The Brew Hub in Florida is co-packing for them in bottles and cans. The beers are G-Macs Celtic Style Pale Ale, Keegan Bradley's New England Style Lager, and Freddie Jacobson's Scandinavian Style Blonde Ale. The beers are 4.5% to 5% ABV.


Celebrities in the Industry-February 2015

Novak Djokovic has teamed with Jacob's Creek Winery to make a film in their “Made By” series. Jacob's Creek sponsors the Australian Open and Wimbledon. The film allowed Novak to tell his life story and how he grew up in Serbia during the war in Yugoslavia. It covers his work with his coach and his wins in Grand Slam Tournaments.


Celebrities in the Industry-March 2015

Rapper, E40 (formerly known as Earl Stevens) has introduced his new line of wines, Earl Stevens Selections. There are three types: a Cabernet/Zinfandel Blend, Moscato, and a “Mangoscato.” Mangoscato is a mango flavored moscato. E40 first was part of the group, Click. Later he went solo and had his first big hit, “Tell Me When to Go.”


Adult film star Ron Jeremy has introduced a Panamanian Rum named Ron de Jeremy. It is a spiced dark rum and touted as having a full flavored taste and aroma. Priced at $15.


Celebrity Chef, Anthony Bourdain, is partnering with Balvenie Scotch to produce a series of short films about American craftspeople titled “Raw Craft.” The series will show the very best of craft skills and work from across the country.


Adley Stump, country singer and contestant on NBC's The Voice, has written and recorded a single “Little Black Dress.” Excelsior Wines, the owner of Little Black Dress Wines will partner with her on various promotional activities and women's charitable causes.

Robert de Niro has partnered to produce and market VDKA 6100, a Vodka made in New Zealand. De Niro says it is a quality product made to his exacting standards. The Vodka will be served in his Tribeca Restaurant in New York and his Nobu Hotel in Las Vegas.


Celebrities in the Industry-April 2015


Former NFL coach, Dick Vermeil has teamed up with winemaker, Thomas Brown to make a Napa Valley wine. The first release of Vermeil Wines will be 2013 vintage.


Ron Darling pitched for the Oakland Athletics, New York Mets, and Montreal Expos. When he found out that his son had Type 1 Diabetes, he decided to start a foundation to fight the disease. Later, he founded Darling Wines and directed all the profits to the foundation. The wines are Syrah and Chardonnay, co-packed by Donelan Family Wines in Sonoma. Most of the foundations funds go to the Diabetes Research Institute.


When she isn't modeling clothes for Madewell, fashion model, Michele Lorenza Ouellet is tending the vineyard. She grew up in Napa Valley so it's no surprise that Lorenza teamed with her mother to make Lorenza California Rose'. She calls it “the happiest drink ever.”


Richard Branson and his Virgin Limited Edition luxury hotels will partner with consultancy Litmus Wines to produce a line of wines at his Mountain Vineyards. The winery was acquired last year along with the Mont Rochelle Hotel in South Africa. There will be 3 tiers of wines; accessible, premium, and ultra-premium. The wines will be distributed internationally and sold in restaurants and specialty wine shops.


Billionaires in the Industry

Yuri Shefler, Russian, (lives in Malibu) $1.75 billion Stolichnaya (made in Latvia)

Ken Grossman $1 billion owns Sierra Nevada Beer

Charlene de Carvalho, Netherlands $11.6 billion leads the family that controls Heineken

Alejandro Santo Domingo, $4.4 billion owns 15% of SAB/Miller

Jim Koch $1.3 billion owns Sam Adams Beer

Jorge Paulo Lemann, Brazil, $24 billion; Marcel Hermann Telles, Brazil, $13 billion; Carlos Alberto Sicupira, Brazil, $11.3 billion, together the three control AB/Inbev

Rosa Anna Magno Garavoglia, Italy, $2.9 billion controls Grupo Campari

Carolus Nolet Sr., Netherlands, $1.1 billion owns Ketel One Vodka

Benedicta Chamberlain, UK, $1.4 billion William Grant & Sons, Glenfiddich, Grants Scotch

Stewart and Lynda Resnick, $4.2 billion own Pom, Landmark Vineyards, Justin Vineyards, Fiji Water


Donald Trump $4.1 billion owns Trump Bar in Trump Tower

Dietrick Mateschitz, Austria, $10.8 billion owns 49% of Red Bull

Paolo and Nicola Bulgari, Italy, $10.8 billion owns Podernuovo Wines

Gordon Getty, $2.1 billion owns Plumpjack Winery


Celebrities in the Industry-May 2015


Basketball Player, Yao Ming, is looking to expand his winery by crowdfunding. The money he gets from investors will be used to open tasting rooms in the U.S. And China. He is trying to get $3 million from internet investors and is almost there with commitments of $2.4 million already. This investment isn't for the faint hearted. He doesn't want your ten bucks. The minimum investment starts at $5,000.


Alessia Berlusconi is the niece of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and head of the family's Berlusconi Holding Company, a financial powerhouse in Italy. She owns La Contessa Winery in Lombardy and has launched a low alcohol wine named “9.9.” She is farming Marzemino grapes because when ripened they don't have the high sugar levels that make high alcohol wines.


Celebrities in the Industry-June 2015

Jancis Robinson is the cellarmaster and sommelier for Queen Elizabeth II of the UK. She describes herself as a “Wine, food, words, and family loving workaholic.” She is all that and more. She has a Twitter account with 236,000 followers; a weekly column in The Financial Times; a subscription website called Purple Pages; is editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine; and has written several books on wine. Her husband, Nick Landers is a food columnist for The Financial Times and her son, Will Landers, co-owns two of London's top restaurants.


Miley Cyrus just bought a 5.5 acre Hidden Hills estate that includes a vineyard planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. The estate also has a 1,000 bottle wine cellar.

Retired Congressman George Radanovich (R- Mariposa) has returned to his vineyards in California. He planted his land with Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot in 1982. At the time he called the wine “Radanovich Winery.” Now it's been renamed “1,000 Vines”, even though there are only 952. In 1999 Radanovich, the only winemaker in Congress, established the bi-partisan Congressional Wine Caucus along with Mike Thompson (D – Napa, Sonoma).


Prince Robert of Luxembourg has taken over the family business. It's a winery, of course; Chateau Haut-Brion.


Celebrities in the Industry-July 2015

American Pharaoh, the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 37 years, has been sponsored by Monster Energy. The press release from Monster says that this will continue the company's marketing objective of disrupting tradition. Monster sponsors a number of athletes and considers American Pharaoh a true athlete. Monster's logo will appear on the horse's stable, his blanket, and his jockey's ascot.


NFL retiree, John Elway, is making SevenWines Elway's Reserve Carneros Chardonnay and Elway's Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet with Rob Mondavi. The white will be $35, red $75. The wine will be available at Elway's Steak Houses and will be in general distribution in time for the Fall football season.


Actress Eva Longoria hosted the Mouton Cadet Wine Bar at the Cannes Film Festival. The wine bar raised funds for several charities supporting women and children's causes.



Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Brandi Glanville, was in Lodi to release her new wine. Excited fans had her autograph bottles. The wine is a Chardonnay made from Sonoma County grapes by Lodi Vintners Winery. Glanville calls it Unfiltered Blonde and sells it online for $15 a bottle.


If you follow the Silverado Pickups, a band that hits Nashville and other points west, you'd be interested to know it usually comes to you from Napa Valley. The group includes Shane Soldinger of Silver Trident Winery, Jeff Gargiulo of Gargiulo Vineyards, David Duncan CEO of Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars, Dan Zepponi from Valley of the Moon Winery, Tres Goetting from Robert Biale Vineyards, and wine consultant Paul Hoffman. Percussionist Joe Shotwell is the only professional musician in the group. They have played on the road with Tim McGraw and Joe Pack.


Celebrities in the Industry-August 2015

John Lasseter, Director of Toy Story, and his wife, Nancy have owned Lasseter Family Wines since 1997. They met at a computer graphics conference in San Francisco. He was with Pixar, she was with Apple. Their mutual interest in wine brought them together. Later they spent romantic weekends in the wine country, eventually honeymooning in Sonoma County. Founding their own winery at Glen Ellen was a natural.


Hollywood screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen the writer of Taken owns Kamen Estate Wines. His first screenplay netted him a 6 figure check that he never put in the bank. He took it straight to escrow to buy the land for a vineyard. The movie, Crossings, was never made. His credits include Taps and Karate Kid among others. His earnings through the years have planted and developed the 280 acre vineyard.


Brandi Glanville, of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, was covered in last month's Beverage Bulletin signing bottles of her Unfiltered Blonde Wine. Now she is extending the line with an assortment of wine and liquor accessories; including several kinds of corkscrews, hip flask, wine cooler, cocktail shaker, ice cube set, and glassware. The line is packaged by Silver Buffalo and will be available in home products and specialty stores by early next year.


Soccer star Andrea Pirlo has purchased Pratum Coller, a small winery with 15 acres of vines in Lombardy. Pirlo's father, Luigi, will manage the winery while the soccer star plays for the MLS New York City Football Club at Yankee Stadium. Pirlo was largely responsible for Italy's World Cup victory over France in 2006.


Cal Ripken, Jr. has teamed up with Axios Winery owner, Gus Kalaris, to bottle a 2013 Napa Cab. The wine will be named “2131”, commemorating Ripken's record number of consecutive games. He didn't miss a game for 21 seasons. It will be a limited bottling of 2,131 bottles packaged in wood and glass boxes for $300 each. The first 100 boxes will also hold a signed baseball. One third of the profits will go to the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation that hosts at-risk youth in baseball programs.


Singer, Olivia Newton-John and her race car driving nephew, Emerson Newton-John, have partnered with winemaker, Tom Meadowcroft, to make Pink and Blue for Two. The wines will be a 2013 Chardonnay from Anderson Valley and a Merlot from Lodi. Both will sell for under $20. 20% of the profits will go to Olivia Newton-John's cancer awareness charities to encourage couples to screen for breast and prostate cancer.


Ryan Seacrest is one celebrity that doesn't make his own wines. But, that detail can't hold back his love of wine. He put his knowledge and obsession with wine to work this year by hosting Auction Napa Valley. When hosting on San Francisco radio, Ryan bought himself a good bottle of California wine every week. Today, he hosts American Idol, American Top 40, and a morning radio show in L.A. His passion for wine continues.


Celebrities in the Industry-September 2015

Victoria's Secret model, Adriana Karembeu, has been a brand ambassador for Lanson's Chanoine Freres Champagne. Now she will have her own cuvee, Tsarine by Adriana. The bubbly will be released in December and sell for about $450.


Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Hines Ward, is opening a restaurant called Table 86 (his number) and adjoining wine bar, Vines in Seven Field, Pa. He is also rumored to be developing a Napa wine under his own label. Ward was the winner of Dancing with the Stars Season 12, competed on Celebrity Cook-Off, acted in AMC movies, and raises money for his Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation.


Miami Heat guard, Dwayne Wade, is producing Wade Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. At present, the wine is only being sold in China.


Film maker, Steven Soderbergh, has been importing an obscure liquor from Bolivia. It's Singani 63, an eau de vie made from Muscat of Alexandria grapes. He owns 250 cases in a New Jersey warehouse that he promotes to mixologists as he travels.


LA Clippers star, Chris Paul, has signed on with OneHope Wine as a celebrity winemaker. His wine is Paul's OneHope Napa Valley Reserve Pinot Noir 2011 which will sell for $60. Previous celebrity vintners were John Elway, Aaron Rodgers, Jason Kidd, Mike Piazza, and Clayton Kershaw. The wine is produced by Rob Mondavi. 50% of the profits will go to Chris Paul Family Foundation.


Celebrities in the Industry-October 2015

Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson, has promoted his family's line of Duck Commander Wines since 2013. The wines are bottled by Trinchero Estates. The wines include a red blend, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Pink or White Moscato.


Jeff Gordon, four time NASCAR Series Cup winner, produces specialty versions of California Napa and Sonoma wines. Jeff Gordon Cellars wines are custom bottled and sold directly to restaurants, retailers, and consumers.


Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent book series, is working with her husband, Nelson Fitch to open a wine bar in Edgewater, Illinois on Chicago's north side. The bar will be called Income Tax. The theme will be French-Italian. Fitch loves Nebbiolo and Barbaresco.


Gerard Depardieu is selling his properties and severing all ties with France, his birth country. He renounced French citizenship in 2012 when tax rates were raised to 75% for those at the high end of the earnings scale. He currently holds Russian citizenship granted to him by Vladimir Putin. His properties include investments in Languedoc, St Emilion, and Anjou. He also owns a stake in several Paris restaurants and wine bars. His current dispute with the French government is over how tax money is spent.


Charles Woodson, Oakland Raiders star, has his own wine named Twenty Four, named for his jersey number. The wine has been produced from a leased vineyard in Calistoga since 2005. Charles, along with wine pros Rick Ruiz and Gustavo Gonzalez make 1200 cases of wine a year. During the harvest, Woodson splits his time between the gridiron and the fields. He's very hands-on in both. His 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon sells for $112 a bottle. The winery also produces two secondary labels. “Two”, named for his undergraduate days at University of Michigan and TwentyOne for his 7 years spent with the Green Bay Packers.


Celebrities in the Industry-November 2015

Nancy Pelosi and her husband own a vineyard in Napa Valley. Financial disclosure filings show that some of the grapes are sold. Where the rest end up is not known. Is there a Pelosi Cellars Cab or Chateau Pelosi Merlot? This and other holdings make her the 4th richest member of Congress at $29 million.


Christi Coors Ficeli, great grand daughter of Adolf Coors, bought Goosecross Cellars in Yountville in 2013. After two years of extensive remodeling and adding new buildings, she has reopened the winery and tasting room. Her aim is to re-establish the brand and make it well known.


Michael Lynne, producer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Wedding Crashers owns Bedell Cellars, a winery in North Fork, Long Island, New York and Corey Creek Vineyards in Southold, Long Island. He has a total of 80 acres under vines. But he didn't stop with winemaking. See Presidential Wine below.


Singer, John Legend, has a new wine label LVE (Legend Vineyard Exclusive). He teamed up with Jean Claude Boiset's Raymond Vineyards to bottle his 2013 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. It sells for $85 on Raymond's website.


Celebrities in the Industry-December 2015


TV and Movie personality and native of Canada, Dan Akroyd, has held the Canadian rights for Patron Tequila since 2005. He has invested $1 million in Diamond Estates to promote Canadian wine. His labels include 20 Bees, Fresh, Lakeview Cellars, EastDell, and Dan Akroyd Wines. In 2007 he partnered with John Alexander to found Chrystal Head Vodka. The vodka is triple distilled in Newfoundland and Labrador.


Musician, Geoff Tate, of Operation: Mindcrime has been in the wine business since 2008 with a Bordeaux Blend made in Washington called Insania. He has also been producing a Sauvignon Blanc/ Semillon blend made in Washington. Now he is moving the Insania brand to Germany, where wine will be bottled to sell at about $16.


Chinese film star, Vicky Zhao Wei, has launched a line of French wines. Forbes Magazine has named her “the world's wealthiest working actress.” Her wines include Chateau Monlot, St-Emilion Gand Cru which she bought in 2011 and several other Chateaux purchased since. The wines will sell at prices ranging from RMB 168 ($26) to RMB 2,000 ($310). In explaining the reasons for having a full price range in the line she said Wine is getting more important in the Chinese lifestyle, It is great to share winewith friends, it is something I do all the time.”