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05.2009

Massachusetts Beverage Business

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archivedOnWineReport

CELEBRITY WINEMAKERS

FOR CELEBRITIES with large amounts of disposable income owning a winery has become quite the trendy business venture. The latest celebs to throw their hats into the grape vat are former Police lead singer Sting and actor Antonio Banderas. Sting actually purchased a 16th century Italian villa in Tuscany in 1997 and over the past ten-plus years has turned the surrounding 86O acres into an organic farm that, in addition to growing grapes and making wine, produces honey, olive oil, fruit, vegetables, and salami. Now, some 3O,OOO bottles of wine produced on the property will go on sale in September, mainly in Britain and the US, according to the estate’s manager. The upcoming wine will be a 2OO7 vintage based on the Sangiovese grape, with a touch of Cabernet and Merlot. The wine, along with other products made on the Sting farm, will also be available at a shop on the property that the singer will inaugurate by June. Meanwhile, over in northern Spain, Antonio Banderas has bought 5O percent of a state-of-the-art winery on the banks of the Duero River. The 57O acre property, called Anta Banderas, makes red and rosè wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and local grape Tempranillo. Other famous celebrities-turned-vintners include: Michael Douglas, Dan Aykroyd, Gerard Depardieu and Frances Ford Coppola, among others.

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