Actors and Directors in Wine, Part I

There seems to be an ever-growing union between celebrities and wine. It makes sense – both are rich, and are often complex; but, while most celebs just like to sip and swirl, there are more than a few who have taken their grape fascination to the next level, investing in labels, or even starting their own. Here are some well known actors and directors who love bottling a new batch almost as much as they love the big screen…

Emilio Estevez
As the saying goes, true love is like a fine wine. In the case of Casa Dumetz Wines, it was fine wine that brought together true loves Emilio Estevez and Sonja Magdevski. As related on their winery’s website, Actor-director Estevez, who starred in 80’s cult films The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire, was fortunate enough to stumble into the flower shop where Magdevski worked a few days into planting vines for his new Malibu winery – she offered to help, and two days later their fates were sealed tighter than newly corked wine. Now, seven years later the duo has six types of wines and 800 pinot noir grapevines in their backyard. So what’s it like clocking hours with your spouse? “We are two very individual people with our own styles,” Estevez told VINE TALK. “ So are there discussions about our methods and approach? Absolutely, but that is what makes it fun. In the end, we get to drink a great a bottle of wine that we made together!”

Antonio Banderas
In 2009, the actor best known for his role as Zorro in the eponymous film franchise bought 50 percent of the Bodega Anta Natura winery in Villalba de Duero, Spain and renamed the vineyard Anta Banderas. Originally established in 1999 by Teodoro Ortega, the vineyard is located about one and half hours north of Madrid, in an area known for the history of its wines and cuisine. There are five wines produced at Anta Banderas, many of which have won numerous awards worldwide.

Raymond Burr
Raymond Burr and Robert Benevides met as professional actors in the mid-1950s on the television show “Perry Mason,” which garnered Burr critical recognition. Their friendship blossomed (literally) over their shared love of botany, and after a successful run at commercial orchid hybridization, the duo moved to wine-making. They planted their first grapes in Sonoma County in 1986. The vineyard took gold medals at the 2011 San Diego International Wine Competition for their Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc.

Francis Ford Coppola
Everyone knows Francis Ford Coppola for his award-winning work on Apocalypse Now and the Godfather trilogy, and chances are you’ve heard by now that he is also a venerable godfather of wine. After all, he’s been in the winemaking business since 1978, when he began producing a Bordeaux at the Rubicon Estate in Napa Valley, CA. His brand has since grown to include a self-named winery in Sonoma, CA., as well as over 40 labels with numerous reds and whites between the two vineyards. Corey Beck, General Manager at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, told VINE TALK this is one celebrity winery that’s not going anywhere. “Often times I feel like we’re under a microscope because we’re owned by one of the greatest filmmakers of all time,” Beck told us. “I hope people realize the Coppola’s have been in the wine business longer than 90 percent of wineries that exist in California today.”

For more, click Actors and Directors in Wine, Part II.