The Napa Valley has been called “A Wine Lover’s Hollywood,” and for good reason. Movie stars, sports figures and politicians, are now using their fame and fortune to moonlight as winemakers. Stars are turning their viticulture dreams into reality by purchasing their own vineyards, planting their own vines and savoring luxurious results.
Owner: Francis Ford Coppola
Winery: Inglenook and Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Location: Rutherford and Geyserville
As the most successful A-list winemaker, the pioneering film director, producer and screenwriter has paved the way for celebrity vineyard owners. The director of the Godfather trilogy and now the godfather of winemaking, Coppola carried on his family tradition by purchasing the Inglenook Winery in 1975. The winery produces the ever-popular Rubicon wines, harvested from organically grown vineyard grapes. Coppola’s second venture is the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, an impressive 88-acre estate purchased in 2006. Coppola has successfully transformed the winery into a family-friendly wonderland and resort destination. As Coppola describes, it is “a place to celebrate the love of life.”
Owner: Mario Andretti
Vineyard: Andretti Winery
Motorsport legend Mario Andretti didn’t slow down after his retirement. After racing for nearly five decades, Andretti partnered with his longtime friend Joe Antonini to create the Andretti Winery in 1996. Andretti’s love for wine took off during the worldwide journey of his racing career. Through his travels, he was delighted to find that he enjoyed wines of each country, finding that great grapes from any region can make a great wine. Today, the only man to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and Formula One World Championship is also a winemaking phenomenon. His 42- acre estate produces superior Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. Visitors from all over the world travel to Andretti’s Tuscanstyle winery to celebrate the Italian lifestyle.
Owner: Nancy Pelosi
Vineyard: Zinfandel Lane Vineyards and Skellenger Lane Vineyards
Location: St. Helena
The Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives needs no introduction. The San Francisco-based politician eagerly pursued her pastime by purchasing not just one, but two vineyards.
Pelosi and her husband Paul, are the proud owners of the 6-acre Zinfandel Lane Vineyards, reportedly worth $25 million. The property is located in one of the most exclusive areas of St. Helena and produces Cabernet Sauvignon.
In addition to her large-scale venture, the savvy politician is the sole owner of a smaller-scale estate, Skellenger Lane Vineyards, which started out specializing in Cabernet. The award-winning vineyard has diversified to also produce Sauvignon Blanc and Saignee of Cabernet (Rosé.)
Owners: David and Victoria Beckham
Winery: Private vineyard
Location: Napa Valley
He is one of the world’s most recognizable athletes and international soccer legend. She is an international fashion icon. Together, Brand Beckham is a fierce combination of fame, wealth and power.
When the couple isn’t earning multi million dollar endorsements, they savor their passion for fine wines, which developed during their years that David played in Spain. After moving to play with the LA Galaxy in 2007, David spent months researching Napa Valley vineyards to gift his wife for her 34th birthday. A year later, he shelled out seven figures for the winery, unveiling the surprise to Victoria.
Although the winery could have become another lucrative venture, the Beckhams have pursued winemaking as a personal endeavor. They’ve hired a team of specialists to run the winery and make their vintage for family and friends.