Welcome to part 3 of “celebrity winemakers”. In this article, we feature Jeff Gordon, Robert Mark Kamen, Fergie, and last but not least Antonio Banderas. Enjoy and make sure to check the bottom of the page for more celebrity winemakers!
Enjoy and check back later for more!
9 – Our next winemaker is a NASCAR Cup Series champion, a dedicated family man, the founder of a successful children’s foundation… I present you the one and only Jeff Gordon. Jeff’s joy of life is to contribute and his most recent contribution has been to the wine industry. So we all know Jeff Gordon can drive and he can make some great wine, too. “From our first vintage in 2004, it has remained a goal to continually focus on the quality of the wine, not the quantities we produce.” Working with two outstanding winemakers, Jeff has created a wine selection based on his personal appreciation for fine wine. The Jeff Gordon Collection includes a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Merlot, a Pinot and a Chardonnay, as well as a red blend called “Joie de Vivre”. Prices vary from $45 to $108.
10 – This celebrity’s name is displayed in the opening credits of many famous movies. He is an American screenwriter who has been writing major motion pictures for over twenty-five years, and he is now a successful winemaker and owner of the Kamen Estate Wines in Sonoma. I present to you the acclaimed screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen.
With the help of extremely talented people, Robert has been making wine with a total organic approach since the first vine was planted in 1981. He built everything from the ground up and no chemicals have ever touched the soil of his estate, which is located in the Sonoma Mountain AVA of eastern Sonoma County.
The estate produces a vibrant 2012 Sauvignon Blanc for $40, a complex 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon for$90, a bold mountain grown 2010 Syrah for $70, and a reserve 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon called “Kashmir Cuvee” with a mouthfeel of rich, concentrated blue fruit and chocolate. This last bottle sells for $175.
In addition to the above wines, Kamen makes some other limited release varietals like a 2012 Viognier or a 2009 Grenache, only available to Kamen’s wine club members.
“Wax on, wax off.” – Congratulations on a huge success, Mr. Kamen!
11 – She sings, she dances, and she sells wine… Fergie is “Fergalicious”! Ferguson Crest is a family-run boutique winery founded by Pat Ferguson and his daughter, Black Eyed Peas singer, Fergie in 2006. Their 6 acre estate winery sprawls at the highest point in Solvang and overlooking the splendor of the Santa Ynez Valley.
Winemaker Joey Tensley (a Food and Wine magazine award-winner whose syrahs have ranked in the Wine Spectator top 100) makes handcrafted wines using top-quality varietals. He tends to the vineyards through organic, sustainability-minded practices that help preserve the richness of the land. The winery produces a crisp, lush Viognier ($22.50), a spicy and sumptuous Syrah ($30), a Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.50), and last but not least, Fergie’s special blend called Fergalicious ($40). Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache and Merlot all come together to produce this “classic California red, elegant with a silky finish”.
I haven’t has a chance to try her wines yet, but I will make sure to stop by her winery on my next trip to the Santa Ynez Valley. In the meantime, I invite you to check out Ferguson’s amazing site featuring Fergie’s sexy and soulful singing voice, and her soft pop song called “Velvet”. Very appropriate if you ask me.
N.B. – My wife and I just tried the “Fergalicious” blend last night. It was the 2012 vintage. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache and Merlot blend was just right. The Syrah brought a nice touch of spice and pepper, the Grenache added a nice fruity taste to the wine, and the Merlot rounded up everything with its color and body. Though the wine was quite excellent, I strongly recommend that you wait at least 2 to 3 years before enjoying it yourself.
12 – Amazingly talented actor – and singer – Antonio Banderas listened to his heart when he decided to produce wine in his homeland. Formerly know as Anta Bodegas, the estate winery was renamed Anta Banderas in June of 2009, when Antonio and his family decided to take over the winery – “The decision was made, it was a family winery, just what I was looking for.” It is located in Ribera del Duero, a popular growing region just north of Madrid known for producing Tempranillo. It currently consists of 235 acres of vineyard in two separate areas, one near the winery and one at nearly 2,800 feet above sea level.
The winery produces various blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and of course Tempranillo. Named a4, a10, a16 and a de Anta, they all feature different blending options, and range from $10 to $40. In addition to the blends, they also make a very appealing strawberry color rosé called aR (Anta Rosado) for $10, which might be on the sweet side based on some of the notes I’ve read, hence the late harvest.