Celebrities, they have it all! Turns out they have it all and a winery on top! When I found out that Brad and Angelina make a Rose called Miraval, I wondered, who else makes wine - turns out everyone does .....John Legend, Drew Barrymore, Madonna, Donald Trump, Mick Fleetwood & Cliff Richard, anyone who's anyone, owns their own winery.....
So what celeb wines do we have here in little old NZ? Well actually, we do have one or two (or in this case three..)
Irish TV host Graham Norton makes a range of wines with Waikato Winery Invivo. How on earth did that happen I hear you say? Well, Invivo is run by (winemaker) Rob & (marketing guru), Tim. One Friday evening a few years ago Tim was watching the Graham Norton show and noticed that Graham & his guests were had drinks and Graham, in particular, was always drinking white wine. So Tim gave the BBC a call – asked if they could send them some free wine. Graham tasted it and liked it & now they have three varietals (Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, and Shiraz) and are working on a fourth which will be a Prosecco to be released early 2018.
Every Tim & Rob go to either Ireland or the UK to blend the wine with Graham as it's really important to them that it be actually Graham's blend & not just a name on the label. They also make a very funny blending video each year which is always fun to watch. 2017's video is featured here - have a look!
It’s a massive success story & even though I like all three wines here I'm recommending the Sauv as it’s the original & one that I loved at a time when I was getting tired of Sauv. It’s zesty & fresh & fun and only $18 - hard to pass that one up!
Sam Neill, despite the fact that he swears (literally!) that he’s not a celebrity – when questioned on wine-producing celebrities his response was “I am not and never have been a celebrity – I have never been pictured in Hello Magazine, with a Kardashian or in a bikini“ Regardless of this self-professed non-celeb status, he was in Jurassic Park - so that's celeb enough for me! Either way, Sam's Central Otago vineyards make bloody good wine, mostly Pinot Noir & Riesling under the brands "Two Paddocks" and "Picnic". The Pinots tend to sell out most years. The one that I got my hands on was the Picnic Riesling. This Riesling is the family fav at Two Paddocks HQ, apparently they regularly get together for TP family roasts & this bottle is the first to empty. It's an off-dry style with zesty acidity which is organically farmed & hand harvested. It's pretty yum and only $25
Also I just have to mention, anyone who doesn't follow Sam Neill (@TwoPaddocks) on Twitter needs to get on that immediately. Anyone who has the wit to name his livestock after various celebrities is alright by me. The man is hilarious!
John Kirwin is a name every Kiwi knows and loves, our own beloved Former All Black, Author, Mental Health Advocate and now Wine Maker - ah JK, is there anything you can't do?? John has a range of wines called JK14, (14 was his AB number). JK’s wife is Italian from Treviso in Veneto, Northern Italy (this area is known for Prosecco and also Tiramisu) so it makes sense that the JK14 Wines are Italian Reds, Whites & Prosecco. This collection has been put together with so much love each of the bottles is named after someone dear to the family and tells a story.
The wine I have chosen from the collection is the Malanotte. I discovered this wine at Winetopia this year and it blew my mind, nothing else lived up to this wine so I had to go back at the end & buy some! Only two wineries in the world make Malanotte – side by side in Veneto and the people of the area believe that Malanotte is the wine that Jesus had the Last Supper. Well if it's good enough for Jesus! This wine really is superb & it comes with a sense of humour as the front label on the bottle states: “Approved by Jesus Christ….we’re pretty sure!"
The whole JK range is available at www.jkwines.com & the ranges in price from $20 to $60. The Malanotte is the top of the range at $60 and it's so worth it. A very special wine.