Cameron Diaz’s Hollywood career subsided earlier than expected. She was last seen in the comedy-drama Annie alongside Jamie Foxx, and that was almost six years back. But the star of There is Something About Mary is back in the news again, this time to tout a career shift that Hollywood celebs often resort to in the twilight of their career. Like most Hollywood celebs, Diaz has opted to become a wine entrepreneur.
She recently launched her own wine brand Avaline Wines. Priced at $20, the organic and vegan wines come in two offerings – a white and a rose.
Watch: Cameron Diaz shares why she launched Avaline
For The Love Of Grapes
The pairing of celebrities and wine can be dubious. Selling wines at a premium by associating it with the allure of Hollywood glamour is simply too tempting to resist. So what exactly is the motive? Is it the profits the business assures or is it genuine love for grapes? The answer could be both.
The trend to align wine and Hollywood razzmatazz can be originally attributed to Francis Ford Coppola. From the profit, he earned from The Godfather he bought his first vineyard in Napa Valley in 1975. The vineyard was the Niebaum Winery in Rutherford which he later renamed as the Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery. But it was only in 1999 that he launched Sofia Blanc de Blanc, a white sparkling wine named after his daughter, Sofia Coppola. The $20 to $50 range includes cabernet sauvignon, merlot and claret.
Watch: Francis Ford Coppola talks Film and Wine
Legendary director Francis Ford Coppola and actor Gérard Depardieu entered the business because of their sheer love of wine. Most consider it an extremely profitable business venture. French doyen Depardieu and Coppola have been veterans in the business – roughly four decades. While actors like Drew Barrymore, Antonio Banderas are more recent entrants. Depardieu, who now maintains a Russian passport, was so besotted with the whole game of winemaking that his earlier French passport described him as a winemaker (vigneron).
The list of Hollywood celebs who are also wine entrepreneurs is endless. From Paul Newman to Coppola to Sam Neil, it’s a long list. The past few years have seen heavyweights like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Sting and Madonna jump onto the bandwagon.
Watch: Inside New York’s exclusive Billionaire Wine Tasting
More Hollywood Actors Interested In Wine Business
While Coppola made bucks in the US, Sam Neil, the star of Jurrasic Park, made money from his vineyards in far-flung New Zealand. The actor has been producing wine for the past 27 years under the label Two Paddocks. He owns four organic vineyards, and when not in front of the camera prefers spending time at his NZ vineyards. The actor can often be seen posting images and videos from among the vines on his Twitter account. Today, Two Paddocks, based out of his Central Otago vineyard, is an established brand. Neil’s story is somewhat similar to that of Coppola, as he purchased his vineyards in 1993 – the same year he appeared in two blockbusters, Jurassic Park and The Piano. The money he made from these two films helped him secure a living far away from the ephemeral culture of Hollywood. Two Paddocks specializes in pinot noir.
- Dan Aykroyd – Incepted in 2007, Aykroyd wines are sold under the label of Discovery and Signature series.
- Sir Cliff Richard – Owns wineries in Portugal and brings out Vida Nova wines.
- AC/DC – The band started producing wines in 2011.
- Olivia Newton-John – her vineyards are based in Australia under the label Koala Blue.
- Drew Barrymore – She is an exception, as she has no ownership of any vineyard; however, she has entered into an association with a California based winery.
Few people know that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s brand of rose wine is number one in the world. The 100-acre estate in southern France that the former Hollywood power couple own brings out the best rose wine in the world. The actors teamed up with Famille Perrin, owner of Chateau Beaucastel, and the outcome was Miraval.
After their divorce, people began to speculate about who among the two would get to keep the multimillion vineyards, but the conjecture came to naught when it was decided that involvement from both partners would remain the same even after their divorce. The couple believes that the winery is an investment for their children’s future.
While Hollywood actors make wine business seem glamorous, the reality is a bit different. To begin with, the investment might cost millions of dollars. Coppola has invested close to $45 million dollars in his business to date, but only began to see profits in the late 90s. There are many motivations among the movers and shakers of Hollywood to own a vineyard, but just like any regular business, it involves planning, hard work and maintaining a vision.