Celebrity Vineyards: From Napa to Tuscany by Nick Wise


Intrigued by celebrities who have turned winemakers, wine writer Nick Wise set out in search of the growing trend by actors, directors, artists, musicians and sports figures in his book, Celebrity WinesFrom Napa to Tuscany In Search of Great Wine.

His main criterion for selecting the celebrities was to feature those who had some involvement in the process of wine making hence adding a touch of their character to the wine. His travels take him from his home in London to the Napa Valley in California, Canada, Italy and Spain.

Sixteen celebrity stories are told through flowing prose with a natural curiosity and genuine interest by the author. Each celebrity vineyard chapter includes a brief biography of each person, their achievements and the story behind how they entered the world of winemaking. The winery’s portfolio is introduced and includes tasting notes. A short glossary and resource guide at the end round off the book.

The wineries profiled include those of filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, screenwriter Robert Kamen, actor Dan Aykroyd, composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi, renowned chef Charlie Palmer, actor Antonio Banderas and adult film star Natalie Oliveros posing in the nude on a large bed of grapes.

Perhaps the most touching of stories is that of actor Raymond Burr (Ironside, Perry Mason) and his partner of thirty years, Robert Benevides who recounts the story of the “Raymond Burr” label in memory of his partner who passed away before the first wine was released in 1995.

What the book does not set out to do is to further glorify celebrities. If at all, Wise approaches it early in the piece with a degree of scepticism. His focus is on their stories, their passions and involvement in the winemaking process without being bogged down with the technicalities of the craft.

The book also pays homage to Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, his passion for wine coupled with his frustrations at growing grapes in his inherited estate at Monticello.

Celebrity Vineyards is published by Omnibus Press. The soft-cover was designed by famous graphic designer Milton Glaser. The book is beautifully illustrated with colour photographs throughout, a balance of text and images and easy to read sub-sections within a chapter. Whether you’re an avid vinophile, a beginner or a collector, Celebrity Vineyards will make you thirsty for wine and hungry for travel.

Celebrity Vineyards, From Napa to Tuscany In Search of Great Wine by Nick Wise – RRP AUD $34.95.


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.