4 California-Made Wines & Their Hollywood Creators

By Kathy McDonald | July 18, 2018 | Food & Drink People Lifestyle

This summer, add a little star power to your wine cellar.

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Wines—like movies and music—benefit from marquee billing. Drew Barrymore, the Coppola clan, Kurt Russell, and Fergie are among the select group of bold-name vintners who are authentically connected to their namesake California-made wines.

Actress-producer Drew Barrymore describes her 2017 Barrymore by Carmel Road Rosé of Pinot Noir (barrymorewines.com) as “irresistibly refreshing” and an ideal companion to one of LA’s seemingly endless summer days. The blush red comes from sustainably farmed pinot noir vineyards in Monterey County and is crafted with partner winemaker Kris Kato of Carmel Road. Together, they oversee the wine’s creation and blending, going back and forth to get the flavor profile just right. “It is a delicate wine with floral and light citrus aromas,” says the star and producer of Santa Clarita Diet.

It was the ability to share a great bottle of her own personalized wine with friends and family that first attracted Barrymore to winemaking. Hollywood’s original visionary vintner, Francis Ford Coppola, used his earnings from The Godfather to buy a famed vineyard estate in Napa more than four decades ago (francisfordcoppolawinery.com). As with all his enterprises, he brought his family into the business. Sofia the wine began as a salute to his daughter and fellow Oscar winner, Sofia Coppola. The stylish filmmaker, who now spends a lot of time in France (who can forget her pastel-hued Marie Antoinette?), leans toward sparklers like the Sofia Brut Rosé (available in ingenious minicans for easy drinking outdoors) and the 2012 Sofia Méthode Champenoise, a distinctive blend of pinot blanc, muscat and riesling from Sonoma Valley vineyards. “It’s made in the style she usually drinks herself,” explains Tondi Bolkan, Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s winemaker. Twelve hundred cases of this effervescent “labor of love” are produced, providing an aptly sparkling buzz to any summer gathering in the Hills.

A fortuitous location shoot during Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof introduced Kurt Russell to Santa Barbara wine country’s Santa Rita Hills. These days, when he’s not working on films, Russell literally toils alongside Ampelos Cellars’ Peter and Rebecca Work, overseeing all aspects of his GoGi Wines’ production (gogiwines.com). The winemakers’ blending process yields the 18-month barrel-aged 2014 GoGi Wines Goldie Chardonnay; refined and mellow, it’s a well-rounded expression of the Burgundy mainstay. “My goal with this chardonnay is always to achieve in the wine the best characteristics of its namesake,” Russell says.

In nearby Santa Ynez, songstress Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas also engages in a family winery venture. Her viticulturist father, Pat Ferguson, tends Ferguson Crest’s six-acre estate (fergusoncrest.com). Winemaker Joey Tensley (known for his richly hued Santa Barbara syrahs) oversees the winery’s smalllot production, including the wonderfully floral and highly aromatic—dare we say “Fergalicious”—2016 Ferguson Crest Viognier. Fergie is credited with the label design and often gifts the wines, along with handwritten notes, to friends. Not in Fergie’s inner circle? She’s happy to sell it to you too, of course.



Photography by: SOFIA COPPOLA PHOTO BY STARPIX, MARION DAVIS; BARRYMORE WINE PHOTO BY CARMEL ROAD