Gérard Depardieu, Johnny Depp and David Beckham all share a passion for vineyards says Peter Swain. But could you afford to join them?
Between starring in movies like Potiche with the fabulous Catherine Deneuve and more recently being accused of peeing on planes ill advisedly, French film legend Gérard Depardieu (pictured, left) somehow finds time to own or part-own no fewer than 19 vineyards.
His Château de Tigné Rosé, a big-hearted fruity number rather like its maker, was presented at the launch in Stockholm last week of airline SAS’s ritzy new inflight fare, which also includes Pure Green organic vodka.
With vineyards in France, Algeria, Morocco, Argentina, Spain and Hungary, as well as France, Depardieu now spends as much time blending the noble grape as acting. And he’s not the only celebrity ‘vigneron’ involved in producing headline wine...
* ‘High maintenance, posh plonk’ – David Beckham gave Victoria a Napa Valley vineyard as a birthday present
* ‘Pirate of the Côte d'Azur’ - Johnny Depp also bought his long-term girlfriend Vanessa Paradis a vineyard, just north of St Tropez
* ‘Simply Red’ – Mick Hucknall’s winery on the slopes of Mount Etna is aptly called Il Cantante, ‘the singer’
* ‘Château Godfather’ – Francis Ford Coppola used the earnings from his iconic Mafia trilogy to buy his own Californian vineyard
* ‘The Marque of Zorro’ – heart-throb Antonio Banderas bought half of Bodega Anta Natura in his native Spain in 2009
* ‘You’re The One That I Want’ – Olivia Newton-John, star of the 1970s hit movie Grease, is ‘hopelessly devoted’ to her Koala Blue wines, made in Australia
* ‘Great golfing grapes’ - Ernie Els and Nick Faldo have both ploughed some of their winnings into wine, in South Africa and Australia respectively
* ‘Summer Holiday Special’ - The Vida Nova winery in the Algarve belonging to Cliff Richard (pictured, left)produces a variety of award-winning vintages
For anyone looking to buy a vineyard with house attached, there are several tasty propositions currently on the market:
Near Bordeaux, this classical six-bedroom house has an 8-hectare vineyard and in-house winery producing about 50,000 bottles of Première Cotes de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Superior and Cadillac wine last year. Knight Frank €2.65million
A classic 18th century Provencal Bastide in the Var, it has six bedrooms, swimming pool, tennis court, ornamental lake, and 4.2 hectares of vines planted with AOC white vermentina vines. Knight Frank €12.5million
Franschhoek, Western Cape
In South Africa’s winelands, a main four-bedroom house plus a three-bed cottage, pool and paddocks, all with great mountain views, and 3.5 hectares of Semillon, Merlot, Pinot Noir cultivars. £1.4million through Savills.
A farmhouse and historic winery, with 7.5 acres of vineyards and 6.2 acres of olive groves, 32 acres in all, 2 km from Panzano. If you’ve fallen in love with Two Greedy Italian on TV, this is the one…£3.38 million from Savills.
In Portugal’s scenic Alentejo’s countryside, this brand new, modernist ‘wine resort’ has a boutique hotel, 136 homes starting at £160,000, and a young vineyard that will be producing its first vintage this year. Glow Property.
Castello di Casole
A 1/8th share of Villa Scuola in Tuscany costs €275,000 and entitles the owner to at least three weeks usage a year, plus the chance to enjoy the fruits of the 36-hectare Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet and Petit Verdo-producing vineyard. Timbers Resorts.
Depardieu now spends as much time blending the noble grape as acting. And he’s not the only celebrity ‘vigneron’ involved in producing headline wines.