Rock stars with a taste for the good things in life!

Date posted:
July 28, 2011

There’s an old saying that if you want to make $1 million dollars in the winemaking business, it’s easy -- just start with $4 million! So writes Gregory Dal Piaz from the US of A. That may not be entirely true; you’re probably more likely to end up with nothing, but that’s another story.


Well, it is certainly easier to get into this risky and difficult business if you are flush with cash, and that is seeing an increasingly large number of celebrity-owned wine brands.  … today I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the great music industry names that are now proudly, and successfully I might add, making wine.


It’s not very surprisingly to see that many in the entertainment, and particularly the music, industry have branched out into winemaking. Seems like as people get a bit older, and a bit slower, they might want to replace a bowl of brown M&Ms and a fifth of Johnnie Walker Black with something a bit easy on the system. So, without further ado, here are (three) of our favorite music industry winemakers.


Bruce Cohn might be well- known as the manager of the Doobie Brothers, but this Sonoma County local boy was also part of the wine revolution that overtook northern California, beginning in the late 1970s.

Bruce not only purchased vineyard land as early as 1974 -- selling off fruit to well-known wineries, such as Sebastiani, Gundlach Bundschu and Ravenswood, before making his own wine -- but he also gave a legend her start. After founding the winery in 1984, Bruce hired the then-unknown winemaker Helen Turley, an undisputed winemaking star of our day. If I was a gambling man I’d be betting on Bruce Cohn.

B.R. Cohn is famous for its Olive Hill Cabernet and its eponymous olive grove.


Michael “Mick” Hucknall was the lead singer of the wildly successful British band Simply Red. Somehow this flame-haired singer got hooked up in one of the hottest wine scenes on the planet. Nick’s wine, Il Cantante ("the singer" in Italian), is made by winemaker Salvo Foti. Foti is one of the great winemakers working in Sicily today and, in particular, he has worked tirelessly to reveal the riches of the old vines of Etna.

Il Cantante makes classic Sicilian wines from nero d’avola, nerello mascalese, grecanico and carricante.


Maynard James Keenan, the lead singer for the metal band Tool, seems like an unlikely fellow to be making wine -- which comes in handy, since he is making unlikely wines! Unlike so many of his famous counterparts, Maynard (born James Herbert Keenan) has opted for an emerging wine region, if that’s what you can call them. More like germinating wine regions.

I’m talking Arizona, folks -- not the first place the mind goes when talk turns to vintage vino. But Maynard is making a name for himself with wines like his Cochise County Sangiovese Grosso or Tempranillo with a splash of Grenache. Some wines began with some California juice in them and have since moved to 100% Arizona goodness, though a few bottlings are still coming from California AVAs. 


(What about our local rockers? Are there any of them with enough savvy to get involved with the wonderful, rocking world of wine? More than just drinking the good stuff, of course! – Ed.)


(Source: SNOOTH)



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