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The Quick 10: 10 Celebrities Who Own Wineries

Some celebrities have done quite well for themselves in the wine business – Francis Ford Coppola, for example, is as famous for his grapes in some circles as he is for his movies. But it would seem that every celebrity has a winery these days, even if they aren’t selling at that level (some keep wineries just for their own personal use). Some of them are rather unexpected…

1. Lil’ Jon. His winery is called Little Jonathan, which makes me laugh. But don’t mistake him for a wine connoisseur by any means: “I’m not like an expert, so don’t ask me no questions … I just like the taste. This is not no ghetto Boone’s Farm; this is some real wine.”

2. Vince Neil. He simply called it Vince Neil Vineyards, which doesn’t exactly entice me to buy the stuff.
3. Maynard James Keenan, (pictured) better known as the lead singer of Tool. The winery is called Caduceus after the symbol for Hermes (it’s also the nursing symbol), but the vineyards are called Merkin after – yes – the pubic wig. Keenan, by the way, has no love for Vince Neil’s wine, saying, “I would avoid at all costs anything resembling Vince Neil’s wine.”
4. Mario Andretti. He owns a winery with Joe Antonini, the former CEO of Kmart.
5. Wayne Gretzky. It comes as no surprise that he’s named his winery No. 99 Estates.
6. Tommy Smothers. Originally called Smothers Brothers Wine, he had to change the name because no one was taking it seriously; Tommy likened it to buying a Three Stooges wine. It’s now called Remick Ridge.
7. Peggy Fleming. She owns Fleming Jenkins Vineyards and Winery with her husband, Greg Jenkins. I would have gone for a figure-skating reference, myself, but I guess Toe Pick Wines doesn’t sound too appetizing.
8. Mike Ditka. He has a variety called Kick Ass Red. I’d try that.
9. Dan Aykroyd. In fact, Aykroyd seems poised to set up a whole alcohol empire – he not only owns four wineries, but he’s also been promoting his new line of vodka called Crystal Head Vodka and is considering a Coneheads beer and vodka line as well.
10. Savanna Samson. She’s a porn star and her wine makes no attempt to hide that – the label features her in a see-through dress and heels. Surprisingly, though, the wine has gotten great reviews. That hasn’t stopped Saturday Night Live from poking fun at it, through – Weekend Update said the wine “goes well with meat… and fish.”

Would you buy any of these? I’d love to have a bottle of Little Jonathan in the house, just to amuse guests.


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