You surely must have some serious cash to start up your very own wine business, so it should come as no surprise to learn that Hollywood’s most powerful couple – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are taking up the challenge of wine making. And if this new venture is a success, they will be able to toast themselves with a bottle of their very own plonk.
The loved up couple, who between them have six children, bought the wine producing region of Chateau Miraval, which is situated near the tiny town of Correns in 2008 after reportedly falling in love with the 35-bedroom estate while flying over it in a helicopter. Since they purchased the estate for a cool £35 million, they have spent a small fortune on renovations so that their extended family can live there, out of the public’s gaze.
The estate itself is sprawling, and comes with a moat, lake and forest, spanning 1,200 acres – some 150 of which are devoted to vines, and is situated at an altitude of 350 metres. The Chateau already produces bottles of red, white and rosé wines, which are said to be well regarded within the industry.
Last year, the Jolie-Pitts took over the vines from the previous owner, with the help of Mr Marc Perrin, who owns Château Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, one of the most renowned names in the Rhone Valley and well-known in the world of Provence winemaking. He will direct winemaking and distribution. Perrin will also get a mention on the bottles after teaming up with the couple. “We came up with the labels together,” he told Ouest France newspaper, saying that he was introduced to the couple by mutual friends last summer.
The wine will be known as Miraval Côtes de Provence and the couple will have their names on the back label as “Jolie-Pitt”.
This does not seem to be a vanity project for the Hollywood A Listers, as Mr Perrin insisted the Jolie-Pitts were not simply “putting their names on the bottle”, and revealed that they had even taking part in back-breaking wine picking last year. “They want to be proud of the wine and their property,” he said. “They are incredibly demanding and are looking for excellence.”
He told Decanter: “They were present at the blending sessions this year, and are relooking at everything from the installations in the winery – where we have already switched to stainless steel tanks – to reworking the labels across the range of wines.”
In the search for improvements, they have ordered a full geological survey on the soil, and intend to add complexity to the Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah blend that is currently used in the red wines by grafting other varieties like Mourvèdre.
The fact that the grapes were in a valley meant they were perfectly placed, said Mr Perrin.
“The terroir, the freshness that comes from the altitude, and the exposition of the vines are all incredible,” he said.
The world will soon know if the Jolie-Pitt wine is a success, as esteemed wine tasting magazine – The Wine Spectator – is about to cast its verdict on the actor-vintners’ début performance.
The Jolie-Pitt rosé will be on the market in March, and white wines will begin arriving by the end of this summer. They will be selling for around 15 euros a bottle.
As speculation mounts over a wedding date for the couple, who announced their engagement last year, Challenges magazine said at least one thing is clear. “We know the name of the wine they’ll be serving for the occasion.”