Did you know that several well-known celebrities own wineries in the California Wine Country? Indeed, celebrity chef Guy Fieri has one in Sonoma County, as does CBS sports announcer Jim Nantz. Of course, Napa Valley has its own share of celebrity owners, like Ayesha and Steph Curry and David Beckham. On the other hand, are celebrity-owned wines worth a try? After all, collaborations between California wineries and celebrities haven’t always been so successful. Yet at the same time, some celebrity wines like Yao Family Wine and Inglenook have received rave reviews from wine critics like Robert Parker. Even though most wineries with famous owners are closed to the public, here are a few you can visit.
Feast It Forward Tasting Room
1031 McKinstry St.
Napa, CA 94559
Private Wine Tasting
If the name Andretti sounds familiar, you might be a fan of auto racing. That’s because this winery is named after racing legend Mario Andretti. After a successful career in motorsports, including an Indianapolis 500 victory, Andretti founded his Napa Valley winery in 1996. Unfortunately, in the midst of the pandemic, the celebrity owned winery closed its doors in March 2021. In spite this, Andretti Winery is again offering wine tasting, albeit at a different location. On the other hand, this new location is quite convenient. In fact, it’s not far from the popular Ox Bow Public Market in downtown Napa.
Andretti Winery Wine Tasting at Feast it Forward
You can visit Feast it Forward’s website for additional information. If you’re interested in a private tasting, you can call or email staff representing Andretti Winery. Of course, you can also purchase wine selections directly online. With this in mind, you may like the 2018 Cabernet ($72) or 2015 Montana Merlot ($75).
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5425 Gravenstein Highway North
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Celebrity-owned wineries in the Napa/Sonoma area are not restricted to just actors, celebrity chefs and sports personalities. For instance, Les Claypool, the founder of the rock band Primus, has had his own label since 2007. What’s more, he has his own wine tasting facility, Pachyderm Station. If that’s not enough, Claypool’s wine tasting room has a perfect, five-star rating on Yelp. If you go, make sure to try the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir Rosé. Additionally, you can make purchases online for selections like the 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($55).
Les Claypool On Tour
When Les Claypool isn’t busy at his tasting room, you can find him on tour with Primus and Les Claypool’s Bastard Jazz. Primus has an upcoming appearance at the Redding Civic Auditorium, June 15. Additionally, he has three upcoming Bay Appearances with Bastard Jazz in late July. The Primus singer and bassist also collaborates with Sean Lennon, the son of the late music icon John Lennon.
Related: Sonoma Wineries To Visit This Fall
999 Foreman Lane
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Another celebrity rock musician with his own wine label is Jonathan Cain, keyboardist for the popular rock band Journey. He collaborates with Dennis and Tina De La Montanya, with tastings at their namesake winery. As a matter of fact, you can try selections like their 2018 Finale Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast and 2018 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley. Likewise, you can order Finale online, including the 2010 Grand Finale, Napa Valley Blend ($125). While the Finale wines are recommended, there may be wines from another celebrity owner. Namely, former Boston Red Sox star pitcher Roger Clemens and his Rockets Red Glare. Although Jonathan Cain isn’t the original Journey keyboardist, he has been a part of several memorable songs. For instance, you are probably familiar with his intros to “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Who’s Crying Now”.
1038 Clinton St.
Napa, CA 94559
Do you still need more convincing that celebrity owned wineries are worth a visit? If so, then you should take a closer look at Housley Napa Valley. What’s more, their wine tasting room has nearly a perfect five-star rating from Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google. That’s not to mention that Housley has been named Napa Valley’s Best Tasting Room. Furthermore, Housley has not one, but two celebrity owners. Second generation co-owner Adam Housley is an Emmy award-winning journalist while his wife is popular actress Tamera Mowry. It should also go without saying that their wines are phenomenal and affordable. Lastly, the staff at the tasting room is likely the most diverse in the entire Napa Valley.
1991 St. Helena Highway
Rutherford, CA 94573
Of all the celebrity owned wineries in the Napa Valley, you might like Inglenook best of all. For one thing, it’s owned by Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola and his wife Eleanor. In fact, the Coppolas have been making wine here since the mid-1970s. In like manner is the high quality of their wines, notably Rubicon, a red blend named after a small river in Italy. Inglenook offers a variety of tasting options, including the Estate Library Experience. Similarly impressive is the estate’s Bistro Experience with wine avaiable by the glass or bottle.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Another winery you may wish to visit in Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, north of Healdsburg. However, the Coppolas sold this family-friendly property last year to Delicato Family Wines. Also included in the purchase were two other wineries – Francis Ford Coppola Winery Too! and Virginia Dare Winery. While these two wineries are currently closed, you can still wine and dine at the primary Geyserville property. Despite the sale of the properties, Francis Ford Coppola is a member of Delicato’s board of directors.
Related: Small Napa Valley Wineries To Visit
About The Author
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including CBS New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget and Radio.com. He earned a Media Fellowship from Stanford University in 2012.