Kurt Russell


In Amer­i­can movies and TV since the early 1960s, Kurt Russell has had a durable ca­reer as an ac­tor. Lat­terly he de­cided to get into wine, es­chew­ing the use of his name and im­age and in­stead nam­ing var­i­ous wines for close fam­ily mem­bers. That his wine amounted to con­sid­er­ably more than a fam­ily af­fair was due to his as­so­ci­a­tion with Peter and Re­becca Work, who have been mak­ing wine at Am­pe­los Cel­lars since they planted their first 6ha in 2001. De­spite the Works be­ing ini­tially re­sis­tant to the idea of a celebrity slap­ping his name on one of their wines – an un­founded fear in Russell’s case – they wel­comed him and quickly found that he had a good palate and wanted to be prop­erly in­volved.

‘ From the start, he re­ally liked our wines,’ says Peter Work, ‘but I had said if you’re re­ally in­ter­ested, then prove it. Come down and take part in the whole process.’ Russell was in­ter­ested. ‘ I knew what I wanted to do taste-wise,’ he re­calls, ‘but I didn’t have any idea how to do it. Peter has de­vel­oped into an ex­pert wine­maker. He has this fear­less­ness and open­ness. I love the way they farm.’

From this al­liance came GoGi (Russell’s child­hood nick­name), a range in­clud­ing wines named For­baz (Baz is his sis­ter’s nick­name) and Goldie (as in Hawn, his long-time part­ner). ‘ I thought slap­ping a name on a bot­tle that peo­ple might recog­nise was…not nec­es­sar­ily a good thing,’ Russell said at the time. ‘ I thought it was a draw­back.’ Like Brad Pitt and Fran­cis Ford Cop­pola, Russell can­not re­sist com­par­ing movies with wines. ‘ The va­ri­ety is the genre of movie,’ he says. ‘ The care in the win­ery is much like the cast­ing, and the blend­ing is the edit­ing.’ And Kurt Russell’s wines sell out – even with­out his name on the la­bel.

wav­ing away the of­fend­ing bot­tle and wel­com­ing the gold-pack­aged Ar­mand de Brignac ‘Ace of Spades’ cu­vée in its place. Re­venge served cold, you might say.

On a more wist­ful note, the mar­i­tal break-up of Brad Pitt and An­gelina Jolie left Château Mi­raval, the for­mer cou­ple’s Provence vine­yard where they cel­e­brated their 2014 wed­ding, in a kind of limbo. Charles Per­rin, the estate’s vint­ner, sought to im­pose some con­ti­nu­ity, say­ing: ‘We have long-term projects and have just re­leased the lat­est vin­tage of rosé with our names, “bot­tled by Pitt, Jolie

Ac­tor Kurt Russell

Right: rap star Jay Z, part-owner of the Ar­mand de Brignac Cham­pagne brand, pro­duced by Cat­tier

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