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Russ Briley Wine-ing: Celebrities spend time on the vine

Many famous people own vineyards and wineries

Posted: May 4, 2012 3:00 p.m.
Updated: May 4, 2012 3:00 p.m.
Russ Briley Russ Briley
Russ Briley

This column originally ran in the Ventura County Star on Jan. 29, 2011

A few years ago I attended a wine festival in Sonoma called Passport to Dry Creek. You travel from winery to winery tasting wines and food while enjoying entertainment at every location. On my way to one of the wineries I passed Madden Family Vineyard. At our next stop I inquired about the vineyard and I was very surprised to learn that it was owned by John Madden's family - the same former Oakland Raiders head coach John Madden whom many of us have all seen and heard call countless NFL games.

I later found out that many of their grapes go to Fleming Jenkins Vineyards and Winery, owned by former Olympian Peggy Fleming and her husband, Greg Jenkins. Later that day, I visited Raymond Burr winery now owned by the late actor's family.

I thought this might be a coincidence, but later found out that many celebrities own vineyards and wineries. While celebrities such as David Beckham, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Sting own vineyards to produce wines for their personal use, many celebrities not only own wineries that produce wine commercially but also take their craft very seriously.

Below are some notable celebrity owners and their winery/vineyard name:

Mario Andretti, Andretti Winery, Napa Valley
Dan Aykroyd, Dan Aykroyd Wines, Ontario, Canada
Antonio Banderas, Anta Banderas, Ribera del Duero, Spain
Drew Bledsoe, Doubleback Winery, Walla Walla Valley, Wash.
Mike Ditka, Mike Ditka Wines, Mendocino County
Mick Fleetwood, Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar, Lake County
Madonna, Ciccone Vineyard and Winery, Leelanau Peninsula, Mich.
Dave Matthews, Blenheim Vineyards, Charlottesville, Va.
Dan Marino, Vintage 13 Marino Estates, California
Joe Montana, Montagia Wines, Napa Valley
Olivia Newton-John, Koala Blue Wines, South Australia
Arnold Palmer, Arnold Palmer Wines, Napa Valley
Nancy Pelosi, Zinfandel Lane Vineyard, St. Helena
Carmen Policy, Casa Piena, Yountville
Jason Priestley, Black Hills Estate Winery, Okanagan, British Columbia
Tom Seaver, GTS Vineyards, Napa Valley.
Tommy Smothers, Remick Ridge Vineyards, Sonoma County

© Ventura County Star

As well as writing a wine column for the Ventura County Star, Russ Briley, long time Santa Clarita Valley resident, recently completed the Wine Studies program at COC. Russ and his wife Nancy also own Nuggucciet Cellars, where they produce small lots of Pinot Noir wine. Visit Email Briley at



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