Franco-American former basketball star and four-time NBA champion, Tony Parker, is the latest celebrity to invest in French vineyards in the Var département of southeastern France.
He has become a partner in the domaine de vin du Château La Mascaronne – which has some 60 hectares of vineyards. Parker has also launched himself into a venture with Champagne Jeeper – a champagne producing operation near Reims.
In a statement, the four-time NBA winner said he was committed to “taking these exceptional wines and Champagnes to the next level”.
Parker is far from the only celebrity to invest in French viticulture. Here is a selection of the others:
- George Lucas
George Lucas, the writer and director of the original Star Wars films, owns the Château Margüi vineyards in the Var, producing red, white and rosé wines over some 15 hectares.
He bought the site in 2017 for some €9.5 million. He has since spent a further €15 million in modernising the cellars and building a hotel at the site.
Château Margüi belongs to a wider network known as Skywalker Vineyards.
The first bottle of my new small collection, a red wine from 2019 "Château Margüi", estate that belongs to Georges Lucas, creator of Star Wars.
That's why there's "Skywalker" on the bottle. 👀 pic.twitter.com/9TaNs8cVkA
— Akije – NFT (@Akije_NFT) March 24, 2022
- Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie bought the Château Miraval in the Var in 2008 – as well as the 500 hectares of land, including 50 hectares of vineyards, surrounding it. The cost was estimated at about €25 million.
The site is primarily known for its rosé production.
The estate made some €46 million in profits in 2021. Since the joint purchase, the pair have divorced and Le Parisien reports that Jolie sold her 40 percent stake to a Luxembourgish spirits manufacturer majority-owned by a Russian oligarch.
- George Clooney
George Clooney became the official owner of the 425-acre Domaine du Canadel wine estate, in the Var, in July 2021.
The property is a twenty minute from George Lucas’ estate and half an hour to the one owned by Brad Pitt.
One of the Canadel wines, a red known as Altum, was awarded a prestigious gold medal award at the salon de l’agriculture 2022.
- Kylie Minogue
Australian singer Kylie Minogue sells French-produced wines, simply branded ‘Kylie Minogue’ – the best known of which is a Côtes-de-Provence. She is thought to have sold more than 2.3 million bottles since May 2020.
Minogue was awarded one of the highest cultural honours in France, the Chevalier Dans L’ordre Des Arts et Des Lettres, in 2008.
More recently, in 2021, she signed a partnership with the château Sainte-Roseline aux Arcs-sur-Argens, in the Var, to produce and sell even more rosé.
- Leonardo DiCaprio
Oscar-winning actor-turned-environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio bought a minority stake in the Champagne house, Telmont, in Damery, northeastern France.
DiCaprio said he was attracted by the ecological credentials of the operation.
“From protecting biodiversity on its land, to using 100 percent renewable electricity, Champagne Telmont is determined to radically lower its environmental footprint, making me proud to join as an investor,” he wrote in a statement.
Made from grapes sourced exclusively from Telmont’s ancestral vines in Damery and without added sulfites, “Sans Soufre” is the delicate expression of nature’s balance. pic.twitter.com/yOSB1sN8AB
— Champagne Telmont (@maisontelmont) March 3, 2022
- John Malkovich
Hollywood star John Malkovich bought a ten hectare property near Luberon, southeast France, in the 1980s.
In 2008 he and his wife, Nicoletta Peyran, converted half of the land into vineyards.
By 2020, they were producing between 16,000-18,000 bottles per year, 95 percent of which were destined for the export market.
Wine critics rate the Pinot noir produced on the estate very highly.
Jay-Z is one of the most influential rappers in history and has also built a staggering career as a businessman, with the 2014 purchase of the French champagne brand Armand de Brignac among his many investments.
The star reportedly forked out close to €200 million to by the business and has been a longtime fan of the product.
“You never get old and the champagne’s always cold,” he said in the 2009 track, Young Forever.
- Cameron Diaz
American actor-turned entrepreneur, Cameron Diaz, sells a brand of organic wine called Avaline.
She sources red, white and rosé wines from different parts of France.
The rosé comes from Mas de Cadenet estate, which is owned by one of the oldest winemaking families in Provence.
- Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi, best known as the eponymous frontman for the American rock band, Bon Jovi, produces a wine called Hampton Water.
The rosé bottles sell for €16 and are produced in Languedoc.
“Hampton Water captures the art of living and conviviality common to the Hamptons and the South of France,” claims its distributor.