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The trend of celebrities owning wineries and vineyards is not a recent phenomenon, though it has certainly garnered more attention in today’s Information Age.
In ancient Greek and Roman times, the leading philosophers, playwrights, politicians and generals of the day often owned vineyards for personal use.
Usually celebrities have a large amount of wealth accumulated, which makes the significant investment of opening a winery or vineyard negligible.
There are many reasons that celebrities gravitate to the world of wine. Starting a winery or vineyard, as with nearly any business, can offer some tax benefits.
Some celebrities, such as the Italian-American director Francis Ford Coppola, come from a family with a long history of winemaking.
Some, such as the British singer Cliff Richard, have been lifelong wine enthusiasts and enter the wine industry in order to do something that they enjoy.
Others like the challenge of a new enterprise. Some celebrities enter the wine industry simply because they can.
While some celebrities, such as the American actors Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, British association football star David Beckham and his wife Victoria Beckham, own vineyards and wine estates solely for personal use, some celebrities leverage their name recognition as a selling tool in the wine industry.
Today celebrity-owned wineries can be lucrative business endeavors. In 2007, Nielsen research of supermarket wine purchases showed that sales of celebrity wines were up 19% over previous years.