The Celebrity Wine Stigma – A Winery Profile

by Elizabeth Cooper in Wine & Beer

I recently reconnected with an old friend of “wine.”  About five years ago, I worked covering the southeastern region for an import company out of New York that specialized in Hungarian and Italian wines (talk about a hard day’s work….) and tucked in that portfolio were some French, German, Spanish selections as well. In fact, the whole portfolio was full of gems. One of those little “gems” was a winery called Chateau Miraval, where they produced three incredible wines from Var and Cote du Provence  in France – red, white and rosé. I have since come full circle from traveling winery representative to retailer, and so too has Chateau Miraval.

Credit www.miraval-provence.com

Credit: www.miraval-provence.com

The property is located in the village of Correns in the department of Var on a site that was first inhabited in pre-Roman times. Among the many distinctions of the Chateau is that all the grapes used in production are sourced from the organic commune of Correns – the first of its kind in France, which dates back to the 13th century when it was a monastery. Then in the 15th century, the Prince of Naples relocated to the Chateau Miravel after joining the French Court and was listed in the registry of Noble Houses. Since then, it has been bought and sold by such notables as Joseph Lambot, the famed inventor of  ferro-cement and the first concrete boat which debuted at the 1855 World Fair in Paris. The estate was purchased in the ‘70s by French jazz pianist Jacques Loussier. The recording studio installed by Loussier in the chateau gained international attention when Pink Floyd recorded the legendary album The Wall there in 1979. Following Pink Floyd, the list of prominent musicians who recorded their work at the studio at Miraval grew to include AC/DC, The Cure, Muse, Wham!, Sade, Steve Winwood, Yes, UB40, the Gipsy Kings, Queen, Sting, and Elton John.

Brad-Pitt-and-Angelina-Jolie-Blog

The Chateau was modernized in 1993 with the addition of amenities including a spa, Jacuzzi, two gyms, and an indoor pool by its new owner Tom Boye. Boye is also responsible for making Miraval a modern winery, but gave a nod to the Chateau’s storied past by naming his famed rosé “Pink Floyd.” He also produced white and red wines. It has been renovated by  its many owners and now includes 35 bedrooms, a lake, an indoor pool and a moat. It sits approximately 1150 feet in altitude on approximately 1,000 acres, with at least 75 of those acres devoted to producing wine.1 

By 2008 the property had new owners. Brad Pitt (yes….THAT Brad Pitt), Angelina Jolie and their growing family moved in. In 2012, Jolie-Pitt paired with Marc Perrin of Chateau Beaucastel to produce Miraval Rosé bottled by Jolie-Pitt et Perrin. The 6000 bottle run promptly sold out in five hours on the French market direct to consumers from the Chateau’s website. But do not despair….the second run, albeit limited, is here for the taking! 

Given 90 points from the Wine Spectator, “the wine was refined and elegant, with pure flavors of dried red berry and tangerine, and a focused finish with flint and spice notes.”  According to the NY Spectator offices “The Côtes de Provence rosé is a blend of red grapes Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah and white grape Rolle (aka Vermentino). It was made using a combination of direct pressing and the saignée method and vinified primarily in stainless vats. Roughly 5 percent was fermented in oak barrels to give the wine added richness. According to Perrin & Fils general manager Marc Perrin, Pitt and Jolie participated in the blending sessions for the wine and also helped in the design of the label and the bottle. “It is not a celebrity wine—it is a great terroir and we produce a family wine, so that’s why we are there,” Perrin told Wine Spectator. The Perrins will distribute the wine from the partnership, which is called “Jolie-Pitt & Perrin,” and will split the profits with the couple. A Provence white is planned for release this summer and a red next year.” 2

Both our Chapel Hill and Mt Pleasant stores have the wine available for a limited time! Retail price is $28.99, but it will be on sale while supplies last at $22.99, so stop in at either location or purchase on our website while you can!

1. Modern Troubadours 
2. Wine Spectator