Have you heard the one about how to make a small fortune in the wine business? Start with a large fortune. Corny jokes aside, some of the world’s richest business moguls, athletes and entertainers have indulged their passion for wine not with splurging on a nice bottle at dinner, but with an entire winery.

Car racing legend Mario Andretti, former pro golfer Greg Norman, Red Wings great Igor Larionov, even Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil are among an ever-growing list of celebrities who’ve added “winemaker” to their impressive resumes.

Michigan even has a celebrity in our midst in the form of Ciccone Vineyards in Leelanau County. Ciccone is well known for its outstanding Pinot Noirs and Gewurztraminers, bucolic grounds, and for the fact that proprietor Silvio Ciccone is the father of Michigan’s most famous export, Madonna.

Perhaps one of the most well known and successful of this ilk is Academy Award-winning filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola whose Napa Valley vineyard makes some of the world’s best wines at one of the country’s most beautiful wine estates. Coppola has even partnered with George Lucas of Star Wars fame to produce a line of “Lucas Skywalker Ranch” wines.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to visit Coppola’s winery to purchase this one, but if you’d like to taste other wines produced by celebrity winemakers like these, join us at the DWO’s Wine Down Wednesday, “A Star is Poured” on February 22 at Pulse Lounge.

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