The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Columns

November 9, 2013

Howard Hewitt: Dave Matthews joins celebrity winemakers

Dreaming Tree label features environmentally friendly packaging

Fall is wine shipping season. That means if you buy wine online or direct from a winery several states away, now is the time to get it shipped to your wine rack at home.

That also means it's wine "sample" time for wine media. Yes, wineries and marketing firms ship wine to wine writers hoping they write about their product.Several packages have arrived already this fall with a "wine for the holidays" theme. Over the next couple of months, let’s take a look at the stories and wines which seem worthy of your wine dollar.

There are plenty of celebrity wines on the market and, all too often, when you see the name of a musician, athlete or movie star, you should run. But there are exceptions. Baseball great Tom Seaver makes great cabernet; Mario Andretti's Napa wines are reasonably priced and worth your money. It would take the entire column to run all the celebrities who own wineries but the list includes: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Mike Ditka, Francis Ford Coppola, Dan Akroyd, A.J. Foyt, Madonna, Charles Woodson, Greg Norman, Nancy Pelosi, Tommy Smothers, Dick Vermeil, and Sting. And that's just a few from a very long list.

Singer, songwriter, and musician Dave Matthews is also in on the rich-and-famous wine boom. Matthews is best known as lead vocalist for the Dave Matthews Band. And for those who may not know, in the last decade he sold more tickets and earned more money than any other act in North America.

Matthews owns Blenheim Vineyards in Charlottesville, Va. The 46-year-old musician got involved in 2000 helping design the winery building. More recently, he wanted a California presence to make wine from sustainably farmed grapes and sell it with environmentally friendly packaging.

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