Pitt & Perrin – Wine Spectator

Provence & Côte d’Azur: Actor reveals love for his new wine venture in the Var

Brad Pitt approaches winemaking like a Hollywood film

Move over Côte de Provence rosés, Brad Pitt is planning to make a revolutionary Provence red at his Miravel vineyard in the Var … just give him seven years. The Hollywood actor recently revealed that winemaking has reshaped his very identity, and he now considers himself a Provencal farmer – capable of producing that elusive, fine local red just like the Tuscans.

The cover of the June edition of Wine Spectator

Speaking to the US magazineWine Spectator, Brad Pitt, who bought the Miraval Estate winery with fiancée Angelina Jolie in 2012, explained that he approached this venture with the same determination as a Hollywood flick.

“For better or worse, given my compulsive nature, if we are going to be in the wine business, let’s make the best wine we can,’ the 50-year-old said. “I asked the question, ‘Why can’t we make world-class wine in Provence?’ Let’s approach it like a film, and let’s make something we can be proud of and all people can enjoy.”

Of course, Provence rosés are already world-class. But with fifth-generation winemaker Marc Perrin on their team, the Pitt-Jolie dynamic duo were definitely off to a good start. Their first 6,000 bottles, officially known as Jolie-Pitt & Perrin Côte de Provence Rosé Miraval, sold out within five hours of being offered online in France last March – a response which no-doubt fuelled Pitt’s new-found passion.

“I’m a farmer now. I love learning about the land and which field is most suitable for which grape, the drama of September and October: Are we picking today?

“Where are the sugar levels? How is the acidity? Is it going to rain? It’s been a schooling for me. In the off months, I enjoy cleaning the forest and walking the land.”

The sprawling Château Miraval estate, featuring 35-bedrooms and an adjoining 1,200 acre vineyard, was purchased for $60 million. It is situated in a valley at an altitude of 350 metres, where the vines “enjoy warm sunny days and cool nights, natural clay and chalk soils, plenty of water and organic farming practices,” according to the estate.

Clearly, these are great conditions for rosé, but do they suit red wine? Pitt seems to think so. He plans to ignore the strict guidelines of the AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) and go out on a limb…

“What really interests me now are the reds. … It’s generally believed that Provence is not capable of producing a fine red. … I, with Marc and Pierre [Perrin], would like to create a wine which utilises the best attributes of our terroir, and outside the restrictions of the AOC, like what the Italians have achieved with their super Tuscans. We envision a superb Provence red. Give us seven years.”

Credit: Cassandra Tanti for The Riviera Times


Egalières in Provence

I recently took a long weekend to spend time with an American girlfriend and her husband, who had rented a six-bedroom house in Egalières, for themselves and 8 others (family & friends) – located about 45 minutes from Avignon in Provence. So, there we were – 11 of us – old friends, family members, and new acquaintances alike:  sitting by the pool, taking day trips together to local markets, and trying out new restaurants as a fun-loving (and yes, loud) partying group!

We ladies took an in-house cooking class, learning how to filet a fish and knife cutting skills to cut julien style veggies for a great lunch – harder than it looks!  That evening, the chef cooked and served a luscious dinner to all of us staying in the house – wine flowed, songs were sung, and rugs were rolled up for after-dinner dancing of fox-trot and cha-cha.

Another evening, we went to a local restaurant called “Gilles,” where Jolie-Pitt’s “Pink Floyd” wine from Château Miraval was on the menu – I only had a sip of this “famous” rosé, which was going for 18€ a bottle (see slideshow photos) – a sweet wine at a sweet price!

All in all, it was a great time in a great area of Provence!

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“From Red Carpet to Rosé”

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have entered into joint ownership of the Miraval vineyard in the Var, famous for its production of the succulent ‘Pink Floyd‘ rosé. The names of the A-list film stars will appear on the label of the 15 euro wine, which will be filling glasses from March this year.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have purchased their second vineyard in the south of France

The celebrity couple have strengthened their position in the Varois winemaking community as they now share 50:50 ownership of the Correns-based vineyard with the Perrin family. The 40-hectare Miraval vineyard produces an average of 150,000 red, white and rosé wines each year.

“Obviously, given their fame, there is a great buzz surrounding this cuvée, but what we want above all is to reveal the exceptional quality of our vineyard. The local market – wine merchants and restaurants – continue to be our priority,” insisted Marc Perrin, joint owner of the Miraval brand, to local newspaper Var Matin. The Perrin family owns the château de Beaucastel of Châteauneuf du Pape in Vaucluse, as well as 200 hectares of vineyards on the Rhône sud valley.

On sale from March 2013, the repackaged ‘Pink Floyd’ will retain its nickname in France, but will be officially labelled as ‘Miraval Provence’. Of course, the subtle addition of ‘Mis en bouteille par Jolie-Pitt & Perrin’ will mark the coownership, which was conceived last summer.

Following the rosé’s springtime début, the white wines will be gracing tables from September while the red will be available from 2014.

Though the common feeling is that the movie stars have brought fame to the local vineyards, the general director of Correns Marc Simon holds a different view. “You’re kidding, it is them who have benefited from our reputation!” joked Simon to Var Matin.

Credit: Isabelle Younane, as reported in The Riviera Times