David Beckham bought a vineyard in California’ Napa valley as a birthday present for his wife. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have a £41million vineyard in Provence. I’ve yet to sample Brad and Angie's produce, currently on sale in Marks and Spencers at £18 a bottle. I have though tried Cliff Richard’s Portuguese wine, which isn’t bad at all, especially when bought by others.
But none of these celebrities can aspire to the dizzy heights of Sting. In the interview I read, he reaffirmed his macho Northerner credentials by reminding us he was brought up on beer. Then it all begins to become quite surreal.
Prince Charles got some stick for confessing that he talked to his plants. Sting goes one further: “I go down and play to the wine. I practise down there. And you know, if I play it true, the wine tastes better.”
But Sting takes no chances on his grapes getting the jitters at an over-enthusiastic rendition of ‘Message in a bottle’. His vineyards are ‘bio-dynamic.’ His bio-dynamic adviser believes the vineyards should be treated with cow dung and dried quartz, previously stored in buried cow horns. Additional fertilisers include flowers fermented in cow’s intestines.
Wine tasters are seriously going to have to up their game when it comes to swilling and spitting and verbalising what they’re ‘getting’ in their mouths.
Don’t let this weirdness fool you though. It brings in the money. Sting rents out cottages at £7000 a week. These privileged customers have access to forested lakes, a swimming pool, a chance to dine in Sting’s wine cellar and, if they’re lucky, the occasional serenade by the great man himself.
Most people pay others to harvest their olives. On Sting’s 9000 acre estate guests pay him £262 a day to pick olives for the therapeutic experience. I have two great damson trees. I would only charge you a tenner for picking and stoning them. Therapy of course. Feel free to pay more.