America LOVES stars and seems to worship “star power.” In recent years America has shown itself to be stupidly infatuated with stars. So … Does Star Power help a winery?
This infatuation runs so deeply that it seems to ignore HOW someone has become famous in the first place. Not that long ago, a person had to show an exceptional talent of some sort to achieve stardom. We had acting stars from Hollywood, sports stars from all over the globe and everyday heroes who performed courageous acts saving other people spotlighted on the news. Today, we have “reality shows” that attempt to show real people dealing with real life situations. In my mind, the “reality shows” can be a bit contrived; however, a vast majority of Americans seem to embrace these folks as stars, also.
What happens when a movie star “uses” their star power for something else? Many of us have seen the stars use their celebrity to help others. Bob Hope and the USO entertaining our troops overseas or Danny Thomas and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital are terrific examples of using celebrity for good. Other stars use their celebrity for business, Kenny Rogers built a chicken restaurant chain, Emeril Lagasse created a cookware line and many more.
How does celebrity star power benefit a winery?
Recently as I was researching something on the Wine Enthusiast site, I came across this list from 2012 Celebrity Wines with Star Power. Drew Barrymore, Dan Aykroyd, Greg Norman, Dave Matthews and more are listed as having wineries. Interesting, isn’t it? A diverse group of stars drawn to creating wine. Whether it is for an investment or diversion they come to the wineries, they are drawn to them and the results vary greatly. For some, the announcement they have a winery is the last you ever hear of it.
Essentially, the difference between winery benefitting from the star power totally depends on the star.
After all, stars are just people. Wineries are run by people. Ordinary people who care about wine, the vines, the process and the best processes make it in the wine world. These are folks who are dedicated to constantly educating themselves and refining their skills set. When a star has worked to study their craft that created their stardom, they have learned this continuous process improvement of efforts. When a star or anyone applies this level of skill, observation and effort to any goal, they will be successful.
At the bottom of the Celebrity Wines with Star Power listing, they list Mario Andretti and his Andretti Winery in Napa, Ca. Mario Andretti’s name is synonymous with car racing and long lasting legacy of superior skill. He repeatedly won races across genres in car racing – Formula 1, IndyCar, NASCAR and even sprint and midget cars. His continuous refinement of skill and selection of goals have made him an expert life long learner.
When the opportunity arose to create a winery in Napa, Mario worked with this lifelong friend, Joe Antonini, to build a world class winery and wine. Joe Antonini is a star in his own right. As Mario rose in racecar fame, Joe worked his way up to become the CEO of Kmart. One could easily write off their winery as two old friends writing off business expenses and drinking wine. You would be wrong. These two old friends have worked together to create a well run and respected American winery success story. After all, that is what true stars do. They can not help but utilize their skills to create beautiful things.
Star power can open doors for you. Of that, there is no doubt. Monty Paulsen has benefitted from doors being opened a bit. It is one thing for a door to open and quite another to maximize the opportunity. Monty is the son of Pat Paulsen of Smothers Brothers fame. Pat opened a winery. That winery had a challenging history and closed. Monty and his wife Jane relocated the Pat Paulsen winery and restarted making wine. Monty creates both traditional and fun wines that add a tasty twist to the way we typically enjoy wine. Continuing the tradition of constant dedication, studying and improvement to develop skills, Monty Paulsen has become a craftsmen of wine and a creative star adding a playful spirit to traditional wines.
Who You Are Matters – Not Who Knows Your Name!
Star power matters in the wine world when you have earned stardom through continuous learning and refinement of actions. If a “star” applies this focus and life long learning style to the craft of wine making, doors that open due to their stardom will lead to large groups of people who once again celebrate another of their life’s victories. This time … they will celebrate by toasting with a glass of their own fine wine!
CKJY Exports, Inc. proudly represents both Mario Andretti’s winery and Pat Paulsen’s winery. If you read this post, you understand why we are so proud to do so. Stars who are craftsmen light the path for us all. These two stars shine in goblets of wine. Salud!
Born a Southern girl, I was transplanted a few times as a Navy wife! Now, our “retired” USN family, calls CA home. As UNC business school grad, I gained lots of useful insights by finding different opportunities and challenges along our military life’s path. Love of traveling, making friends, experiencing other cultures and sharing the best of all that with everyone are now all part of me.