×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kurt Russell Discovers That Winemaking Grows on Him

He may be one of Hollywood’s most macho stars, but Kurt Russell also blends a masterful pinot noir. Over 50-plus years in showbiz, the actor, currently starring in “Furious 7,” has gone from Disney teen heartthrob to action star to seasoned tough guy.

Russell has long decompressed from filming movies like “Backdraft” by nurturing an interest in wine, a passion that deepened as he and longtime partner Goldie Hawn biked around grapevine-intensive regions like France, Italy and the Napa Valley. “I started to notice especially the Burgundy area and the grand crus. I feel in love with pinot,” Russell says. “I was sort of fascinated with the dialogue I would have with the people in the vineyard.”

But it wasn’t until Russell shot Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” in the Santa Rita Hills north of Santa Barbara that he started tasting with an eye toward someday making his own wine. After meeting Peter and Rebecca Work of Ampelos Cellars, he was inspired by their organic and sustainable biodynamic farming methods.

Following production of his first bottle of pinot, he ran into Wolfgang Puck, who demanded a taste. “You’re serious about this! You should continue,” advised the celebrity chef. With that endorsement, he borrowed his childhood nickname to launch Gogi wines at Ampelos in 2007, soon adding Goldie chardonnay to his beloved pinot.  “I wanted to make a very Burgundian-style pinot,” Russell says, explaining his wines have a more Old World character than most California pinots.

Many celebrities go only as far as picking a design for their personal wine labels. But Russell does it all, walking the field and blending alongside Peter Work in the winery. “I’m his apprentice,” Russell says.

Part of the fun, of course, is sharing his bottles with collaborators like Tarantino, who served Gogi wines at a “Hateful Eight” cast dinner recently in Telluride and likes having fine wines in his screening room. Russell returns to a favorite metaphor to describe the connection between acting and winemaking. “It reminds me of moviemaking,” he says. “The varietal is the genre of movie, the care in the winery is much like the casting, the editing is the blending.”

Russell’s pinot noir and chardonnay can be sampled at the Wine Saloon in the 1880 Union Hotel in Los Alamos, and they’re served at several Los Angeles-area restaurants including Spago, Soho House and Petros.

Gogi wines will be featured at the Grand Wine Dinner with Kurt Russell at the Bacara Resort on April 18. The dinner is part of the Santa Barbara Food and Wine Weekend, which benefits the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.

More Scene

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Producer Mel Jones poses at the

    'Dear White People' Producer Talks Hollywood's 'Black Tax'

    “Dear White People” and “Leimert Park” executive producer Mel Jones is extremely familiar with growing up and watching “white men in all types of roles and never [seeing] ourselves as a part of those narratives.” Now, there may be some more opportunities for writers of color to tell their own stories, but, she notes, there [...]

  • Rebel Wilson Isn't It Romantic

    Rebel Wilson on Twitter Gaffe: 'It Was Purely to Lift My Fellow Plus-Size Women Up'

    “I obviously misspoke in that situation,” Rebel Wilson told Variety at the premiere of her latest film “Isn’t It Romantic” Monday, acknowledging the gaffe in which she claimed to be the first-ever plus-sized woman to star in a romantic comedy during an October appearance on “Ellen.” Following the comment, Wilson was met with criticism from Twitter [...]

  • NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11:

    How Lena Waithe Convinced Halle Berry to Team Up for 'Boomerang' TV Series

    Halle Berry wasn’t immediately sold on the idea of a “Boomerang” reboot. The 1992 romantic comedy, which starred Berry, Eddie Murphy, and Robin Givens, told the tale of cocky ad executive and insatiable ladies’ man Marcus (Murphy) who meets his match in his new boss Jacqueline (Givens) — an exec who treats him the same [...]

  • Rebel Wilson and Miley Cyrus'Isn't it

    Why Liam Hemsworth Wasn't at His 'Isn't It Romantic' Premiere, but Wife Miley Cyrus Was

    Liam Hemsworth had every intention of bringing his wife, Miley Cyrus, to Monday’s premiere of his new romantic comedy “Isn’t It Romantic.” However, the Aussie actor was forced to skip the evening because of some “health things.” That didn’t stop Cyrus from attended the red carpet shindig at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in downtown [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content