Top 10 celebrity drinks launches of 2017

1. And finally, Sir Ian Botham

While not yet released, England Cricket legend Sir Ian Botham revealed to the drinks business last month plans to launch an English sparkling next year as part of a new wine range carrying his name.

The new range will comprise three tiers, with the priciest branded ‘Sir Ian Botham’, costing between £15-£20, and featuring a collection of still wines from Australia and New Zealand, along with one fizz, which will come from an as yet unnamed English producer.

Beneath this will be two further levels, with a mid-tier called ‘The Botham Series’, comprising a Provençal rosé, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and an Argentine Malbec, which will retail for £8-10. Coming later will be an entry-level range called ‘Beefy’ – Botham’s sporting nickname.

UK importer Broadland Wineries, who named former Accolade boss Paul Schaafsma as its CEO earlier this year, has already agreed a partnership with the Sir Ian Botham brand.

The most expensive tier will include a Chardonnay from Margaret River, a Pinot Noir from Central Otago, and a Pinot Gris from New Zealand, along with a Shiraz from the Barossa and possibly a Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra.

Botham, well-known for his love of wine, is the first known celebrity to put their name to an English wine – a significant development for the fast-growing English fizz industry.

The focus on wines from New Zealand and Australia under the brand Sir Ian Botham is a consequence of the sportsman’s many years spent touring these countries during his glittering cricketing career, as well as his preference for wines from the New World.

“We’ve been mates for a while,” Schaafsma said speaking to the drinks business. “Sir Ian is astute on wine, and he’s been around the world of wine for the last 40 years, and this year he asked me to source a range of wines from the producers he loves, using the name Sir Ian Botham for a top tier, costing between £15-20.”

The brand will be jointly owned by Botham and Broadland, with Sir Ian acting as the global ambassador for the wines. All of the wines in the Sir Iran Botham range will be officially unveiled at the London Wine Fair in May 2018.

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