Sarah Jessica Parker to make Provence rosé
Having announced the launch of her wine brand last month, American actress Sarah Jessica Parker will follow in Brangelina’s footsteps by making a Provence rosé.
Parker is collaborating with Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron of New Zealand winery Invivo on the project, which will launch with a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Provence rosé.
Speaking exclusively to db during a trip to London last week, Cameron said: “The rosé category is also on fire, so we wanted to do a rosé, which will likely from Provence as SJP loves Provence rosé and that’s what’s popular. We’re talking to a few producers in the region at the moment.”
The Sex and the City star’s wine brand has yet to be named, though unlike Invivo’s other celebrity collaborator – Graham Norton – SJP won’t be calling the brand after herself.
“We haven’t finalised the brand name yet but it won’t be her name and there won’t be any shoes or pink on the label – SJP was adamant about that.
“She doesn’t want the brand to look too feminine or targeted at women – they will be wines for everyone. Sarah is going to be very hands on with the label design,” Cameron revealed.
As to how the project came about, Lightbourne told db that the original idea came from Invivo, born of a desire to capitalise on the growth of wine in the US market.
“The US is the fastest growing wine market in the world and we see huge opportunities there, which is why we wanted to collaborate with an American star on a wine.
“We sat down and wrote a list of all the people in the US we’d love to make wine with and Sarah Jessica Parker came out on top.
“We approached her through a mutual contact and asked if she’d like to work with us on creating a wine brand. She loved the idea and we knew she was the right fit for us straight away.
“We sent her some of our wines and talked about the different possibilities for wines within her range. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is growing in the US, so it made sense to begin with that,” Lightbourne said.
“We met in New York in December to talk about the project in more detail in her shoe showroom. She’s keen on rich, full bodied, buttery whites, so we won’t be making a conventional Kiwi Sauvignon – there might be some malolactic fermentation and barrel ageing.
“At Invivo we’re very focused on texture, and that will play an important role in SJP’s wine. It will still be a young, fresh wine but a portion of oak will feature in the blend,” he added.
Like Graham Norton’s wine range, which includes a Prosecco and an Aussie Shiraz, the plan with SJP’s range is to include popular styles from all over the world, with a California Chardonnay likely to be the third wine in her collection.
The first wines will go on sale in September and they’ve already attracted a lot of interest from buyers in the UK wanting to take them on before they have even been made.
“SJP announced the news by posting a pair of gum boots in her shoe showroom on Instagram. It got over 85,000 likes, which shows the kind of reach she has. It’s hard for most wineries to achieve that level of engagement,” Cameron said.
“It’s very hard to build a wine brand from scratch, so we want to create brands will well known figures that fit into people’s lifestyles.
“It’s a different way of doing things, which people seem to like. We don’t have a long family history, so we needed to create our own story and we recognise that most consumers want wine to be fun and interactive.
“The industry has made wine scary to consumers so we want to demystify wine and bring the fun back. Winemakers are viewed as mystical creatures with magical capabilities but putting a blend together is not as hard as it’s made out to be.
“We’re really picky about who we work with – it has to be the right fit for us. This isn’t ACDC putting their name on Bourbon and Coke; it’s much more granular,” he added.
Lightbourne is planning on moving to the US in order to be closer to the project. Once the base wines have been made he will bring samples over from Marlborough to New York and he and Cameron will do the blending with SJP there.
“We’ve always been a collaborative brand. Shortly after we launched we worked with local musicians and fashion brands in New Zealand. To mark this evolution we recently changed our name from Invivo Wines to Invivo & Co, partly to honour our 600 different shareholders,” Lightbourne said.