Paul Newman Joins List of Celebrity Wine Business People

Newman’s OwnHot on Martha’s heels, Mr.Newman, under his namesake brand, plans to offer an organic Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon early next year. The 2006 vintage will be produced by Rebel Wine Co., the folks behind Three Thieves and True Earth Wines, and is estimated to go on sale for about $16. I’m guessing the vineyard sources will be the same as the True earth brand, which is organically produced. If anything’s hot right now, it’s anything organic, and the Newman’s Own brand is already associated with high quality, natural foods. The million dollar question is, will this one be any good?

Oh, and who is Rebel Wine you ask?

Rebel Wine is a two-year-old joint venture between Three Thieves and St. Helena’s Trinchero Family Estates, one of the largest wine producers in the Bay Area, with between 9 million and 10 million cases of wine produced annually. The two companies formed the joint venture in March 2005, hoping to link Trinchero’s production and distribution capabilities with the “creative flair and winemaking talent” of Three Thieves. As part of the venture with Trinchero, all three of the “thieves” who started Three Thieves in 2002 — Joel Gott, Charles Bieler and Roger Scommegna — became principals in Rebel Wine.

Will we see a Cool Hand Luke dessert wine down the road? The hustler red blend? Time will tell.

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