Although at first sight it might seem that wine and sports do not have a lot in common, there are well-known sports persons who have taken seriously their passion for wine and have built up business on it.
Michael Laudrup, distribution entrepreneur
Michael Laudrup is an ex-football player and coach of the Welsh club of Swansea. He became famous in the 1990s when he played for the FC Barcelona, where he started to try and enjoy Spanish gastronomy and wine. Following his own website, Laudrup got to know another Danish family, the Buhls. Out of nostalgy for all these discovered delights, he founded a small business to import wine, almost exclusively for himself and some family and friends.
Like this, Laudrup Win & Gastronomi came to live in 1993. This business grew step by step and became later the most important importing company for wine and gourmet products from Spain to the Scandinavian country. Among its biggest sales there are some of the most famous Spanish wines: Muga, Allende, Artadi, Viña Pedrosa, Toro Albalá, Can Rafols del Caus and many more.
David Ginola, from ball artist to wine lover
Frenchman David Ginola became famous when he played for Paris Saint Germain. During this time he started to collect bottles. His passion made him meet Philippe Faure-Brac, former world champion sommelier and owner of Le Bistrot du Sommelier in Paris. He made him go into this interesting passion and thus he started to try and buy some of the best wines in the world. He soaked more and more knowledge about wine and different wine regions and today is a real expert.
Andrés Iniesta, the crazy heart (corazón loco) of wine
Andrés Iniesta, the famous player at Barça, opened his own winery in his native town Fuentealbilla, owning already some vineyards in the family. The winery is attached to the D.O. Manchuela and following the medals it has won in various competitions we can conclude that it is succeeding. His white wine elaborated from Verdejo stands out especially.
Andrea Pirlo, a passion since childhood
Pirlo started playing for Brescia in the mid-1990s and has remained faithful to his football roots with the purchase of a vineyard located in the hills of the city. Pirlo grew up in a wine-loving family and went to the vineyards already as a child. This vineyard Pratum Coller (which means ‘meadow hill’ in Latin) produces between 15.000 and 20.000 bottles of wine a year. Currently, they produce two kinds of red wine, one rosé and one white wine. They are planning to expand their range and volume of production.
The wine that crosses borders and sports
American football also has its representatives in the world of wine. The ex quarterback Dan Marino and Joe Montana are the two most famous ones who own their own wineries (Marino States and Montagia Wines respectively). Ice hockey also counts with some wine representatives: former Canadian star Wayne Gretzky has his own winery in the Niagara area, well known for producing outstanding ice wines.
Corazón Loco 2014: a red wine from the Manchuela DO made with graciano and syrah of 2014.
Corazón Loco Blanco 2015: a white wine of the VT Castilla DO based on verdejo and sauvignon blanc of 2015.
*Picture: Pratur Coller Wines