UPDATE (May 22, 2014): Gerald Casale of DEVO has launched a wine brand: THE 50 BY 50. PRESS RELEASE:

Since Pinot Noir grapes don’t thrive in Napa’s Wooden Valley, THE 50 BY 50 went to the best location nearby to purchase the fruit where they do thrive–the Sonoma Coast. GERALD explains, “Our ambitious five-year plan for releasing our first vintage of complex, Bordeaux-style Estate wine is on course. Meanwhile, to launch our 50 by 50 brand, we are offering the 2012 Pinot Noir and 2013 Rose of Pinot Noir as our debut releases. The fruit for both wines was grown and harvested at Rodger’s Creek, in the Sonoma Coast AVA (American Viticultural Area)

When I first came to wine country in 1992,  I was a freak. Just coming out of rock and roll radio, that was the only PR I knew; and yet, I wanted to segue into wine PR. In my early wine PR career, I actually had the audacity to call a Napa Valley wine writer icon. I got a recording, so I left a message. I promptly had an assistant return my call, to tell me that I must never call this person again… Imagine being that important, but me not yet having read Harvey Mackay’s Swim with the Sharks without getting eaten alive. Oops… Lesson #1 learned the hard way. I knew nothing about wine PR and the media associated with it, admittedly; but, I did know how to treat people. I then focused my wine career with a gentler, more kind writer group, and the rest is history.

Today, I’m very familiar with both kinds of PR. I also knew back then what is finally coming around today, as evidenced by Wine Enthusiast’s just released magazine, with a focus on… you guessed it…  The Music Issue. Tag line Welcome to our celebration of one of life’s best pairings. Yeah! I’m so pleased to see that my years of promoting this genre has finally come to  national attention fruition.

Things I’ve promoted, including this image I created with a guitar inside of a bottle, have been a blast. I did a copyright on this image, because I’ve seen many of my epiphanies get taken as their own by others. This one, I wanted to preserve; because, some things just have to belong to the owner of the concept, (copy)right?


So now, having someone else do some research for me, I can update my list of rock n’rollers, who have taken the mellow path to winemaking. I didn’t know about Fergie, who began her career in 2006. How did I miss that one? And, a woman joining the group…. They’re few and far between the line here. From the Wine Enthusiast article: Whether I am writing music or crafting wine, it is very personal and I pour myself into the creation of something that truly represents me. 

I love her sultry voice, by the way. I can only imagine how silky smooth her wines must be. From her Website:  Since starting Ferguson Crest in 2006, I’ve gotten the chance to grow something beautiful with my father again, and this time around share our family treasure so that each of you can taste the love and care that’s gone into every bottle.  The wines are Syrah, Cabernet, Viognier, and Fergalicious.

Fergie’s site: “This 2011 vintage marks the winery’s first release of a red wine blend. Cabernet sauvignon, syrah, grenache and merlot all come together to produce a very complex wine with a traditional cabernet sauvignon texture. Syrah grapes contribute notes of spice and pepper. Grenache fruit add body and the merlot enriches the wine with color and roundness.”

A good sense of deliciousness, I’d say. I’ll have to find some of it…

Public Service Timeline:

  • Kermit Lynch (1972) ~ Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
  • Robert Foley (1977) ~ Robert Foley Vineyards
  • Olivia Newton-John (1983) ~ Koala Blue Winery
  • Doobie Brothers manager Bruce Cohn (1984) ~ B.R. Cohn Winery
  • Boz Scaggs (1997) ~ Scaggs Vineyard
  • Mick Hucknall of Simply Red (2001) Mick (of the British pop group) has a winery in Sicily, where he produces a Nero d’Avola called Il Cantante (“the singer”)
  • Mick Fleetwood (2002) ~ Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar
  • Bob Dylan (2002) ~ Planet Waveswine
  • Andy Hill (2002) ~ English sparkling wine Nyetimber, owned by songwriter Hill, who wrote all the hits for Bucks Fizz
  • Sir Cliff Richard (2004): Quinta do Moinho, a vineyard in Portugal, Vida Nova and Wells Wines. Richard has owned his land for over 40 years.
  • Jerry Garcia (2005) ~ J. Garcia wines by Clos du Bois
  • Mötley Crüe (2005) ~ Vince Vineyards (Can’t find any updates of Website. Was it a one hit wonder?)
  • Madonna (2005) ~ A joint owner of the Ciccone Vineyard and Winery in Michigan
  • Dave Pack of Ambrosia (2005) ~ “Vintage 2005 Napa Valley Friend’s Blend.” (Not for sale; for family and friends, per Mike Nordskog, Wine & Jazz magazine)
  • Maynard James Keenan of Tool and A Perfect Circle (2006) ~ He has Caduceus Cellars, Merkin Vineyards and Arizona Stronghold Vineyards and the associated winery, Caduceus Cellars. According to a fan, he’s full on into wine, adjusting his band’s touring schedule around harvesting and anything else he needs to do at his winery.
  • Fergie of Black Eyed Peas (2006 ) ~ Ferguson Crest Wines
  • Dan Aykroyd of Blues Brothers fame (2007) ~In 2007, it was announced that the Dan Aykroyd Winery would be built someday, on the property that Birchwood Estates Wines.
  • Sting (Approx. 2007) ~ Vineyard in Tuscany. He makes a Chianti called Il Serrestori, and began making wines just for friends and family. By 2009, he was selling his 2007 vintage.
  • Les Claypool of Primus (2007) ~ His business card simply reads, “Les.”  He sings his heart out, and is now also making great wine under the Claypool Cellars label. His Website claims: Fancy Booze for semi-fancy folks. Les immediately told me, “Life’s too short, you gotta have fun!” This is what I love about rockers… and miss… They live so large and love so hard. Wine happens because it’s there. It’s not the be all to end all, and it’s not for pretension; it’s just to enjoy life a bit more.
  • Eric Turner of Warrant (2007) ~ Cherry Pie Red, Napa Valley
  • Jackson Brown (2008) ~ In 2008, Jackson Brown publicly contemplated turning his Hollister Ranch home in Santa Barbara, California into a vineyard.
  • Queensrÿche front man Geoff Tate ( 2008) ~ Queensrÿche has teamed up with Three Rivers Winery to create a new red wine signature blend called Geoff Tate “Insania.”
  • Motörhead (2010) ~ Motörheadwine
  • Whitesnake (2010) ~ Whitesnake Zinfandel
  • Train (2011) ~ Drops of Jupiter
  • Paul Cullen (2011) ~ Bad Company ~ Sonata
  • AC/DC (2011) ~ AC/DC Wines (Available through Dan Murphy, Woolworth’s, and BWS liquor stores throughout Australia
  • Digital Summer (2013) ~ Paul Hoffman and Victim Entertainment (V.E.) have announced a promotional partnership between national recording artist Digital Summer, and the emerging wine brand Headbanger.
  • Who’s next?