• First, Celebrity Cellars tapped Madonna's star power to sell some wine. Now her father, Tony Ciccone of Ciccone Vineyard & Winery in Suttons Bay, Mich., is doing the same thing. Ciccone has produced 11,241 bottles of the Michigan wine bearing the Material Girl's signature and an image created with artwork from Confessions on a Dance Floor--the same album plugged by Celebrity Cellars. Jaclyn Eikey, Ciccone tasting room manager, said that Ciccone has been thinking about doing a project with his daughter for "a couple of years" and that they weren't influenced by Celebrity Cellars' concept. Rather, she says, the "great" 2005 vintage, which coincided with the launch of Madonna's new album, inspired Ciccone's decision to create the five branded wines: Pinot Grigio Ambrato, Cabernet Franc, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Each bottle retails for $40.
|So, is Hatcher using Madonna's wine in her bathtub?|
• Each year, birds are enemy No. 1 for vineyard owners since starlings and other hungry feathered fiends swoop down and devour ripening grapes. Growers have tried every form of protection possible, from Mylar balloon scarecrows to noisemakers to nets. But there may be a better solution that, ironically, uses grapes to chase away the pests. It turns out that birds are not fond of Concord grapes because the skins contain a high percentage of methyl anthranilate, a chemical they find distasteful. So now some pest-control experts have taken to vaporizing Concord grape juice and creating a heavy fog over bird hangouts. Joe Narens, owner of Narens Tree Care in Texarkana, Ark., tried it out this week on thousands of blackbirds that wouldn't leave a local pastor's yard. "It was unreal--they took off immediately," said Narens. "It only affects the birds, everyone else just smells grapes." A bird control expert at Bird-B-Gone in Mission Viejo, Calif., said he's heard of the process but he doesn't get much demand for it. But Unfiltered would love to see some experimentation. If nothing else, someone has finally found a use for Concord grapes.
|No one can say Gehry wasn't using his imagination when he designed this winery....|
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions