Two years after debuting her first wine brand, pro wrestler and reality TV star Leah Van Dale is back in the wine ring with a new look. The WWE champ and E! Total Divas star (known in the ring as Carmella) has relaunched Capa Cagna Wine with a California rosé, joining amateur and pro wrestling legends on the grape mat.
Van Dale grew up in Spencer, Mass., where wine was always a part of Sunday night dinners thanks to her Sicilian immigrant grandfather. She also grew up in the world of professional wrestling, learning the craft from her father, a mixed-martial artist who also worked for WWE (then known as the WWF). She decided to follow in Dad’s footsteps after a professional cheerleading career with the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Lakers, and she also inherited her family’s affection for wine.
"Once I was able to drink wine, I fell in love with it," Van Dale told Wine Spectator. "I fell in love with the experience and the community it brings together, and I wanted to do something with it."
Van Dale launched her wine company under the name Capo Cagna in 2019, but recently changed “Capo” to “Capa” to represent her appreciation for women's entrepreneurial spirit. Cagna means “female dog” in Italian, and Van Dale translates her label’s name as “Boss Bitch.”
"It's the whole vibe of the wine: embracing who you are and your inner confidence," Van Dale said. "Find your inner Capa Cagna and be the confident and strong, powerful woman every woman deserves to be."
Van Dale partnered with California's Michael Sullberg Family Wine for the project, with winemakers Leah Sullberg, Philip Zorn and Angelo Pera attending to the current lineup, which includes a 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and a 2020 Zinfandel rosé. All three wines are priced at $66 per three-pack. "I'm not a wine snob or connoisseur," she said. "I like to drink high-quality wine that's affordable, and that's how I came up with Capa Cagna."
So what's next for the self-proclaimed "Most Beautiful Woman in All of WWE”? Whether it's Pinot Grigio, sparkling or canned wine, Van Dale says growing the Capa Cagna community is her biggest goal.
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