Kim Crawford Serves Up 17,000 Glasses at U.S. Open

With a range of stadium selections—and a potent frosé—the New Zealand wine is now the official pour of the tourney

Kim Crawford Serves Up 17,000 Glasses at U.S. Open
Rafa and Crawfa are among the last still standing at this year's U.S. Open. (Courtesy of Kim Crawford / Tim Clayton/Corbis/Getty Images)
Sep 5, 2019

Winemaker Anthony Walkenhorst, after a 19-plus-hour flight, arrived in New York from his home in Marlborough, New Zealand, at 7 a.m. Monday, determined to be at Arthur Ashe Stadium for an 11 a.m. tennis match. That might sound like an unlucky draw, but stars like women's No. 1 Naomi Osaka and men's No. 6 Alexander Zverev were on the schedule at the U.S. Open—as well as more than 17,000 glasses of the Kim Crawford wine Walkenhorst made, to be served at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens over the course of the tournament. (Post-tournament update: Kim Crawford actually ended up serving more than 100,000 glasses, more than five times their estimate.)

Before he worked his first harvest at 16, Walkenhorst had dreamed of becoming a tennis coach, he told Unfiltered, and he still plays a few times a week. When he heard news of the partnership, "I emailed the U.S. team and let them know, if they ever needed a winemaker on hand, I'd be happy to do it," he laughed.

The Kim Crawford tennis pairing is the third major wine-sports partnership announced by parent company Constellation this year, all of them new: There's also California Pinot and Chardonnay brand Meiomi and the PGA Tour, and the just-announced Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi team-up with NFL franchises. In each case, the company's marketing team researched which brands "over-indexed" with certain sports, and the tennis demo favored courtside and après-match quenches like KC's Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, plus a frosé with a little vodka and lemon spin on it.

In addition to the U.S. Open, Kim Crawford had booths and lounges at the Miami Open and Indian Wells Masters this year, plus an ad campaign during matches on ESPN. The Constellation team told Unfiltered that next year could bring a partnership with another tourney sponsor or even a player, but who remains a, well, open question. Both Osaka and Zverev, as it happened, were upset the day the Kiwi wine ace was in the crowd.


Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.

Unfiltered Sports Tennis New Zealand

You Might Also Like

Formula 1 Star Daniel Ricciardo Refuels with Australia’s St Hugo Winery

Formula 1 Star Daniel Ricciardo Refuels with Australia’s St Hugo Winery

The 2021 Italian Grand Prix champ’s DR3 x St Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are now …

Oct 25, 2022
Josh Groban Celebrates Joshgiving with Josh Cellars

Josh Groban Celebrates Joshgiving with Josh Cellars

The Grammy-nominated wine lover and the California winery set the stage for their Josh-them…

Oct 25, 2022
Brad Pitt and Famille Perrin Launch Le Domaine Skincare Line

Brad Pitt and Famille Perrin Launch Le Domaine Skincare Line

Can harnessing the antioxidant power of Château de Beaucastel’s grapes really slow aging? …

Oct 11, 2022
Sonoma Stars in New Comedy ‘Pretty Problems’

Sonoma Stars in New Comedy ‘Pretty Problems’

IFC Films’ new feature captures the highs and lows of Northern California wine tourism

Oct 7, 2022
Bordeaux’s Château Siran Revives Artist Label Tradition

Bordeaux’s Château Siran Revives Artist Label Tradition

French-Chilean artist Federica Matta renews the Margaux estate’s artist series for the 2020 …

Oct 5, 2022
Cuban Artist Wins 4th-Annual $25,000 Pommery Prize

Cuban Artist Wins 4th-Annual $25,000 Pommery Prize

At New York’s Armory Show, Champagne Pommery America president Mailys Vranken honored …

Sep 20, 2022