Unfiltered: Brad and Angelina Put Down Roots at a Winery

Plus, wine from the Guy who produced Office Space, Amy Winehouse immortalized in bronze and Champagne, a wine-and-cheese bust in the Hamptons, and Giant golfs for charity
May 28, 2008

• When the family home is too small to accommodate a growing number of children, most expectant couples talk to their local real-estate agent. But most expectant couples are not actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who are expecting twins any day now. After Pitt pondered a place in Piedmont, the two instead turned their eyes to the south of France. "Mr. and Mrs. Pitt came for a visit," said Jean Barthélémy Chancel, the commercial director of Château Val Joanis in Côtes du Lubéron, adding, "But the estate is not for sale." Undeterred, the pair have now signed a lease at organic winery Château Miraval, in Provence, for the next three years. Said owner Tom Bove, "They like the beauty, security and tranquility that Miraval offers their children," adding, however, it will be "hands-off" in the winery itself, which "will continue as it has in the past." Pitt's publicist declined comment on why the couple chose France, but between the country's wines, cheeses, chocolates, cinema and fashion, it's not hard for Unfiltered to see why they'd want to stick around after the recent Cannes film festival.

• Back in Hollywood, the old adage is that every waiter, doctor and parking attendant has a screenplay or two in their back pocket. But from Unfiltered's perspective, it seems that every celebrity and entertainment mogul under the sun has got their own blueprints for a wine label. The latest to cross our desks? Guy Riedel (no relation to Riedel glassware), executive producer of feature films including Office Space, Wedding Crashers and the upcoming Four Christmases (a Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn vehicle), is releasing the second vintage of his eponymous label this summer. Riedel made wine in his garage for his first four vintages, but has recently upgraded to Crushpad's San Francisco facilities. When asked if there was a movie that could approximate the tone that his label is striving for, Riedel cites The Godfather, explaining, "It's a movie where the family is sitting around and sharing food." (Hmm, he must have seen the edited-heavily-for-children's-television version.)

• From the looks of that artwork, it seems that they still haven't made her go to rehab (no, no, no) … As it turns out, Ronnie Kole isn't the only musician-slash-wine lover to be immortalized while hoisting a glass. Excess, a copper and nickel-plated bronze statue of recent Grammy winner, beehive hairdo enthusiast and world's-most-troubled-entertainer Amy Winehouse, unveiled earlier this month at Mall Galleries in central London, features the singer lounging atop a broken jeroboam of Champagne, with an incongruous martini glass in hand. Artist Guy Portelli, whose previous works pay homage to Grace Jones and Bob Marley, told Unfiltered that Winehouse's "vulnerability … is illustrated by the jagged shards of glass that she so flamboyantly straddles, the spilt Champagne is symbolic of wasted talent, whereas the bottle [itself] is the symbol of success." Unfiltered thinks his choice of Champagne is an apt one, since we know that Winehouse's performance contract demands that chilled Champagne (and Rioja reds) be provided backstage.

• Meanwhile, some members of the Champagne-and-art set, celebrating the opening weekend of summer vacation excesses in East Hampton, N.Y., had an unexpected visit from the law last Saturday evening. According to Long Island Newsday, Ruth Kalb, owner of the Vered Gallery, had been hosting an opening for photographer Steven Klein and was serving Veuve Clicquot bubbly and Channing Daughters wines to guests—without a permit—when local cops arrived and took Kalb into custody after she reportedly ordered them out and declared, "I've been serving liquor at my openings since before you were born." Unfiltered has to ask: When you're selling artworks (including a photograph of a topless Madonna viewed from behind while brandishing a riding crop at a horse) for up to $18,000 apiece, what's the big deal about obtaining a $31 temporary permit to serve booze?

• At an incident-free but no less festive event, over 600 people packed the rooms at New York's venerable Cipriani restaurant for the third Annual D.R.E.a.M.S. in the City auction on April 30. Attendees sipped bellinis—the prosecco and peach nectar cocktails that are a Cipriani signature—while vying for silent-auction lots, like a private tasting at Rudd Estate winery in Oakville, Calif., or a three-pack of Perrier-Jouët, and swaying along to jazz standards. New York Giants Superbowl champion Michael Strahan provided comic relief during the live auction, grabbing the podium in an impersonation of auctioneer Jamie Ritchie to drum up bidding for a lot he donated: a chance to play golf with him at a tri-state-area course. The final bid came in at $12,000. In total, the Wine Spectator-sponsored event raised over $900,000 for the Diabetes Research Institute.

Unfiltered

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