Wine Talk: Jane Seymour

Wine plays a starring role in actress' life
Jul 22, 2005

From a Bond girl in Live and Let Die to the star of television's Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman to the sex-crazed society matron Kathleen "Kittycat" Cleary in the new comedy Wedding Crashers, actress Jane Seymour's career has showcased her range of talents, which aren't limited to film. These days, Seymour has taken on the roles of interior decorator, fashion designer and fine artist. Pairing her passions for watercolor and wine, the California resident paints the state's wineries and vineyards (she's done some pieces for Kendall-Jackson founder Jess Jackson) and has been chosen as the featured artist of the 2006 Naples Winter Wine Festival. But the England-born actress is ready to do more than paint vineyards; she wants to make wine, too. Recently, she and her husband, director James Keach, decided to replant the vineyards at St. Catherine's Court, Seymour's 14th-century manor in Bath, England.

Wine Spectator: What is your earliest memory of wine?
Jane Seymour: Growing up in Wimbledon, my mother was in the Guild of Sommeliers [because she sold] wine, spirits and tobacco to consuls from around the world. From broken cases, fine bottles came home, and I was allowed little sips of Gevrey-Chambertin.

WS: Any memorable wine experiences while filming?
JS: I don't drink and act. But my greatest wine experiences came during filming breaks of The French Revolution in Paris and Bordeaux. I was a guest at a private wine dinner at Château Pétrus; visited Château d'Yquem, my favorite wine, and stayed at the home of Alain-Dominique Perrin [of Château Lagrézette in Cahors].

WS: What wines do you drink now?
JS: Wines are paired to fit the location. When at home in Malibu, I drink Kendall Jackson Vintner's Reserve, Matanzas Creek Cabernet Sauvignon and bubbly from Domaine Chandon. But I am constantly stunned by great, new wines. So when I'm at [St. Catherine's], I experiment with new wines from Australia, Chile and South Africa. My chef selects wines to pair with large and small dinners, and I do blind tastings with his selections. Afterwards, he serves my preferences. But it is the dream of my husband and me to reclaim the 5- to 8-acre vineyard that existed on the property.

WS: What vines grew there?
JS: My husband, James, and Jess Jackson are researching the European plantings now. And Jess plans to help us replant the vineyards. We look forward to producing 150 to 175 cases of our own wine soon.

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