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Wine Stars: Jon Bon Jovi and Jesse Bongiovi

Star power meets winemaking talent, putting serious rosé in the spotlight
Jesse Bongiovi and his father, Jon Bon Jovi, get into the rosé game.
Photo by: Rick Wenner
Jesse Bongiovi and his father, Jon Bon Jovi, get into the rosé game.

Emma Balter
Posted: October 22, 2018

When singer-songwriter-vintner Sting serenaded attendees at the 2016 New York Wine Experience, expectations for the event’s entertainment quotient were raised. This year’s Friday lineup did not disappoint.

And like Sting and Trudie Styler’s Il Palagio, the Bon Jovi team’s wine project is more than a lark. "This is not a celebrity wine. This is a fine wine, made with love and created with family," singer Jon Bon Jovi told the crowd as he presented the HW Wine Company Languedoc Rosé Diving into Hampton Water 2017 (90 points, $25). It all started when his son Jesse Bongiovi joked that rosé was in fact the water of the Hamptons, where the family has a home.

"We really wanted to create a wine that not only had a catchy name, and a label that stood out, but also had the complexity and structure to be taken seriously by the wine community," said Bongiovi. So they sought the winemaking talent of Gérard Bertrand, himself a star, first on the rugby field and now as a trailblazing vintner in France's Languedoc region. "He understands that wine, like a good song, can bring people together," said Bon Jovi.

The wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, with 25 percent aged in new French oak, which is unusual for rosé, lending a fuller body and more structure than some pinks, added Bongiovi. As guests sipped on "Hampton water," Bon Jovi slung a guitar over his shoulder and performed an acoustic version of "You Give Love a Bad Name," in the same room in which, nine years earlier, he’d been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Read Gillian Sciaretta’s interview with Jon Bon Jovi and Jesse Bongiovi about their Hampton Water project in Wine Spectator's June 30, 2018, issue.

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