Guy Fieri, who grew up in rural Humboldt County, California and opened his first restaurant in Sonoma in 1996 before becoming a TV celebrity, is now branching out into the wine business. A year ago he bought a piece of property in Santa Rosa with five acres of vineyard on it, and as the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports, he’s planning to attach a public tasting room to an existing house (lately used as a crash pad for his friends), and use the place for wine-related events throughout the year. Whether the labels on his estate wines will have his spiky-haired mug on them, and whether they’ll be called Pimpin’ Pinot and Rockin’ Rosé, remains to be seen.
Fieri has already been selling grapes to a few vineyards with existing contracts on the property, including esteemed Pinot producer William Selyem. And Fieri’s dad, Jim Ferry, who’s been managing the wine side of things, says this year’s Pinot "came out real good."
Sonoma County has a love-hate relationship with hometown boy Fieri — born Guy Ferry, but he changed it back to the family’s original Italian spelling in 1996 when he opened his first Johnny Garlic’s in Santa Rosa. While it’s always nice to claim that a celebrity hails from your town, when that celebrity is Fieri and when the internet goes wild for a hilarious New York Times beat-down of one of your chain restaurants, that pride turns quickly to schadenfreude. (The food blog associated with the Press-Democrat was quick to insist after that review dropped that they’ve "never set foot" in one of Fieri’s two Santa Rosa restaurants.)
Guy Fieri jumps into the wine business [Press-Democrat]
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