For Your Interest: Brad Pitt and George Clooney. The Winemaker and the Distiller.

Image: Brad Pitt, courtesy Nasa. Bottles, Jason Kuffer. George Clooney, Melanie McDermott.

Brad Pitt and George Clooney are The Kings of Booze.
Correction; Brad Pitt and George Clooney are The Kings of Super-Premium Booze.
Both of them are serious about the work and exercise of making first-rate alcohol.

In the past seven years, they have put time, effort, money and imagination into mastering the craft and business of liquor.
There are three main types of beverage alcohol: wine, beer and spirits. In 2019, total sales of all alcohol in the U.S. was $252 Billion USD.* Premium class is the fastest growing category.
George Clooney plus his two partners Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman started their tequila company Casamigos in 2013 with $600,000 each.
The urban legend and the origin story are both true. While on holiday in Mexico, they couldn’t find a tequila which was suitably smooth, all-around drinkable and didn’t leave the gift of a hard next-day hangover.

It was Clooney who came up with the idea to make their own blend. One which they could share with family and friends that didn’t burn, tasted great and was “hangover-proof.”

It required over 100 tasting sessions to create a satisfying mix. The project and venture grew from there.
7 years on, there are now three different varieties of Casamigos tequila: blanco, reposado and anejo.
Bang for your buck: Alcohol Industry Grades.
Standard – basic taste and flavour. (Gets the job done) 
Premium – better taste, nicer ingredients. (Thumbs up) 
Super Premium – A+ flavour, taste, aroma. (Heaven in a bottle)
Casamigos Tequila is made in Jalisco, Mexico at the Productos Finos De Agave distillery in a special process that uses 7–9 year old blue (Azul) Weber agave which is roasted in ovens for 72 hours and fermented over 3.5 days.
It’s a technique that has won the Casamigos brand gold medals at the LA International Spirits Competition, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition.
In 2017, the three friends made industry news when they sold part of their company to the Diageo corporation (DGE) for $700 million USD. Each partner received $239 million, The total deal is worth $1 Billion USD.
The most recent Casamigos production is a light, smoky, vanilla and lemon tasting Agave Espadin Mezcal made from the recipe of a Mexican family. More are planned in the near future.

Making wine is recognized as a difficult and expensive craft. It requires skill, patience and luck.
A bad season can ruin an entire crop, and waiting is a key part of the practice.
Brad Pitt has been in the business of wine since 2012. Together with his partners in the Perrin family, he has been producing fine rosé wine from the local vineyards at his Chateau De Miraval in the Cotes Des Provence for the past 8 years.
Red, White & Rosé. Wine by the numbers:(U.S)
Number of cases sold 2019: 408 million.*
Total sales: $70.5 billion USD.*
Off premises sales + 66%** Online sales + 225%**
(*source: Wines, vines analytics. **lizthachmw)

Rosé is made in one of three ways: blending, contact or saignee. In the contact method, red or dark skinned grapes are crushed and the skin is left in “contact” with the juices for up to 24 hours. The juice is then fermented and aged in oak barrels.

Brad Pitt’s two most well known releases from his winery are Miraval Cotes Des Provence 2017 (a citrus, peach and raspberry flavoured blend) which received a 93/100 critics grade and the budget-friendly, blush coloured Studio by Miraval which was launched in 2019.
This year, Brad Pitt and his partners have taken a step up the ladder and released their first champagne, scheduled for fall 2020.
His inspiration and goal is to create the only house dedicated to rosé champagne. The full name is Fleur De Miraval Exclusivemement Rosé.
It is a blend of 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir. The champagne took five years to test, refine and age. Priced at €350 or $410* USD a bottle, it is limited to 1600 cases/ 20,000 bottles.
*(price subject to change)


Honourable mentions:
Cameron Diaz: Avaline Wine. Organic white, rosé and red wine.
Dan Aykroyd: Crystal Head Vodka. “Peaches and cream” sweet corn
quadruple distilled, filtered through Herkimer diamond crystals.
Ryan Reynolds: Aviation American Gin. 7 ingredients, including
cardamom, French lavender and orange peel.


Grade: Top shelf.
Casamigos is available at fine liquor stores worldwide or online at
Fleur De Miraval Champagne is available to order at Millesima in Bordeaux, France.


Copyright (C) 2020. Raphael Clarence/La Source Online.
All rights reserved.


Photo credits: Casamigos, Thomas Altfather Good. Marc Perrin,
Brad Pitt, Serge Chapuis. Fleur De Miraval Rosé, Chateau De