Golf Balls and Grapevines

Once you’ve made your mark on the PGA Tour and proven yourself among the best golfers in the world, what comes next? The answer for some Pro Golfers is to trade playing on finely manicured fairways for tending the vineyard. Golf and winemaking have a lot in common, right? Uh…okay, maybe not. But they do seem to draw some of the same fans.

Check out the offerings from some of golf’s greats:

Arnold Palmer Wines – “The King” (no not Elvis…the other king, Arnold) collaborated with Luna Vineyards in Napa, California, to release his first private label wines in 2005.

David Frost Wines – Maybe the first pro golfer to produce a private label wine, Frost actually grew up in a winemaking family in South Africa. The Estate he purchased in 1994 with his brother, Michel, began offering private label wine in 1998.

Engelbrecht Els Vineyards – produced in South Africa, Ernie Els joined his friend Jean Engelbrecht in making his signature label, first released in 2000.

Greg Norman Estates Wine – Greg Norman produces a wide variety of varietals at his original estate, in his native Australia. Norman more recently launched his California estates.

Mike Weir Estate Winery – located in Niagara, the sale of Weir’s wines return 100% of the proceeds to the Mike Weir Foundation for children in need.

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Reader Comments

I work at one of the sister wineries of Mike Weir Estate and had the pleasure of meeting both Mike Weir and David Frost this past fall. Both are genuinely into their vineyards and not just a pretty name on a pretty label. Listening to Frost discuss vineyard decisions and batch styles showed his keen interest and active involvement.

Golf and wine is a newer pairing that has been sweeping the industry. Now that more couples and women are playing golf it seems to have a greater appeal than the classic golf and scotch or golf and whiskey. The wine country in California (ie. Napa, Somoma, Temecula, etc.) is perfect for such pairings as well as Italy and France.

In the southeast, its former Nascar drivers and winerys. However, this year is in exceptional drought conditions.