Unlike their marriage, the rosé wine produced by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at their Provençal estate has gone from strength to strength with the passing years.
Since recently divorced Pitt and Jolie bought the Miraval vineyard for £31 million in 2011 from Tom Bove, an American businessman, they have lavished time and attention on refining and improving the quality of its wines.
The vineyard has now smashed the price record for pink blush. A magnum of its Muse de Miraval fetched more than £2,300 at a charity auction this month, prompting the French newspaper Le Figaro to describe it as “the superstar of rosé”.
Once sniffed at by French connoisseurs and tolerated only during summer holidays in the south, rosé has become respectable thanks to a worldwide craze for blush wines that began in the United States a decade ago and has spread to China.
Jolie and Pitt have held on to Miraval despite a three-year legal battle culminating in their divorce in April. The 2,500-acre estate has an illustrious showbiz history, boasting a recording studio where Sting, Pink Floyd and others have made albums.
To manage the estate, Jolie and Pitt brought in the Perrins, a French winemaking family who gained their expertise in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Marc Perrin said his family were introduced to Jolie and Pitt by a mutual friend, Frank Pollaro, a local cabinet-maker. “We fell in love with Miraval thanks to its potential,” Mr Perrin said.
He spotted that Miraval was on trend with rising demand for organic wines. “It’s been organic for about 40 years. That’s enormous. We proposed a partnership with Pitt and Jolie, and they accepted 24 hours later.”
Pitt, a wine buff, knew that the Perrins had made a name for themselves in the US with their Tablas Creek estate in Paso Robles, California, where they planted grape varieties from France’s Rhône region.
Pitt and Jolie own the Miraval estate, but the Perrins own 50 per cent of the Miraval Provence company, which is in charge of production and marketing.
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Despite their reputation for fine wines, gained over several generations, the Perrins knew they were taking a risk with Miraval. With the media spotlight on Brangelina, the slightest mistake with their wine could have proved disastrous. But now Miraval is the toast of wine drinkers and critics, and the rosé boom is set to continue.