“I didn’t want to have a long name, Russell Estates or something,” Kurt Russell told Fox News.
“I [thought] trying to slap a name on a bottle that people might recognize was not only, to me, not necessarily a good thing, I thought it was a drawback.” So his wine is named GoGi (pronounced Go-Ghee), which was his nickname as a kid and the name his grandchildren call him. “Each year I produce a wine for a different family member,” said Russell in a recent magazine article. us, his Chardonnay is named Goldie, after his longtime partner Goldie Hawn. He dedicated one vintage to his sister, Jody, nicknamed Baz, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Thankfully she recovered and Kurt labeled her wine Forbaz. A small amount, about ten cases of Vignier, is called Lulu, a pet name for his mother.
Whatever he choses to call them, Russell’s extraordinary wines stand alone for their quality and, for this, he has to thank Peter and Rebecca Work who have been making wine at Ampelos Cellars since they planted their first fifteen acres in 2001. The Lompoc vineyard was well established by the time Russell met with the Works, who originally were not interested in adding a celebrity name to their label. en they discovered the depth of Russell’s commitment.
“Kurt came down to visit us and to see what we were doing,” recalls Peter about their rst real meeting with the actor. “From the start, he really liked our wines, so that helped, but he also admired our philosophy and asked if he could come up from Los Angeles and make some wine with us. We said to him, ‘We’re not really into a celebrity coming down and slapping a name on a label and being done with it. But if you’re really interested, then prove it. Come down and take part in the whole process.’ Funnily enough, that’s what he wanted to do, so we were all happy. We soon discovered that Kurt has a really good palate and is very naturally talented at blending. He quickly learned what he wanted to get out of the grapes and express in the bottle, so it has been good fun working with him.”
Peter’s wife and winemaking partner, Rebecca, agrees. “Kurt has done a lot of wine tasting while making movies, so he generally knows his likes and dislikes in wine. But as he quickly discovered, there’s nothing like personally carrying out the whole actual winemaking process—a complete vintage—to really develop your palate. When Kurt wants to learn something he takes the whole thing hook, line, and sinker. And now you can ask him anything about winemaking and he really understands. We have developed a great friendship and understanding together.”