Learn about Wines in Tokyo

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Sting in the Tail for Pickers at Celebrity Winery

Careful you don't get stung working for a celebrity during the upcoming harvest.

A fair day's work for a fair day's pay is a pretty basic social contract, but apparently not if your name is Sting.

The rock star winery owner is not only offering fans a chance to toil in the vineyard, but charging enthusiastically for the pleasure as well.

Celebrity winery owner and earnest warbler Sting has made headlines, but not for his latest well-intentioned campaign for human rights. It wasn’t even for his latest collection of worthy-but-dull songs; it was for inviting people to pick grapes on his Tuscan estate and charging them $330 for the pleasure.

Sting – real name Gordon Sumner – made his millions first as part of the rock band The Police and then throughout a croaky-voiced, jazz-inflected solo career, with highlights like Fields of Gold, Englishman in New York and Russians.

He and his wife Trudy Styler bought a 900-acre winery near Florence in 1999 and apart from the vineyard, they also grow olives there.

The rock star – whose reunion tour with The Police in 2007-2008 grossed a whopping $340 million, the third highest of all time – decided to invite guests to his Il Palagio winery to help with the harvest, offering an authentic "work in the fields" experience that Sting describes as "therapeutic". Presumably in the sense of "retail therapy".

And he’s not the only one to turn fields of vines into fields of gold, with Dom Pérignon offering customers who buy three bottles of its Champagne the chance to spend an hour in the vineyards picking grapes for the famous fizz. At least they also throw in lunch and a tasting afterward.

Back in Tuscany, Sting’s high-paying workforce will "start the day with a picnic on the expansive lawn and a briefing from the estate manager to help you understand your work as a farmer-for-a-day: learn about the soil, the vines and trees, and techniques for harvesting."

After a sun-drenched day’s picking, the lucky guests will then be invited to taste the estate’s "Message in a Bottle" Sangiovese-based red, which retails for about $20, meaning a net earning for the day of negative $310. Nice work if you can get it.

Source: http://www.wine-searcher.com/