The growing trend of celebrity wines shows no sign of slowing, and ever a trendsetter, it should come as no surprise that Sarah Jessica Parker is among the celebs who’ve stepped into the wine world. But, it took some convincing.
Admittedly, Parker hadn’t been looking to get into the wine industry, but the award-winning actor and producer knows a thing or two about launching quality products.
From footwear, fashion and fragrances to books, she’s an entrepreneur who sensed an interesting proposition via her agent back in 2018 with New Zealand-based producer Invivo.
Co-founded by Kiwi school friends Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron, with the tagline 100% Bullshit Free Since 2008, the duo set out to produce quality wines while rejecting elitism towards wine. Making wine feel accessible to all resonated with Parker.
‘I wouldn’t have thought that I should be, or know enough to be, involved in wine’ she said, recalling her personal experiences with wine by way of sommelier recommendations and travel.
‘Travelling, having local wine in little villages in Europe, made a huge impression because it was so different from going to a restaurant,’ she added. ‘[Restaurants and travel] were the first experiences in wine where I was really enjoying it and not just sipping politely because someone put it in front of me. But, I would never have considered that amount of enjoyment to equal [getting involved in the industry].’
Convinced by now-partners Lightbourne and Cameron that wine is not just for the rarefied few or wine-educated – that it should be approachable and can be learned – the collaboration set off, with education part and parcel to the process.
How involved is SJP?
Making her name count on the label, Parker is a shareholder in the business, involved from designing the label and discussing how to approach customers to blending the wines to her tastes.
For the Invivo X, SJP Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, the trio is looking for ‘a Sauvignon Blanc that’s a little bit more full bodied – it has a little more weight to it. It’s not as architectural; it’s not as high and pointy as many Sauvignon Blancs are, but it’s still that grape,’ Parker explained.
When blending, winemaker Cameron brings six to eight samples produced with fruit from the Awatere and Wairau Valleys, and ranging in production methods including oak influence and different handling of skins. The process can take multiple hours of bouncing ideas and opinions around before they nail down the final blend, with Lightbourne making clear: ‘the collaboration is important, but the wine needs to stand on its own.’
The flavour profile and taste preferences they agreed on have aligned with consumers – and trade too.
The trio’s blending sessions, which are available to watch on Invivo’s YouTube and social media channels, have led to award-winning expressions, Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) included.
Since the first vintage in 2019, Invivo X, SJP’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has been awarded a Silver medal and 90-91 points annually by the DWWA experts, who taste and rate all wines blind.
Proud of the results and a point of pride for the company, Parker said these ratings also offer meaningful information for the consumer, pointing out that ‘a lot of consumers are connecting on taste, price point and a sense of quality.’
‘I always say,’ she added, ‘we better be worth everyone’s hard-earned dollar.’ Agreeing, Lightbourne said: ‘We’re trying to over-deliver at the price point.’
Invivo X, SJP’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is available from £12-£19 at Wine Delivered, Ocado and Harvey Nichols, and second wine in the range, Invivo X, SJP Vin de France Rosé, from £15-19.
SJP’s new low-alcohol wine range, Sevenly
Source : https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/invivo-x-sjp-sarah-jessica-parkers-wine-range-including-new-low-alcohol-wine-duo-514695/