Jeff Gordon may be best known as one of the greatest Nascar drivers of all time, but you may be surprised to know he has that same passion for wine. So it's only natural Jeff decided to dive into wine making.The first vintage of the Jeff Gordon Collection - a 2004 Carneros Chardonnay- was released in late 2005, followed by a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Napa Valley Merlot, also of the 2004 vintage. In addition to Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot, they have introduced Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, Napa Valley Rosé of Syrah and a signature red blend labeled "Joie de Vivre". One of the highlights for Jeff has been naming two of the vintages after his children in the years they were born- the 2007 wines are dedicated to his daughter, Ella Sofia, and the 2010's for his son Leo.Let's catch up with Jeff and see what he has been up to.
Are there any similarities between the wine world and racing?
I think there are similarities to racing w every business and every walk of life. You have to enjoy it, and be passionate about it in order to be successful at it. If you get into the wine business you have to be experienced and have a great team around you and I am fortunate to be able to have that both on and off the race track.
How did you start w racing?
It first started w bmx but my step dad always wanted to get into racing as a kid which he never got a chance to do, so when I got older he bought a car for me and the rest is history.Is growing up in
California part of the reason why you developed a passion for wine?
For sure...we use to go to different race tracks and we would drive through Napa valley and I would always notice how different it was then everywhere else in the bay area. The vineyards were beautiful and I was always intrigued by it, so when I got older and had a chance to start enjoying wine and traveling I always had in the back of my mind that I would love to get into the wine world.
What are your favorite wines?
The one that really got me into wine was a bottle of Joseph Drouhin Batard-Montrachet...I had never seen a white decanted before. Gordon took one sip of the white burgundy and declared it “liquid gold”. It was then that his passion for fine wine began.
Favorite wine/food pairing?
Yes pretty simple...red wine and red meat! I love a big juicy steak, wild mushrooms, asparagus, but I will put wine with almost anything! I really do enjoy French food where I usually start w a French Burgundy, but I really enjoy red the most. Opus, and Harlan are two of my favorites. Kistler is also one of my favorites.
Most exciting win and why?
I been fortunate to get quite a few but the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 94...it really changed my life.
Dale Earnhardt Sr...I was the new kid on the block and he was the veteran...in 95 to battle him head to head and win was amazing!
Was Dale Sr nice to you?
Yes...but on the racetrack he wasn't nice to anyone :) Off the track he was fantastic.
Daniel in NY is my favorite. Auberge du Soleil Restaurant in Napa and Barrington's in Charlotte.
Tell us about the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation
It came through meeting kids w cancer, and one of my crew chiefs had a son that was diagnosed when he was 1 and it really opened my eyes what these families go through. We have been able to do alot of good work over the years and we are really proud of it.
Tell me about your wine:
I could talk about them all day long, were pretty proud of them. We are young and new in the business and we plan on being here for a long time. It also makes for great gifts for my kids teachers,neighbors etc :)
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
I feel like I have a few more good years of driving left, I will always be a part of auto racing of some sort of fashion. I would like to do more with our foundation (since my schedule is so hectic now) and hopefully that is the same case with the wine.Joseph and Curtis will be offering a limited amount of signed Jeff Gordon magnums $250 (and the wine is VERY good!) please email all orders to email@example.com
(Curt) Being a father of three I want to compliment you with how you have handled yourself with all of your success and the fact that you have made your faith be such an integral part of your life...you should really be proud of that.
(Jeff) Why thank you, I really try and work hard with that...so hearing that means alot. God Bless.