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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Friday, 04 June 2010 18:16

Golf Legend Nicklaus Enters Wine World

Jack Nicklaus is the latest golfer to have gone into wine business, in conjunction with Terlato Wines, an internationally acclaimed group that owns vineyard and wineries and imports luxury wines for the last 70 years, with a couple of fine wines bearing his name and introducing them on Thursday at the Muirfield Village Golf Club where he is hosting the Memorial Tournament from June 3-6.

Jack introduced his own brand of limited edition hand-crafted wines from Napa Valley, called Jack Nicklaus Wines at the Muirfield Village Golf Club o June 3rd after a tasting at St Andrews Golf Course. The wines, a Private Reserve and a Cabernet Sauvignon, will have a limited distribution of 500 cases initially and will be sold only in Florida and Ohio. But he plans to increase production to 3,000 cases next year, adding white wines to his portfolio too, according to Golf Digest.

Nicklaus is known to be thinking about entering this for the last five years.  He finally decided to team up with Bill Terlato, a member at Nicklaus' Bear's Club in Jupiter Florida and the head of Terlato Wines International which has been in the winemaking business for almost 70 years.

Nicklaus has been an avid drinker but apparently stopped drinking as wine gave him headaches. But he still stored them, not in the perfect condition though. Cases of 1947 and '52 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, a gift from Augusta National Golf Club chairman Clifford Roberts after Jack's 1972 Masters Victory, stored at his Florida home turned to vinegar due to poor storage. After learning the expensive lesson, he is now remodeling a part of his properly to include a proper temperature-controlled area.

By entering the wine business he joins the ranks of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els, David Frost, John Daly, Mike Weir, Luke Donald, Greg Norman and the Swedish lady golfer, Annika Sorenstam who entered the business only last year. With nearly 350 golf course designs to his credit and a number of golf clubs and pro shops hopefully willing to sell his wine, he's got a lucrative and captive market and should have no trouble in selling his small production.

Nicklaus was directly involved in deciding the blend that eventually came to become the Private Reserve, made from Bordeaux grapes and a small quantity of shiraz.. He plans to retail it for about $43. The Cabernet will be priced at about $35. He and his wine team members visited Terlato and tasted wines for many days until they finalised on the final blend.

In India, the practice of a movie celebrity or a sportsman, not to talk of a golfer, is not seen so far, except in the restaurant business. This step could be a boost for the industry as well as for the entrepreneur. Most of the golf stars and the budding professionals and top amateurs in India are under 30 and a good captive audience, though not at such large numbers as in the US or other golfing nations. Sooner or later, a golfer with passion for wine will come forward. Sooner will be better than later, for him as well as the industry.


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