Hot on the heels of Kylie Minogue, American R&B singer-songwriter Mary J. Blige has launched a wine range called Sun Goddess in collaboration with northern Italian producer Fantinel.
Produced in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Blige’s Sun Goddess range is formed of a Friuli DOC Pinot Grigio Ramato and a Friuli DOC Sauvignon Blanc.
A longtime lover of Pinot Grigio, it was Blige’s idea to produce a rosé from the grape by leaving it in contact with its skins during maceration.
Meaning ‘copper’ in Italian, ramato wines get their peachy hue from Pinot Grigio’s pigmented skins. The Pinot Grigio grapes are left in contact with their rose-tinted skins during an extended maceration process, leading to copper coloured wines.
According to Fantinel, Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio Ramato is “intense and complex, offering an elegantly crisp finish with hints of peach, melon and blackberry”. The wine received a gold medal in our recent Global Rosé Masters 2020.
Made from grapes hand harvested from the foothills of the Dolomites, the Sauvignon Blanc is said to be “intensely aromatic with a velvety smoothness”.
The range gets is named from Blige’s nickname given to her by her mother due to her love of the sun. “Sun Goddess struck me as the perfect name as it conveys the connection between nature and the personality of wines I enjoy the most.
“I have always been particularly fond of white wines that offer freshness, minerality and purity. Pinot Grigio is among my favourite varieties.
“One day I asked a friend where the best Pinot Grigio in the world is made, and he told me that the best Pinot Grigio comes from Friuli Venezia Giulia,” Blige said.
“In deepening my knowledge of this Italian region, I was introduced to Marco Fantinel, owner of one of the leading wineries in the area. After walking through the vineyards and tasting with the Fantinel family, I felt extremely connected to the place, and more importantly, the people.
“In that moment, I felt the same energy I have long tried to capture from the sun and knew this was an incredible opportunity to partner with someone who shared that passion and together we could try to create something that evoked that feeling.”
Fantinel’s CEO, Marco Fantinel, added: “We are thrilled to partner with Mary on these exquisite wines. She is an icon whose creativity, passion and strength has driven her to unparalleled success in all her endeavours.
“From day one, it was clear she shares our philosophy for producing wines of the highest quality, authentic expressions of our land, and we could not think of a better partner to bring customers these beautiful new wines.”
Both wines have a suggested retail price of US$19.99 and are available today for pre-sale in the US on Wine.com. In August, the Sun Goddess range will be available in stores throughout the US and online via the Fantinel website.
Based in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Fantinel was founded in 1969 by Mario Fantinel. Today the winery is run by third generation family members Marco and Stefano Fantinel.
The winery manages 300 hectares of land in Tauriano di Spilimbergo. Fantinel wines are on sale in over 90 countries around the world with a focus on the on-trade and independent merchants.
Grammy award winner Mary J. Blige is the latest in a growing number of celebrities to release a wine range. Last month pop star Kylie Minogue launched her own wine range with the first release in her collection – a Vin de France rosé.
A Provence rosé is due to follow later this year, along with a lees-aged Sauvignon Blanc from Gascony and a Pays d’Oc Merlot.