Hollywood and Vine? How about Beverly Hills and vine?
Actor Jason Priestley, best known for his portrayal of Brandon Walsh in the 1990s television series Beverly Hills 90210, is buying a stake in one of British Columbia's most acclaimed wineries, Black Hills Estate Winery.
The boutique operation, which makes a coveted $40 red called Nota Bene, is located near the town of Oliver in the heart of the Okanagan Valley.
B.C.-born Mr. Priestley says he has been collecting fine vintages for two decades and boasts a 3,000-bottle cellar.
Certainly, it's a distinguished contrast to the harder substances for which some of his colleagues have been known to consume off the set.
"I have travelled to many great wine regions around the world, and I am extremely impressed with the quality of wines emerging from the Okanagan Valley," Mr. Priestley said in a statement. "Without a doubt my favourite wine from Canada is the Nota Bene from Black Hills Estate Winery."
Mr. Priestley, currently co-host with Terry David Mulligan of Hollywood & Vines, a wine-related travel show, has joined the board of directors of Vinequest Wine Partners. The Alberta-based investment group was created specifically to buy Black Hills, a family-owned operation started in 1996 by Senka and Bob Tennant and Peter and Susan McCarrell. The deal is expected to close shortly.
"His celebrity profile will create great exposure for both Black Hills Estate Winery and the entire Okanagan Valley," said Glenn Fawcett, Vinequest's president.
Mr. Priestley's investment in Vinequest marks a flashy new milestone for B.C.'s fast-rising wine industry. The actor-director is the first international personality to financially back a winery in the Okanagan, he said.
The move echoes a worldwide trend that's seen a galaxy of global stars buying or launching their own wine brands. They include director Francis Ford Coppola in California, rock star Sting in Italy, actor Gérard Depardieu in France and actor Dan Aykroyd and sports icons Wayne Gretzky and Mike Weir in Ontario's Niagara region.