Tell us something about quality in wines? How is it achieved?
At our level, we spend an inordinate number of hours ensuring that the wines are unique and perfect. This can take years. Winemaking is extremely detailed, down to the 1% of the final blends. These are all 96- to 100-point wines, so we’re at the highest level of quality.
What was your inspiration for Stones and your unique bottles?
Stones rose from my vision to create the “Hermes of wine” in terms of quality and luxury. I wanted each vintage to feel like a special gift, a joyous experience. And I wanted each bottle to be so exquisite visually that only a handful of collectors would have them in their cellars to share with friends. The name Stones, originating from the terroir sources of rocky to extremely rocky vineyards, now includes five exclusive, uniquely designed bottles, all with labels hand-made in France and available to purchase by our members only five days out of the year.
What types of types of food go well with your Cabernets?
I’m a fan of what I call light country-French and meat-based Italian food. Speaking as a foodie and cook, I think they both work well with our wines. Things like duck confit, Steak au Poivre – sometimes even amazing Mediterranean and charcuteries – go really well with the Cabernets.
I have to ask you about your fashion sense. You have the reputation for being more rocker than vineyard owner on account of what you wear
Let’s see, I have a long, red vintage Valentino coat that was an original runway piece and another Valentino studded, black leather jacket that is one of only three made. It took eight people working 12 hours to apply the studs. I also wear Alexander McQueen, Lanvin and Dior. One of my favorite rings is from David Yurman’s Shipwreck Series. In my watch collection is Franck Muller’s Crazy Hours, which is considered one of his most complicated pieces. It jumps hours, and all of the numbers are out of place. Original ones are hard to find, and I finally tracked one down in Florida.
You’re an art collector. Which artists do you like?
I’m a moderate collector. I have some early de Kooning prints, and a fair amount of Balinese and African original art. I have multiple works from Ethiopian artist Wosene Worke Kosrof’s ‘Word Play’ series. I also collect Cédric Bouteiller, who’s a French, Provence-based graffiti artist.