Message in a wine bottle: how Sting got stung when he bought a vineyard

Message in a wine bottle: how Sting got stung when he bought a vineyard

Name: Sting.

Age: 69.

No way, is Sting really in his 70th year? Yes, but like a fine wine … Funnily enough, that’s what we’re talking about. Well, wine anyway.

Don’t tell me, Sting – musician, singer, songwriter, bassist, actor, activist, tantric sexer – is now a winemaker, as well? They are all at it. Sir Cliff has got his vineyard in Portugal, Sir Bob Geldof is heavily invested in one, in Ethiopia obvs; even AC/DC formed a relationship with an Aussie winery to make their own brand of wine …

Bacchus in Black? If only they had thought of it. But yeah, there comes a time in life when many an old rocker’s thoughts turn to wine.

Is Sting’s called Regatta de Blanc de Blancs? No.

Message in a Bottle? Actually, he and his wife, Trudie Styler, do produce a spumante called Message in a Bottle, but the one we’re talking about today would perhaps be better named Mess in a Bottle.

Ooh, go on. In 1997, Sting and Trudie bought an estate south of Florence in Tuscany called Il Palagio, after the owner – Duke Simone Vincenzo Velluti Zati di San Clemente – gave them a glass of wine to try.

No good? It was very good. The problem was that the wine wasn’t from Il Palagio, or even Tuscany. The duke had served a cheeky barolo instead. Anyway, it was so delicious that the Stings bought Il Palagio, vineyards and all.

When did they realise what had happened? After they served wine from the estate to some guests. “I saw that someone was emptying their glass into a flower bed,” Sting recently told Corriere della Sera’s Sette magazine.

So they abandoned Il Palagio and upped sticks with their tails between their legs, leaving the winery to go to ruin? Not a bit of it. They have spent the time since showing that it is indeed possible to produce excellent wines at Il Palagio. One of these, called Sister Moon, after the song, was also named one of Italy’s finest 100 wines. “Our whole Tuscan adventure has really been a way of getting our own back,” said Sting.

Do say: “Rooooooooxanne, you don’t have to throw out the red wine.”

Don’t say (after a couple of glasses): “De do do do, de da da da, is all I want to say to you.”