Danica Patrick has been actively revving the engine of her latest business endeavor: her portfolio of wine. The retired race car driver initially fell in love with wine after moving to England at 16 years old to pursue her career. Her interest in the grape increased as she traversed the globe, becoming a formidable force in the sport.
“I’ve been drinking wine since I was in England, and I would go and ask for a glass of whatever their sweetest white wine was,” Danica recalls. “Then I came back to the U.S., and I was legal here, so it worked out well. I just really enjoy wine.”
Danica's initial journey toward becoming a vintner began with a trip to Napa Valley years ago and culminated with her buying a vineyard in 2009 and starting her own label, Somnium, which means “dream” in Latin. Although there is no winery on her property, the wine is produced at a facility just a few miles away.
Somnium’s first vintage, 2014, became available for purchase in 2017. Danica notes, “There weren’t many hiccups along the way, so that’s just about as fast as you can go from buying a piece of dirt to selling a bottle of wine.”
As she contemplated approaching the finish line with her sport in 2017, she already had multiple business options in place. Her final races were the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 in 2018. “At that point in time, I had my clothing line, and I had my wine,” she remarks. But she didn't retire from racing to pursue other projects. “It was more like when I retired, I knew what I was going to do,” she adds.
A Passion for Wine
Danica’s latest venture, Danica Rosé, grew from her ongoing passion for the libation. Her focus was on producing a traditional rosé from Provence, the oldest wine-producing region in France. She partnered with Les Vins Margnat, a family-owned company with a winemaking tradition dating back more than 200 years, and assembled a team of award-winning vintners. The result is a rosé created in a time-honored Provençal style. Danica Rosé is crisp, light and has a well-balanced acidity that makes it a perfect wine for any time of year. It incorporates flavors of white peach, melon, tart strawberry, hibiscus and lime blossom.
Although Danica also produces a rosé with her label Somnium, with Danica Rosé, she sought to create a wine that spoke to her personally. “Like with racing, people were always kind of curious about me. They would ask, ‘What is it about you?’” she explains. “The only thing I can come up with as to why people are interested is that they can relate to authenticity. Authenticity is something that is important to me.”
“To make a rosé that is an authentic rosé from Provence was something that is really exciting for me — and here we are,” she exclaims.
From vine to bottle, the wine is produced completely in Provence. Adding to its authenticity is its aesthetic; the bottle showcases Danica’s influence. The name Danica means “morning star,” and fittingly, the Danica Rosé bottle features a star on its neck, signifying hope, courage, guidance and purity of spirit. She chose to use her own name for the wine in honor of her mother, who graced her with the moniker at birth. The bottle also displays an elegant, feminine splash of embossed roses that seductively hugs its side.
The launch of Danica Rosé embodied a fun promotion. “Everyone who registered [through Omaze] got a chance to win a trip to Monaco to see the Monaco Grand Prix and be on the Danica Rosé yacht,” Danica says. “We raised $250,000 for the Folds of Honor Foundation.”
Due to the pandemic, the race was postponed in 2020 and 2021, so Danica is looking forward to fulfilling one lucky winner’s dream vacation in 2022.
Originally available only in a standard 750-ml bottle, the wine now can be purchased in a new 1.5-liter magnum, designed to be enjoyed by multiple people. Additionally, the lettering on the larger bottle is fluorescent and glows beautifully in the dark. Given its quality and exquisite aesthetic, Danica Rosé lends itself to bottle service at upscale clubs or poolside. “This is a pretty good gift to bring to a party,” she adds.
“I think it’s a perfect summer wine to be shared among more than a couple of people, so large-scale bottles make sense,” she continues. “But it’s not just me making decisions about Danica Rosé. There are other people involved, and they have incredible ideas.” One such person is Rick Nechio, who has a history in marketing and has thrown many parties. “He has lots of great ideas when it comes to what people want,” Danica points out.
The race car driver-turned-entrepreneur recently moved to Scottsdale, where she remains focused on her wines and making sure they sell well. “All the things that I do are rooted in wanting to inspire people,” Danica says. “The goal with all my companies and ventures always has to do with something that can transcend far beyond monetary gain, accolades or accomplishments. It is more about something that never ends, which is the drive to want to inspire people.”
She also runs an engaging podcast at DanicaPatrick.com.
Danica Rosé, including the magnum bottle, is available for purchase online. For more information, visit DanicaRoseWine.com.