Sting hosts exclusive wine event for Sister Moon at The Upper House
This month, Sting returned to Hong Kong to perform his 57th & 9th Tour and after his show, he hosted an exclusive wine event at The Upper House and chatted with us about his Tuscan vineyard, winemaking and his personal favourite wine.
Wine made at his Italian estate Il Palagio is recognised as one of Italy's finest and currently, Sting's estate produces six wines, some of which take their name from his songs, including Sister Moon, Message in a Bottle and Roxanne.
How did you start making wine?
We bought Il Palagio, a Tuscan estate that had ancient vines and a long history of producing wine, going as far back as the 1500s. As we began to restore the property and realised what a wonderful endeavour it would be to carry on that legacy, so we made the commitment to restore the vineyards as well.
What are you most passionate about, in the process of winemaking?
We started with biodynamic viticulture in 2002 under the guidance of the late viticulturist Alan York, who was a great proponent of biodynamic farming. Our vines are now overseen by Daniel O’Donnell and are grown organically, as is the rest of the estate.
We went there in the spirit of making the place better than we found it. We have been environmental activists for over 30 years, so it was very logical that organic principles prevail. It's amazing what nature can do, if given a chance to heal. This is the chance we gave to the land of Il Palagio that were almost dead when we first arrived. In just a few years, nature began to grow the vineyards, olive groves and farmland again, wild life has re-established itself, and everything has become luxuriant.
What influenced you to purchase the estate and settle in Tuscany?
One of our children was born in Tuscany while we were spending a few glorious months there in a rented villa. We had time to really settle in Tuscany and begin to feel at home in the area. It was the beginning of our real sense of connection with the region.
Eventually we began a 7-year search for our own home in Italy. When we came upon Il Palagio we were very pleasantly surprised. It has a wonderfully restorative and peaceful atmosphere, and has been a very special family place for us. Tuscany just feels like a place we belong to and Il Palagio has the tradition we hoped to be a part of.
Of the different wines that are produced on your estate, which is your favourite and why?
Sister Moon 2010 and Message in a Bottle Bianco 2016.
Grapes are not the only thing that is grown at your beautiful estate Il Palagio, how is your gardening skills?
The farming skills in the family belong to my wife Trudie Styler. Her father was a farmer and imparted his love and respect for the land to her.
You also own over 6000 olive trees, can we count on some bottles for purchase soon?
Our olive oil is currently sold throughout Europe and the US.
Who’s a better cook, you or Trudie?
Trudie, by a country mile!
What is your favorite dish by chef Joe Sponzo?