While their foray into the wine business follows a well-worn path by a long list of other celebrities who have bought vineyards and worked with master winemakers, like Brad Pitt and Sam Neill, they vowed it would not be just an endorsement as some other famous names have done, where they just lend their name to a product without being hands-on.
Going into the venture, both were adamant they would not trade on the Bon Jovi name or leverage song titles on the label (so no ‘Bed of Rosés’ then – what a shame!).
“We knew from the very beginning that we didn’t want to just white label something and slap our names on it,” Jesse, 27, tells WHO. “This is a family business, not a celebrity vanity project.
We not only created the label, name and ethos of the brand, but we spent a lot of time in the South of France with [French winemaker] Gérard Bertrand and his team to blend the first version of Hampton Water, and continue to return to Languedoc to put final touches on every vintage.”
They decided to call it Hampton Water, inspired by the joke nickname Jesse gave to any type of rosé he drank with his buddies or while on family holidays together.
“The idea came from long nights out on the eastern end of Long Island,” explains Jesse. “We would joke that we drank more rosé than we did water and so no matter what we were sipping, we called it Hampton Water. One night back in 2016, my dad offered us a glass of ‘Pink Juice’ [which is what he called it] and I started giving him a hard time, and said, ‘No, when you drink with us, we’re drinking Hampton Water.’
“The Hamptons is a magical place. For our family, it is where we are all able to go and disconnect for a while. It’s a place where magic truly happens and for a better part of my life where I grew up.”
While it doesn’t sound very rock’n’roll, Bon Jovi says he’s had a long love affair with rosé. “For the past 20 or so years, I would travel to either the Caribbean or the Mediterranean,” he explains. “That’s where I was first introduced to Frenchrosé and where I fell in love with it. It’s been my go-to because it’s easy to drink no matter the occasion.”
While the father and son always seem to have been close, they are clearly revelling in building something together and spending time with one another, something a lifetime of touring perhaps didn’t always allow.
“It’s been amazing being able to work together on something that we both are discovering together,” says Jesse.
“When we started, we both knew very little about the wine business and have been able to bounce ideas off of each other to create something that people seem to really be enjoying.”
Adds Bon Jovi, “I am so proud of Jesse and all the hard work he puts in to make this idea come to life every day. It has been a ton of fun getting to watch him grow as a business person and help him bring his vision to the world.”
No wonder he’s employee of the month!