Tony Parker isn’t just an NBA legend. The former San Antonio Spur, who is French-born, has dabbled in wine off-court. Parker fell into the wine industry by accident, after attending wine dinners that were organized by his coaches and teammates. “In San Antonio, Coach Pop [Gregg Popovich] was a big wine lover, so we’d do amazing team dinners,” Parker told us during a recent Zoom call.
A couple decades later, Parker now oversees a chateau in the Rhone along with a project in Champagne (Jeeper) and Château La Mascaronne. It’s not just about posturing, Parker is enthusiastic and involved in every project. (Make friends with him and he’ll flex his Bordeaux-heavy cellar.)
At La Mascaronne, Parker has partnered with Michel Reybier to make wildly elegant, ageworthy rosés for pairing with any time of day or season of the year. The rosés are fresh and vibrant, with notes of white peach and citrus rind balanced out by elegant structure and a rich depth. It’s a beautiful expression of people and place — a snapshot of the South of France. La Mascaronne Provence Rose, $40
“It’s all about passion,” says Parker. “That’s why I want to invest in this part of the world — I don’t feel like I’m working. You’re working with great people, and you have a lot of fun.”
It’s not just rosé Parker is working on. Over in the Rhone, Parker owns Château Saint Laurent, a historic estate in Avignon producing Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Viognier, and Roussanne. Parker worked with Reybier to create two Champagnes in Champagne: Champagne Jeeper, and Michel Reybier. The former is toasty with an opulent mousse, and a piercingly sharp acidity. Champagne Jeeper NV, $60
Kate Dingwall has been a WSET trained sommelier for over ten years. She is also a spirits writer. Her work has appeared in Wine Enthusiast, Eater, Forbes.com, and Food & Wine, and she pours wine at one of Canada’s top restaurants.