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Tuesday 19 April 2022

From the basketball court to the wine business

Former San Antonio Spurs NBA champion Tony Parker is investing in the wine business. 

The French-born four-time NBA champion retired from basketball in 2019 and has now linked with French businessman and long-time friend Michel Reybier to invest in three of Reybier’s brands.

"When we decided to join forces on the project I felt very lucky, because I can learn so much from him as one of the best businessmen in France," Parker, whose investment sum was not disclosed, told leading American wine magazine Wine Spectator

"The values around those properties matched what I wanted to do with giving back to my community."

Reybier's largely French portfolio includes Bordeaux landmark Cos d'Estournel, Chateau La Mascaronne in Provence and Jeeper and Michel Reybier in Champagne. 

Starting from the 2022 harvest, Parker will be involved with Jeeper, Michel Reybier Champagne and La Mascaronne. 

"I am delighted to have been chosen by Tony as a partner for his new life as an entrepreneur, and he will work alongside me to develop the brands internationally and strengthen their distribution and presence around the world," Reybier said. 

"Our goal is to make Château La Mascaronne rosé one of Provence's most outstanding wines, and a true expression of our unique terroir, using only grapes grown on the estate." 

Reybier said there were no current plans to develop a Parker-branded wine.

Parker is a long-time wine lover and drinker. The former NBA All Star guard retired as the ninth best post-season scorer in NBA history. 

"I always played [basketball] super fast, but this is a slow business, and it takes time to have a nice bottle and let the vineyard get to its full potential," he told Wine Spectator. "I hope we can create something that people will enjoy."

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