Wally’s Wine sold to GUESS brothers and store president
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The brothers behind the fashion plate GUESS and the wine expert who brought Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s Miraval Rose to Los Angeles have bought long-standing Wally’s Wine & Spirits.
Maurice and Paul Marciano, co-founders of global fashion brand GUESS, and wine expert Christian Navarro teamed up to buy out Wally’s owner Steve Wallace, who opened the West Los Angeles wine shop in in 1968.
“My brother Paul and I have been buying wines from Wally’s for twenty years, dealing extensively with Steve and Christian,” Maurice Marciano said. “When we heard that Steve was thinking of retiring, we immediately contacted him and expressed our interest in purchasing the business, but only on the condition that Christian would remain in a leadership role.”
The purchase price was not disclosed.
Navarro, now president of Wally’s, made waves in the wine world earlier this year when he became Los Angeles’ only source for the wine made at Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s chateau in the South of France.
The first batch of Brangelina Rose went on sale online in March and sold out within five hours. Navarro then upped his order for May, allowing preferred customers to buy up to six bottles at $24.99 each.
On March 12, he estimated he sold more than 500 bottles before noon.
“It’s a fantastic product,” he said at the time, adding that it would be a big seller even without its celebrity appeal.
Navarro said Pitt and Jolie shop at Wally’s when in town, and they “want to make it into a real product — an estate wine.”
The inaugural 2012 vintage of Brangelina Rose — about 6,000 bottles — sold out in about five hours of being offered online at $139 for a half-case, or six bottles. The wine was made with the help of one of France’s most respected vinters, Marc Perrin.
Chateau Miraval, which dates to the 17th century, includes about 1,000 acres, including vineyards and olive groves. The castle formerly contained a recording studio where Sting, Pink Floyd and The Cranberries have recorded.
The Marciano brothers are wine connoisseurs with a passion for wines from Bordeaux and Napa Valley. Maurice recently bought a winery in Napa Valley where he produces a Bordeaux-style red wine. His first release will be a 2012 vintage expected to debut in 2014.
Wally’s, on Westwood Boulevard, has been named Los Angeles’ No. 1 wine shop in a Zagat survey. Forbes also listed it as one its top shops.