This week, rockstar Jon Bon Jovi, his son Jesse Bongiovi, and acclaimed winemaker Gérard Bertrand came to London to share their vision for Hampton Water rosé as a “global brand”.
The event, on the appropriately American 4 July, saw the three minds behind Hampton Water assemble at Savage Garden Rooftop Bar, having been in Germany the day before, to celebrate the sixth vintage of the rosé, 2022.
The torrential rain was a far cry from the sunny conditions one might normally associate with rosé, and prompted the Livin’ on a Prayer singer to jokingly comment on the “inclement weather, or as London sees it, a beautiful day.”
Switching from discussing the weather to wine, Bon Jovi said: “The success in America has given us a footprint in Europe…six years in, and it’s not about hype, it’s critical acclaim.”
“It’s very early on for us in France,” Bon Jovi shared. “Our distribution has grown dramatically, but we’re not where we want to be yet.”
Bertrand, who was named as the drinks business‘ Master Winemaker of the Year, has been involved in the project since 2017. The former France rugby union international shared his belief that rosé from Languedoc can compete with that of Provence, and revealed his desire to see Hampton Water make further headway in the UK. Knowing the culinary tastes of the British public, he suggested that the wine would be “a perfect pairing” with curry.
Arriving this side of the pond in 2019, the rosé has been sold at Majestic since early 2022. The wine retailer notes that sales of the beverage rose by 50% during the first quarter of the 2023/24 financial year. Hampton Water is also available at Asda supermarkets.
Further afield, a spokesperson for the Hilton also disclosed that there were plans to serve Hampton Water at its hotels in the United Arab Emirates.
As for if there are plans to branch out into reds and/or whites, the answer, for now, is no. Bon Jovi explained that the brand is being “astute” by keeping the focus on rosé, or “pink juice” as he referred to it: “It [rosé] was this best kept secret that I’ve known about for 30 plus years.”
Commenting on the state of the category, Bongiovi said: “Rosé got incredibly hot eight to 10 years ago, and now we’re seeing a condensing…the cream is rising to the top.”
Bon Jovi concurred, and pointed out that Hampton Water’s competitors are “at least a decade in front”, and stated: “…we’re here to work hard.”
Although he pointed out that Hampton Water is now served at a number of Michelin-starred restaurants, Bongiovi also described the wine as a “cheeky daytime drink”.
After the press conference, the trio then attended a party to celebrate the brand’s growth this side of the Atlantic.
During his speech to the assembled partygoers, Bon Jovi quipped that Hampton Water was “the story of a dad offering alcohol to his underage child”, a reference to the brand’s origins in the Hamptons, Long Island, where he would give his son a taste of rosé.
“Of course, a dad is proud of a son doing his thing,” he continued. “But none of this celebration could take place unless we had great juice in the bottle.”
Earlier in the day, Bon Jovi, Bongiovi and Bertrand also visited a Majestic Wine shop in St. John’s Wood, due to the retailer stocking Hampton Water. In addition to hosting a tasting while there, Bon Jovi signed a guitar which will be won by one Majestic customer in a competition taking place this month.