Brad Pitt and Yuri Scheffler Oligarch to Hollywood Dispute Over a Provençal Vineyard and Rosé Wine: The Role of Angelina Jolie
The ongoing conflict between Yuri Scheffler and Brad Pitt over a picturesque Provençal vineyard and its renowned rosé wine has drawn attention, raising echoes of Juvenal’s ancient adage about disputes often stemming from personal relationships. The end of a chapter that began in 2008, when she and Pitt, the American actor and her ex-husband, bought the property during their passionate love affair, is what has sparked this dispute. Angelina Jolie made the crucial decision to sell her stake in the vineyard to a Russian tycoon in 2021.
The Vineyard Deal:
Yuri Scheffler, entangled in a separate, two-decade-long dispute with the Kremlin over the rights to Stolichnaya vodka, paid Jolie a staggering $64 million to acquire the 300-acre Château Miraval vineyard. However, his troubles with Pitt emerged as the actor repeatedly challenged the legality of the sale. This enchanting 17th-century chateau in Provence, discovered during a helicopter flight over southern France by the former couple, became a lucrative investment. They produced a highly acclaimed rosé wine, recognised for its distinctive bottle shape, which experienced a remarkable 40% increase in sales from 2002 to 2018.
Wider Regional Interest:
LVMH’s acquisition of two additional wineries, Château d’Esclans and Château Minuty, the former of which makes the well-liked rosé “Whispering Angel,” highlights the wine industry’s strong appeal in the surrounding area. Notably, LVMH became the first European company with a market capitalization exceeding $500 billion.
Celebrities in the Wine Business:
Celebrity investments in French and Italian vineyards are not uncommon, with figures like Kylie Minogue and Jon Bon Jovi joining the ranks. Pitt and Jolie’s venture, guided by renowned winemaker Marc Perrin, amassed over €17 million in profits in 2022.
Brad vs. Angelina
The heart of the dispute centres on Pitt’s contention that he possesses the right of first refusal to buy Jolie’s share, a claim he pursued in a lawsuit against her. Jolie countered by stating she had initially offered the sale to Pitt, but negotiations soured when he imposed a gag order preventing her from discussing the circumstances leading to their separation. Consequently, she sought alternative buyers. The Stoli Group, Scheffler’s company, found itself inadvertently caught up in the divorce conflict and asserts that Pitt’s legal actions prohibit them from operating the Miraval vineyard.
Allegations and Accusations on Yuri Scheffler Oligarch to Hollywood
Jolie and Scheffler have accused Pitt and his team of launching a “xenophobic, false smear campaign,” likening their actions to attacks against Putin himself. In response, Pitt’s legal representatives argue that Scheffler is an outsider with “poisonous connections and intentions” who poses a threat to the carefully cultivated reputation of Miraval due to suspicions of links to the Russian president’s inner circle.
In an official statement, the Stoli Group rejected these allegations and highlighted its founder’s 20-year struggle against Putin and his regime, citing a history of raids, smear campaigns, and poisonings targeting its executives during their pursuit of Stolichnaya vodka rights.
While Scheffler has maintained a low profile during this tumultuous marital saga, his involvement in various legal disputes within the alcohol industry has gained notoriety. This includes a recent conflict involving an executive in his group who accused him of termination due to his refusal to accept a 30% pay cut, as well as efforts to rebrand Stolichnaya vodka as “Stoli” to distance the brand from Putin’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict. The Stoli Group, with estates in Italy, Spain, and Argentina, remains interested in acquiring Pitt’s stake, but Pitt and his team assert their resolve not to yield to such pressure.