Guy Fieri's Food Empire Now Includes a Vineyard in SonomaS

New York Times-approved chef Guy Fieri, the mastermind behind culinary innovations such as Donkey Sauce and the no-longer-served (RIP) Nuclear Waste Margarita, is now officially in the wine business. Sometime last year – how the news went so long without being reported is a mystery and, really, an indictment of the food media – Fieri purchased a five acre vineyard of pinot noir grapes in Sonoma County, California.

"Ever since I moved to Sonoma County and saw all this incredible environment of wine, from the agricultural side of it to the business side of it, to the community involvement side of it ... I've just been in awe," Fieri said Friday. "So my wife and I were talking about it, and saying, ‘Can we do that some day?'"

That day, alas, was so long ago that Fieri has already sold some of the grapes to two wineries. But how good are the wines? The verdict, according to unbiased tastebuds of Fieri's father and business partner, Jim Ferry:

...the pinot came out real good," Ferry said.

(And in case you were wondering why Fieri's father's last name is Ferry and not Fieri, here's the Press Democrat to explain: "Ferry spells his name differently because Fieri took the Italian spelling of his family name in 1996.")

That's not all the good news, in case you were worried. If God wills it so, and county planner Sigrid Swedenborg approves, Fieri will open a tasting room in the three-bedroom house on the property, which will also include "an Italian piazza, with raised garden beds, olive trees and mountain views, according to the application submitted to the county by his company, Knuckle Sandwich LLC."

"What we're concerned about is the noise from the events and the traffic, and how that could impact the nearby residents," Swedenborg said.

Fair enough. Also: "Knuckle Sandwich LLC." Fieri has plans to one day manufacture his own wine, which he will name "Hunt and Ryde," after his two sons, Hunter and Ryder. That's a terrible name for a wine, sure, but considering Fieri's food-naming past, it's a step in the right direction.

[Image via AP]