The Ava Gardner Trust, in partnership with Seven Jars Distillery and Winery, recently announced the release of the Ava Gardner Signature Wine Collection. This new line of four distinct, Ava Gardner-branded wines builds on the existing relationship between the Ava Gardner Trust and Seven Jars which began with the Ava Gardner Select Bourbon Whiskey released in 2020.
The four wines in the Ava Gardner Signature collection.
Ava Thompson and Ava Malissa Silver, the co-trustees of the Ava Gardner Trust and namesakes of Ava Gardner, traveled to the Seven Jars Distillery and Winery in Charlotte, NC to announce the release of the Ava Gardner Signature Wine Collection during a special Facebook Live conversation. Streamed from the Seven Jars Facebook page, the event also featured Lynell Seabold, Executive Director of the Ava Gardner Museum, and Todd Johnson, Chair of the Museum’s Board of Directors, as well as Melinda Morris Zanoni, founder and CEO of Legacy Talent. As they sampled the collection, the group shared their thoughts and impressions of each wine with Del Ratcliffe, managing partner at Seven Jars. You can watch the full Facebook Live wine launch here.
Representatives from Seven Jars Distillery and Winery, Legacy Talent and Entertainment, the Ava Gardner Trust, and the Ava Gardner Museum at the wine launch at Seven Jars in Charlotte, NC.
Speaking at the release event, Ava Thompson praised the wine inspired by the life and career of her great-aunt: “We are very proud of the Ava Gardner Collection of Signature Wines. They are light, refreshing, and fun. They are fruit-flavored, sweet wines, two from a white base and two from a red base.” Thompson added, “It is really hard to pick just one as my favorite because they are all good.”
Ava Thompson and her daughter Ava Malissa Silver the co-trustees of the Ava Gardner Trust. Both are named for Ava Gardner whose sister was Thompson's grandmother.
The Ava Gardner Signature Wine Collection consists of four unique wines. Crafted to be playful and refreshing, these fruit-flavored wines are best served chilled. While the entire collection has a delicate sweetness, they are not super sweet like a Moscato or Muscadine wine. Three of the wines use two different fruit flavorings, pairing a sweet fruit with a tart fruit. This contrasting blend keeps the sweeter elements from overpowering the overall taste of the wine and still allows the subtle fruity notes to come through. Two wines in the collection are developed from a red wine base while the other two are developed from a white wine base. Del Ratcliffe noted, “All four wines have a hint of sweetness and fruit flavor; however, the red-based wines also temper the amount of sweetness with a hint of dryness from the base wine, while the white wines are lighter and have a little stronger hint of the fruit flavoring.”
Ava Malissa Silver shows off a bottle of the new Goddess wine in the Ava Gardner Signature Wine Collection.
Ava Malissa Silver, Thompson’s daughter and the fourth Ava in the Gardner family line, also celebrated the Ava Gardner Signature Wine Collection not only for their taste but also for their beautiful labels: “My favorite part about the wine is, not only do you get a wonderful tasting experience, but you also get a visual experience. You get to see Ava in all her elements, gorgeous as she is. The fruit flavors accompany every picture on the label so every season you can absorb the fantastic flavors.”
One of the wine labels features a commissioned portrait of Ava Gardner, while the remaining three labels showcase the captivating artwork of Bert Pfeiffer, an avid Ava fan and portrait artist. Many of Pfeiffer’s paintings of Ava are now part of the Ava Gardner Museum permanent collection.
Entranced by Ava’s performance as a statue who comes to life in the 1948 film One Touch of Venus, Pfeiffer vowed to paint one portrait of her each year of his life. His works featuring Ava were wholly original, created from his own imagination. He incorporated whimsical signature touches that include a bumblebee, a dragonfly, a waterlily, a locket containing Pfeiffer’s portrait, playing cards that spell “AVA”, and a little brown mouse running up Ava’s arm. Although Pfeiffer and Ava never met, they did correspond for a number of years. Prior to her death in 1990, Ava Gardner received three of his portraits as gifts and displayed them in her London home. Following Bert Pfeiffer’s death in August 2001, family and friends completed his wish to donate his collection to the Museum, adding to the portraits previously purchased by the Museum’s founders, Tom and Lorraine Banks.
The name and flavor profile of each wine in the collection were inspired by aspects of Ava's life and personality. Read more about each wine in the tasting notes below.
- Beauty and the Beach: This white wine is perhaps the sweetest one in the collection. This wine combines the recognizable flavor of coconut with the Asian citrus fruit Yuzu. The blend of the sweet coconut and the tart Yuzu produces an enjoyable wine that is ideal for summer. One sip and you are transported to a warm, sandy beach with Ava.
- Forbidden Fruit: This white wine fuses the flavors of two stone fruits – peaches and apricots. The sweetness of the peach flavor couples superbly with the tangier flavor of the apricot. The resulting taste is cool and refreshing, the perfect wine to drink while watching a romantic Ava film.
- Contessa: This sangria blends the flavorings of raspberry and peach. Just like the other pairings in the collection, the two fruits in this wine offset each other, making a delightful bouquet and balanced taste. Ava would have enjoyed sipping this wine while dancing the flamenco in the Spanish countryside.
- Goddess: This red wine, the least sweet and driest of the four, is the only wine in the collection which uses a single fruit accent. By incorporating the blackberry flavor to the drier red wine base, this wine exhibits the same sweet and tart balance as the rest of the collection. Of the four wines, this is definitely the one a Goddess like Ava would choose!
After sampling each wine during the Facebook Live event, Melinda Morris Zanoni shared her thoughts: “I love these wines because they are drinkable. The second I tasted them I thought every book club in America should be buying these wines. They are excellent for gifts because they are so unique and have so much character.”
The complete Ava Gardner Signature Wine Collection is now available in-person at the Seven Jars Distillery and Winery in Charlotte, NC. For shipment options, contact Seven Jars Distillery directly. The wine will soon also be available in Smithfield, NC at the Ava Gardner Museum gift shop. Stay tuned to the Ava Gardner Museum social media channels and blog for availability updates in the weeks ahead!