For wine lovers, having your own brand is the ultimate goal. For Nina Dobrev (Canadian actress known for “The Vampire Diaries” and “Love Hard”) and Julianne Hough (dancer/actress known for “Dancing With the Stars” and “Rock of Ages” with a recent Broadway debut), they made that goal a reality when they saw a need for a product that wasn’t yet on the market.
The duo recently launched a partnership for their company, Fresh Vine Wine, with Resorts World Las Vegas—one of the most significant food and beverage destinations on the Las Vegas Strip, and they show no signs of stopping. We talked with the pair about their love for a good pour, working together and the future of Fresh Vine Wine (available online and at retailers nationwide including New York, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Nashville, Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Orlando).
Fresh Vine Wine also just announced a brand new partnership with True Food Kitchen. The wines will be served at the chain’s 44 locations around the country, including venues in Las Vegas, Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, New York/New Jersey, Washington, DC, Miami, Los Angeles, Nashville and Atlanta.
Wine Talk With Nina Dobrev & Julianne Hough
WT: I love that you saw a gap in the market and filled it yourselves! Where did you start?
Dobrev: We are big social butterflies and tend to always have a glass in our hands when we are together catching up, so making that into a company seems right. We started tasting wines and taking trips to different vineyards to gain knowledge on winemaking. From there, we started a team.
Hough: We work with our amazing winemaker, Jamey Whetstone, to create thoughtfully crafted wines – we pay close attention to every gram of sugar, calorie, and carb that goes into the process! Nina and I both live such active lifestyles, so we created this wine with the intention of being able to enjoy without the sacrifice.
WT: How was the research process? Was there a lot of wine tasting?
Dobrev: It started with us talking about our favorite wine and what we like to drink. Then we started sourcing vineyards and winemakers. Our winemaker, Jamey Whetstone, hand selects grapes from California’s best wine regions in Northern California and along the Central Coast. Each region is characterized by unique soil and climate conditions that produce a wide range of grapes. Sourcing from these regions provides the perfect opportunity for the delicate balance of sugar, acidity and flavors that makes Fresh Vine Wine unique, flavored forward with the highest quality.
Hough: It’s so fun to do tastings with family and friends! Being able to hear the feedback from my family and friends about how much they love something that Nina and I created is the most unbelievable feeling! We both lead very active and physical lifestyles with a holistic approach, so we wanted to make a product that not only complemented our lives but was also still of premium quality and taste.
WT: How did you select what varietals of wine you wanted to offer with Fresh Vine Wine?
Hough: We are both avid wine lovers ourselves, so while creating Fresh Vine Wine, we wanted to put together a collection that had something for everyone. By trying so many different varietals and with the help of some amazing experts, we were able to land at a perfect intersection of bold, crisp, and creamy wines that we are very proud of.
WT: What is it like founding a company with your best friend? Has the experience brought you closer together?
Dobrev: Of course, we talk all the time regardless, but we have never shared a business together or worked together on a professional level. The fact that we are on calls together weekly now and help run this business together is beyond anything we could have ever dreamed of.
Hough: A lot of people say don’t do business with friends and family, but our experience has proven otherwise. When you have great communication, a foundation of respect for one another, and shared goals, you get two different perspectives and are able to challenge each other in a way that just helps you be your best self.
WT: Fresh Vine Wine seems to be the perfect wine for summer when everyone is out exploring and being more active. Which wine is your favorite after a summer day out and about?
Dobrev: It totally depends on what our day consists of, but a typical summer day pairs perfectly with our Rosé. It is light and airy and truly reminds me of summer.
Hough: I also love our Chardonnay, which is perfect for the summer dinner table!
WT: I know Fresh Vine Wine is a partner of Resorts World Las Vegas—how does it feel to have your product featured in one of the biggest food and beverage hotspots in Las Vegas?
Dobrev: My 21-year-old self would never believe this! Never in a million years did I think I would go to Vegas to drink OUR wine. When we heard they wanted to put Fresh Vine Wine in Resorts World, we felt like we hit the jackpot. It was a moment we will never forget.
Hough: Being able to launch our wine at Resorts World Las Vegas was such a pinch me moment! We feel so lucky to be doing things we could have only dreamed about just a few years ago.
WT: What is your favorite experience to have with a glass of wine in hand?
Dobrev: The gatherings that it brings. The fact that people can sit around a table and create great memories and laughs. It is so incredible to think that Fresh Wine Vine is what people around the world are drinking, bringing people together.
Hough: I love to host dinners outside with my group of girlfriends. Being together with our glass of wine and laughing together is truly the best medicine. Fresh Vine Wine is the perfect addition to any gathering!
WT: Do you have a favorite among your selection of wines?
Dobrev: I personally love our Cabernet Sauvignon. It is the perfect red wine, in my opinion. It pairs amazingly with everything.
Hough: Our Rosé is the perfect addition to any summer beach day – it’s so light and dry.
WT: What are your goals for Fresh Vine Wine in ten years?
Dobrev: The sky is the limit! We have so many things cooking up right now. We are currently tasting new varietals and designing bottles as you read this. We also want Fresh Vine Wine to be available to all in all online and storefront retailers! We have exciting partners we will be working with to also add our line to menus across the U.S. to enjoy when dining out.
Hough: We’d love to have Fresh Vine Wine available at all our favorite restaurants and make it easily accessible for more and more people. The Rosé is my favorite right now; I’m obsessed!