You know his face – confident, menacing, suave, penetrating eyes – because Robert Davi, the anti-Bond, has appeared in more than 130 films, primarily as a tough guy and hard man to contend with but he’s got another side: screenwriter, director, producer, jazz vocalist. And wine guy.
Davi, who is touring in his show Davi Sings Sinatra, belting out the classics and ballads of a fellow Italian-American, has gone into a partnership to promote Georgos Greek Wine, producer of small batches in Sonoma Valley, California, made with imported Greek fruit.
A sip was all it took to convince him.
Davi sought out the company after buying a bottle of its Santorini wine at a Whole Foods Market in San Francisco, a crisp, white varietal. It was love at first drink. He called it “One of the smoothest damn wines I've ever had." When he tried the reds, he sought out Georgos.
The company said its produces wines without sulfites, 100 percent non-genetically modified and with no additives, naming them after locations in Greece: Ios, Mykonos, Corfu, Marathon.
Founder and President Georgos Zanganas said when he came to the United States from Greece to work as an engineer he found the wines had too much alcohol and produced a headache, not a sweet high, so he set out to make his own, ironically finding it difficult to get Greek wines in supermarkets and liquor stores because they aren’t marketed.
With its wine culture dating back 6,500 years and a climate born to make the grape, Greece has some of the world’s best, many of them still relatively unknown outside the country. In 2013, Zanganas decided to make his wines in the celebrated Sonoma Valley, combining Greek winemaking techniques with some of the area’s noble red, hand-sorting grapes to weed out toxins and bacteria and create a purer product, available mostly in the region, at moderate prices.
Davi will be the company’s brand ambassador to broaden its reach by spreading the wine's unique story and to help create more great tasting wines. "In my family, wine was as necessary a drink as water. I helped my grandfather make his homemade wine at our family home on Long Island, and have been searching for an opportunity to once again become intimate with the process," he said.
He knows wine as well as walking his way through a tough role, having appeared in the Bond film License to Kill as well as Die Hard. When not acting, he knows how to croon and just released a documentary Davi’s Way, about the challenge of taking on Sinatra’s role.
"I've always been a lover of all things Greek – poetry, food, culture, and after tasting all the Georgos blends, it was ordained that I join with them,” he said.
“These are truly 'Greek wines redefined. The wines, sustainable and low in sulfites, are not only healthier but will most likely never give you a headache,” he said.
Zanganas discovered Deerfield Ranch Winery in Sonoma Valley where he met winemaker Robert Rex, who was recently named 2018 Winemaker of the year by the American Fine Wine Competition.
Together they embarked to make a "clean wine" with imported Greek fruit. Zanganas and Rex spent one year, tasting over 400 samples until they found the perfect recipe to create Georgos Super-Premium Greek wine, which is fruit forward with soft tannins.
"I never thought that I would be in the wine business, but I wanted everyone to be able to drink a great quality wine without experiencing a headache. I also found the opportunity to make Greek wine in the heart of the U.S. winemaking region an irresistible challenge. It's like importing and making California olive oil in Kalamata, Greece – to succeed you have to believe in it with passion."
Zanganas said he was thrilled to work with Davi because one of his favorite films is License to Kill.
“Robert played a tough guy, and established a great reputation in that archetype," Zanganas said. Now they have a license to make Super-Premium wine good enough to die for.