Since 1999, she has been part of the most famous hip-hop group on the planet: the Black Eyed Peas. Officially, her name is Stacy Ann Ferguson, but to the rest of the world, she’s just Fergie – the sexiest member of BEP. Remember when she started out, singing in a mini-kilt and dancing suggestively? Well, between her concerts, films and multiple other projects, this ravishing beauty has launched herself into a daring new move: winemaking!
You and your father have a vineyard, Ferguson Crest. How did that come about?
I grew up in a home of wine connoisseurs, and my father, Pat Ferguson, initiated me to that culture very early on. In 2006, when he asked me to invest in a small vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley (California), I didn’t hesitate for a second! Today we produce almost 1,000 cases a year of ‘Fergalicious’, our premier vintage. I’ve always loved wine. When I was young, I used to love running through the vines. Sometimes I had the impression that the sun was playing hide-and-seek with the grapes!
I’ve heard that your father believes that man and nature are part of a whole?
Yes, he grew up not far from Santa Ana (California). From the window of his house, he could touch the fruit trees he had planted. It was his father, my grandfather, who passed on his passion for nature. To support our family, Dad chose to become a high school teacher, but it wasn’t his first love. In all his spare time he grew fruit, vegetables and herbs in his garden. I remember his proudest moment was succeeding at growing mangoes and papayas in the backyard! So making wine was a normal development.
So you take after your father?
Yes! I spent hours with my father in his garden. Later, he divorced and moved near Solvang. When he got there, he discovered that the soil was very fertile, so he decided to buy 2.5 hectares of land and grow grapevines. Ferguson Crest is a family venture – the fruit of our efforts. Since 2011, the year of our first real vintage, there hasn’t been one bottle of wine that has been labelled without us making sure in advance that it’s perfect. We put in a lot of work and a lot of love, you know. We make a fuss over every bottle – each one is pampered! It’s a family treasure and it means a lot to us.
What stages of the process are you involved in?
Every stage! From treating the vines, to making the wines, labelling the bottles and racking it in the cellar. I didn’t get involved in this adventure just to make believe. Watching the vines grow and creating a wine is both a selfish and a shared pleasure. I should add that I couldn’t care less about what people say about me. The only thing that’s important is pleasing our customers’ palates and ensuring consistent quality.