You give wine a good name: Award-winning rosé with hard-rock roots debuts in the Czech Republic

Hampton Water is made in France, and was born in Long Island; a pair of wine connoisseur guitar enthsuisasts have brought it to Prague

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas
Published on 09.12.2020 15:20 (updated on 09.12.2020)

When Czech brothers Michal and Petr Diviš attended a Bon Jovi concert at Prague's Strahov Stadium in 1993, it never would have occurred to them that their fates would eventually be linked with the American rocker -- not just as fans but as business associates.

Today the brothers are the owners of Aperittivo.cz, a Prague-based seller of spirits and wine that is the exclusive distributor of Hampton Water, a wine label founded by Jon Bon Jovi and his son Jesse Bon Jovi. The easy-drinking rosé is named for the Long Island vacation destination where the senior Bon Jovi resides.

Hampton Water is made by Jon Bon Jovi and his son Jesse
Hampton Water is made by Jon Bon Jovi and his son Jesse

Rosé, though long considered a summer drink, is having a big moment as a year-round drink, especially on festive occasions. The duo, whose shop Aperittivo.cz specializes in high-quality wines from Austria, Italy, Germany, France, and Spain confirm that popularity of the wine in the Czech Republic as well is on the rise.

“You can drink it throughout the day, with lighter meals and salads or appetizers, but it’s also a nice contrast to pizza, pasta or even the heavier Czech cuisine like duck,” says Michal Diviš who believes there’s no better time than Christmas to make it Bon Jovi time.

Turning water into wine

The story of how Bon Jovi and his son became winemakers begins in 2016 when Jesse brought college roommate Ali Thomas home for a visit (Thomas is also a partner in the Hampton Water venture). The singer offered Thomas a glass of the local beverage of choice which his son jokingly referred to as “Hampton Water.”

Hampton Water is made in the Languedoc region of France
Hampton Water is made in the Languedoc region of France

What started as a joke sparked an idea and eventually the trio connected with Gérard Bertrand, a retired French rugby star with a family vineyard in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, which had been producing distinctive wines from hand-picked grapes for 500 years.

Bertrand agreed to produce a rosé composed of Grenache grapes (60%), Cinsault (15%), Mourvèdre (15%), and Syrah (10%) matured for 30 to 60 days in French barrels. Jesse designed the elegant label that adorns the bottles while the glass Vinolok stopper is, coincidentally, made by Czech company Preciosa. 

Landing exclusive distribution 'a miracle'

The brothers themselves reached out to the brand via social media and in the end were able to secure a distribution deal, something that they consider somewhat of a miracle.

The long-time Bon Jovi fans say the experience of opening the first case of wine from Languedoc, was a religious experience as well.

"When it came, it was like unwrapping a Christmas gift. We played ‘Livin on a Prayer’ as if we were in a trance,” says Michal Diviš.

The Diviš brothers aren’t the only connoisseurs to sing the praises of light dry wine with fruity top notes. Wine Spectator magazine described the rosé as having “a French soul and an American heart.” The publication ranked it number 83 among the 100 best wines, writing:

“A nicely processed rosé with hints of creamy saturation frames the taste of strawberries, watermelon, and cherry. A pinch of minerality adds wine satiety throughout for a delicious finish. A crowd-pleaser."

The Hampton Water name has recently been using its celeb connections for good, donating proceeds from each bottle sold during an April live stream concert to the World Central Kitchen.

Sparkle all season long

Hampton Water may be the American standout in the Diviš brothers portfolio but Aperittivo also boasts an extensive offer of drinks and delicacies sure to make holiday celebrations merry and bright.

For Christmas and New Year’s gatherings, Michal Diviš also recommends Italian wines, particularly Prosecco from the Moletto winery and red wine Primitivo from Puglia as well as champagne from the French province of Champagne, wines from Mosela and bottles from Pfaffl from Weinviertel, an award-winning Austrian vintner.

Acanto Primitivo from Aperitivo
Acanto Primitivo from Aperitivo

Wines from Moravia are equally well represented.

Petr compares opening a bottle of wine to the experience of attending a great concert that connects all the senses. He and his brother had hoped to relive their first Bon Jovi experience -- this time with a glass of Hampton Water in hand -- when the rock star was scheduled to play in Prague this year.

The event was canceled due to COVID but the brothers haven’t given up hope of meeting Bon Jovi and Jesse someday.

“Jesse has actually said that Prague is on his bucket list,” says Michal who hopes to get some face time with the rock god and his son next year. Until then the Diviš brothers remain happy to bring a taste of America, by way of France, to Bon Jovi fans and wine enthusiasts across the Czech Republic. 

This article was written in cooperation with Aperittivo.cz. Read more about our partner content policies here.