Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and the dispute that shook Provence

Château Miraval: the legal battle over a celebrity vineyard


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In the lush vineyards of Provence, the Château Miraval estate, known for its esteemed rosé wine, has become a stage for a legal drama involving Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The former power couple's contentious divorce has extended into a battle over the ownership of this $500 million property, shedding light on the complexities of celebrity investments in the wine industry.

Brad Pitt has recently secured a temporary victory in this ongoing dispute, retaining his majority ownership of the estate. According to reports from the New York Post, Pitt continues to hold a 60/40 split, a division that has been contested since Jolie's decision to sell her stake to Yuri Shefler, a Russian vodka tycoon known for owning Stoli. This move by Jolie has sparked a legal challenge from Pitt, who argues that he should maintain a controlling interest in Miraval, given the circumstances surrounding the sale.

The heart of the matter lies in the couple's initial purchase of Miraval. Before their marriage, Pitt and Jolie acquired the estate jointly, with Pitt holding a 60% share and Jolie 40%. In a gesture of partnership, Pitt later gifted Jolie 10% of his share. However, the dynamics of their agreement changed dramatically following their separation, leading to a series of legal and personal disputes over the rightful ownership and control of the estate.

Château Miraval
Château Miraval

The legal filings paint a picture of acrimony and accusation. Nouvel, Jolie's former investment company, has accused Pitt of "play-acting at being a winemaker" and engaging in a "vindictive campaign" to dominate the wine business they once built together. These documents allege that Pitt's actions are not in line with the shared ownership agreement, suggesting that both parties were intended to have equal rights and obligations.

Furthermore, the filings reveal that Jolie attempted to negotiate the sale of her stake directly to Pitt, but the discussions fell apart over what are described as "onerous and irrelevant conditions" imposed by Pitt. This led Jolie to sell her shares to Shefler's Luxembourg-based company instead, a move that Pitt's legal team argues violated the terms of their agreement, specifically the right of first refusal.

This legal entanglement highlights not only the personal fallout between two of Hollywood's most prominent figures but also the intersection of celebrity, investment, and the global wine industry. Château Miraval is not just a symbol of Pitt and Jolie's once-shared dreams but also a significant player in the rosé market, known for its high-quality production and contribution to the prestige of Provencal wine.

As the legal proceedings continue, the future of Château Miraval hangs in the balance. The outcome of this dispute will not only determine the ownership structure of one of France's most famous vineyards but also set a precedent for how celebrity investments in the wine industry are perceived and managed. For now, Brad Pitt remains at the helm of Miraval, steering through turbulent legal waters, with the world watching closely.

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