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What is Vega Sicilia wine? Amber Heard's favourite priced around $500 a bottle

Bruno Cooke May 5, 2022
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During his testimony last week in the ongoing defamation case Johnny Depp’s business manager, Edward White, was questioned on a wine he said Amber Heard “enjoyed” – he added that Vega Sicilia comes in at about $500 a bottle. Its mention at the trial has seen the winery’s Wikipedia hits multiply 20-fold. What’s so special about it?

What did Edward White say about Amber Heard and Vega Sicilia wine?

Edward White is Johnny Depp’s business manager. He took the stand a week ago at the Fairfax County Circuit Court to testify in the ongoing defamation lawsuit Johnny Depp has brought against former wife Amber Heard.

During his testimony, he said part of his role as business manager was to “satisfy the liabilities Mr Depp incurred” with 2020 Wine Merchants. 2020 is a Los Angeles-based purveyor of fine wine.

Depp’s “liabilities” with the company “at the dissolve of (his and Ms Heard’s) marriage” were “approximately $160,000”. His wine bill is now “virtually zero”, White added.

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Asked what he knew about Vega Sicilia wine specifically, Edward White said it was a “very expensive wine”. 

“Ms Heard enjoyed drinking the wine,” he said. “The cost of the wine is approximately $500 a bottle.” White’s duties included paying for wine served at Amber Heard’s 30th birthday party on 21 April 2016.

“At Ms Heard’s request,” White said, “she ordered five bottles of the wine and eight bottles of other wine, so a total of 13 bottles of wine.”

What is special about Amber Heard’s Vega Sicilia wine, is its price tag really $500?

Bodegas Vega Sicilia is a winery in northern Spain. It was founded in 1864. Don Eloy Lecanda y Chaves planted grapes there from the Bordeaux wine region of France, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. 

Wine website Vinsionaire calls Vega Silicia the “undisputed champion of Spanish wine”. “To visit Vega Sicilia is to witness winemaking at its apogee,” it adds.

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The winery’s output is recognised worldwide and, true enough, its wines fetch high prices. They do fluctuate, however, and the price of a single bottle depends on its age and availability. 

Currently, for example, you can get a single bottle of Vega Sicilia Unico Gran Reserva for $269 (£218.23). But bottles of different ages can be more or less expensive.

Johnny Depp mentioning Amber Heard liked Vega Sicilia gave the brand an online boost

According to a post in the subreddit r/wine, being mentioned during the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard defamation case caused Vega Sicilia’s Wikipedia page to receive 20 times more visits than normal.

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In the three days before the mention, the Wikipedia page apparently received 129 visits. In the three days after, it received 2,508.

Whether Vega Sicilia is Amber Heard’s favourite wine, per se, is unclear. However, wine in general – its production and consumption – has featured in her Instagram posts at least three times.

Meanwhile, Johnny Depp once told Rolling Stone his former business manager’s claim he spent $30,000 per month on wine was “insulting”. Why? “Because it was far more.”

The defamation trial between Depp and Heard began on 11 April in Fairfax, Virginia. Depp is suing his ex-wife for $50 million over an essay she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018. Heard is counter-suing.

The case continues.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.