Johnson, who was first pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, decided to go after Cabernet Sauvignon from northeast Oregon for his first run at winemaking. He said in the press release, "I've enjoyed wine for years and for me, Cabernet is king."
According to the release, Johnson teamed up with California wine business entrepreneur R.C. Mills for the project. They will release their 660-bottle production on Sept. 15 of this year, with a suggested retail price of $125.
The 2007 KJ1 Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on an eastern Oregon portion of the Columbia Valley, where the terroir and climate can be similar to Bordeaux.
Master Sommelier Virginia Philips' tasting notes of the 2007 KJ1 also reveal Bordeaux-like comparisons.
"There are notes of tobacco, vanilla and clove mingling with damp earth," she said.
Johnson and Mills have based their partnership in Century City, Calif. and acknowledge the connection between wine, sports and entertainment.
"We're seeing a real trend in the sports and entertainment industries taking an interest in not just wine as a beverage but the whole business-from growing grapes to making their own wine," said Mills.