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Heimoff buys Hugh Johnson’s English cottage


Yes, it’s true. I’ve admired Hugh Johnson‘s country shack for years, ever since he invited me to stay there while attending Prince Andrew’s and Fergie’s wedding, back in 1986. Hugh and I go way back, to when we joint published Vintage: The Story of Wine. So when he decided to put Saling Hall up for sale, for the ridiculously giveaway price of only 2.8 million pounds sterling, I couldn’t say no.

For the time being, I’ll divide my time between my Oakland home,

my villa on Mustique,

and my Paris Pied-a-terre, which I bought in the 1980s with my first profits from wine writing.

I think I still own a condo in Abu Dahbi

but it’s been so long since I stayed there, I can’t remember. [Memo to self: check on status of Abu Dahbi condo.]

I never dreamed wine writing could be so rewarding when I first started. To tell you the truth, I didn’t set out to be rich. No, I started writing about wine because I loved (a) wine and (b) writing, so I decided to put the two together. I didn’t care at all about making money as long as I could pursue my dream career.

It’s funny, though, how sometimes, you get things you’re not even looking for! Here I am, all these years later, with homes all over the world, luxury cars,


and Hollywood starlets throwing themselves at me.

Little did I dream of all this wealth and happiness, but there you are. No wonder so many of these young bloggers want to succeed as a wine writer, the way I have. They yearn for the life I lead!

Once I move into Saling Hall I’m going to have to make it feel like my place, not Hugh’s. I was thinking of buying this little hat from Queen Elizabeth

and wearing it when I’m home. When I was over in London for Kate and Will’s nuptials, Liz told me I could have it for a mere 10.5 million pounds. (I think she and Phillip are a little short on cash following that expensive wedding.) I don’t have that much in my checking account, but I’ll just sell off a few of my older bottles of Romanée-Conti and Lafite to the Chinese. Which reminds me: I seem to recall buying this house in Beijing

with the royalties from my first wine book. Did I really, or am I just dreaming? [Memo to self: Look into Chinese real estate holdings.]

  1. I’m guess “Google AdSense” was when things really took off for you, Steve. Congratulations on your fabulous wealth. I haven’t made anything yet, but I know my stock is rising. Time to start writing more promotional posts for Paul Masson.

    Joe “Drink No Wine Before It’s Time” Herrig

  2. Hollywood starlets?

  3. Wish I had been writing wine books instead of cookery books all those years. Who knew it could be so lucrative. I imagine wineries will soon have to provide a heliport for your arrival for tastings.

  4. The MG seems rather modest next to your other possessions. But then you probably have them in every color, to match the various environments through which you rotate. That particular MG was obviously chosen to harmonize with the color of the water surrounding your little boatie.

  5. Dr. Meredith as usual is correct.

  6. Lori, heliports are for the little people. I demand nothing less than a jet-capable runway.

  7. Steve, I’m actually considering liquidating my interest in pork futures and making an offer on the Oakland Coliseum after they move to LA. I want to make it air tight, fill it with water, and reshoot a shot for shot remake of water world with the cast of charles in charge. I could use a partner.

  8. Steve,

    I’m pretty sure you’re the only one that actually likes wine and likes writing. Your riches are well deserved!


  9. John Roberts says:

    Hahahaha that’s great Stevie

  10. Margaret says:

    Any ideas on what you’ll put in the cellar at Saling Hall?

  11. Christian Miller says:

    Which wine were you drinking when you posted this? I want me some a dat.

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