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News & Press

Jan 25, 2022

Charles Woodson Has Another Win With His Wine Label, Intercept

HE KICKED OFF AND END­ED HIS CAREER as a Raider and won a Super Bowl ring as a Pack­er, but these days, Charles Wood­son feels more like a lion. Not of the NFL team vari­ety, but the jun­gle cat kind — a two-legged mem­ber of the Lion King tribe. Just don’t call him Scar.

I don’t want to be Scar, man! We don’t like Scar around here,” the 45-year-old 18-year NFL vet­er­an laughs dur­ing our Zoom chat. I’m more of a Mufasa.” (Say it again, say it again!)

The rea­son we’re talk­ing about said pride­ful beasts and their Dis­ney brethren is sim­ple: They serve as the inspi­ra­tion behind Woodson’s Inter­cept Wine label. The lion rep­re­sents strength, the king of the jun­gle, pride, fam­i­ly. I want­ed the label to mir­ror what I felt a team should be,” he explains.

And Wood­son knows. After all, he’s been play­ing the game for most of his life. The thing is, he’s equal­ly well-versed in wine speak, hav­ing dis­cov­ered the glo­ries of har­vest­ed grapes dur­ing his first sea­son as a pro­fes­sion­al ath­lete when, in 1998, as a new­ly draft­ed mem­ber of the then-Oak­land Raiders, he head­ed off to Napa Val­ley for his first train­ing camp. Sev­en years lat­er, a big, bold Cab became his ride or die, his rai­son d’être.

I didn’t know any­thing about Napa Val­ley or wine coun­try to begin with, but my curios­i­ty was def­i­nite­ly piqued from the begin­ning,” he says. I mean, I found myself in this amaz­ing place for almost four weeks every year, where lit­er­al­ly every­thing was cen­tered around wine. Every restau­rant you went to, there were two, three, four bot­tles on the table and peo­ple always just seemed to be hav­ing a good time. Con­ver­sa­tion was flow­ing, too, but the cen­ter­piece was always wine. I’d see peo­ple swirling and sip­ping, but I didn’t real­ly under­stand what was going on, because I came [to Napa] straight out of col­lege, and in col­lege, we weren’t doing a whole lot of swirling and sip­ping. We were doing a whole oth­er kind of drink­ing entire­ly,” he recalls with a laugh.

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