In his rookie year with the Miami Dolphins, Damon Huard was taught more than just how to play quarterback in the National Football League. Sure, future Hall of Famer quarterback Dan Marino shared expertise on how to execute the playbook, but he also introduced Huard to what would become their second professional act: wine.

The two debuted their Washington winery, Passing Time, in 2011. It officially launched its first vintage, a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, in 2015.

Marino and Huard are among several former NFL players trading their playbooks for Pinots and Cabs. These former athletes are dedicated to their process and product, farming their land, learning the business, and, in the case of one former Super Bowl champ, building his own wine press.

These NFL alums don’t want to get pigeonholed as athletes-dash-winemakers. Their marketing efforts walk a fine line between informing consumers about their past careers — and, in some cases, celebrity — and letting the juice speak for itself.

  Read More »