“Sports and Wine Are Attractive”
—John Kent Cooke
Son of legendary Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, John was team president in the 1980s and ’90s, when the Skins won three Super Bowls. After his dad’s death in ’97, he was outbid for the team by Dan Snyder. Cooke, 73, now oversees, among other holdings, Boxwood Estate Winery in Middleburg.
“I’ve been interested in wine for years. I live in the country, and when we moved here in the ’70s, the wine industry was being reborn in Virginia. We’ve been at it now ten years and have been quite successful. Both sports and the wine business are attractive to everyone. Whenever I say I was president of the Redskins, people say, ‘Really?’ and their eyes get wide. Now when I tell them I own a winery, they say, ‘Really?’ and their eyes get wide. . . . Now that I’m not with the Redskins, I can say the best way to watch games is on TV. You can see the replays. You don’t have to dress up. You can slouch in your chair without having the camera on you—and, God knows, you don’t want the camera on you if you have a glass of wine in your hand.”