“Our place in East Hampton is my happy place,” says Jesse Bongiovi, a fact that holds especially true when a glass of rosé is in-hand. Last year, Jesse and his father, Jon Bon Jovi, launched their own rosé label—Diving into Hampton Water—which went on to be named Best Rosé of 2018 and #83 on the Top 100 among all wines by Wine Spectator. Now as he readies himself for his wine’s second summer, Jesse talks surfing Georgica, loving Montauk, presidential dinners and diving into another sun-filled season.
Describe your perfect day on the East End.
Jesse Bongiovi: Wake up as early as I can, get to Georgica. surf for a couple hours, go home, have breakfast, hang out by the pool, barbecue, then go to my buddy’s house, pregame, head to Surf Lodge at about six o’clock, or Talkhouse around 10 o’clock, and just go all night long. Suddenly it’s 6:30 in the morning and I’m going right back to the beach for surf patrol.
What are some other favorite spots for fun in the Hamptons?
JB: I love going to the Blue Parrot, the Palm, Town Line, 75 Main. Southampton Social Club is a great spot. I love going out to Gurney’s in Montauk, watching a show at Surf Lodge. We go to Stephen Talkhouse all the time—we basically have a residency there.
Your wine is very much tied to a lifestyle…
JB: The Hamptons is an aspirational place, an iconic place—even if you’ve never been here. For us, when we’re out in the Hamptons and hanging out, rosé is the thing that ties all of the good times together. The idea of Hampton Water is taking a second and relaxing and making memories with friends, enjoying the idea of a place, even if you’ve never been there.
You played football at Notre Dame. What life lessons from that experience have you taken forward?
JB: I walked onto the team, and I got to be with some of the greatest athletes in the country. These guys were stronger than me, faster than me, better football players than me. It was hard work, but I love proving people wrong. So I said to myself that I was going to go out there every day and just run until the wheels come off.
If you could have any three people at your Hamptons dinner party, who would you invite?
JB: Bill Murray—he’s an all-time funny guy, and I think he might know the secrets to the universe. Drake, because I love what he does and I think he and I would be best friends. And Barack Obama, because I miss him dearly.
You have a glass of your wine in your hand right now—what toast would you like to make?
JB: Here’s to many more summers in the Hamptons and many more glasses of rosé.