Ex-mafia boss hopes to sell his new wine in UK as he says 'there's nothing bootleg'

From Mirror.co.uk 9/6/22

A reformed mafia boss has swapped crime for wine – and is making drinkers an offer they can’t refuse.

Michael Franzese was a mobster in New York’s Colombo crime family and even featured in the movie Goodfellas.

But after serving time, he found God and went straight.

Now he has put his name on his own range of Armenian wine which he hopes to sell in the UK.

The 71-year-old ex-racketeer told the Sunday People : “Wine is part of my culture. My grandfather used to make his own wine in the cellar.

“Wine has played a big role in my former life in some very critical meetings.

“Wine was always at dinner, there would always be a bottle there when we got down to business.

“As you might expect, meetings could get a little heated. So the wine would be broken out and then tempers would calm down.


Franzese says he joined the mafia to provide for his family when his gangster father Sonny was jailed for 50 years for bank robbery in the late 1960s.

He rose to become known as the ‘yuppie don’ in the 1980s, making millions of dollars a week, and was played by Joseph Bono in 1990 gangster classic Goodfellas.

Franzese quit after becoming a born again Christian in prison and claims he is the only high-ranking mafioso to walk away and live to tell his story.

Now living in southern California with his wife and seven children, he talks about his past while touring the world as a motivational speaker.

His wine is already on sale in America and he is hoping to bring the range to this country later this year.