Daniel Ricciardo is known for his dual personas – a joker off the racetrack and an unrelenting competitor vying for the top step in the glamorous sport of Formula One. Today, the Australian adds another talent to his repertoire as a collaborative partner to one of Australia’s most celebrated wine brands – St Hugo.
The DR3 x St Hugo series of fine wines will be the result of the superstar driver teaming up with St Hugo’s Chief Winemaker, Peter Munro, to learn the tricks of the winemaking trade including vineyard practices, winemaking, maturation and blending to create wines of outstanding quality.
The wines will be released annually over the long-term partnership and reveal the fact that Ricciardo isn’t a rookie to Australia’s finest drops.
“I grew up around wine, it’s in my blood,” he says. “Along with my Italian heritage and my family’s love of sharing wine, my dad is a bit of a hobby winemaker and I have been surrounded by the passion for wine since I was young. I’m quite a curious kid; I always love learning things. Wine is a true craft and I want to get in and get my hands dirty and make really spectacular wine that provides a unique perspective on what fine wine is.”
“And to be able to do this with St Hugo’s Chief Winemaker, Peter Munro, one of Australia’s best winemakers, is a real privilege. It also guarantees the wines will taste great!”
For the love of winning wine
The love story between Ricciardo and St Hugo doesn’t get simpler. Ricciardo’s interest in wine led him to a meeting with Munro who would introduce him to St Hugo’s selection before explaining the science, intuition and liquid engineering behind every bottle.
“I’m approaching the partnership in the same way I approach aspects of my racing. I may not be the engineer who physically finesses the car, but I am the one who is driving it and have an instinct for what feels right,” Ricciardo explains.
“I share that with the team so the car can be optimised. With winemaking, I’ll take a similar approach, and in this instance, Peter is the engineer. Pete and I work well together and we want to challenge ourselves to go out of our comfort zones to produce something particularly special.”
The debut release of the DR3 x St Hugo series will include a Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 and Barossa Shiraz 2014.
For the 2015 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, wine connoisseurs can expect characteristics of the fruit grown in the Coonawarra region including blackcurrant, dark violets, graphite, slate and oak char. The 2014 Barossa Shiraz meanwhile will feature a generous and full palate, with dark fruit supported by very fine chalky tannins that persist and have great length.
“Daniel has an insightful way of communicating his appreciation of wine that will only get better over time as he hones his winemaking skills,” Munro says.
“The collaboration is a blend of the love of fine wines and the desire to capture Daniel’s character into the distinctive St Hugo style that represents ‘passion, power and precision’, creating wine that will continue to excite and energise the Australian wine-drinking audience. We’re really setting the bar high for what is to come.”
The first release of the DR3 x St Hugo selection will be limited edition bottles that are individually numbered and presented in a premium case.
Those interested can now visit St Hugo to secure their bottle.