Daniel Ricciardo. We all know the name of the Australian Formula One superstar, whose character, passion and intuition sees him perform at the top of his game. In March earlier this year, Ricciardo took his talents off-track to collaborate with one of Australia’s most celebrated wine brands, St Hugo, co-producing a new series of fine wines; DR3 x St Hugo.
To be released annually over a long-term partnership, DR3 x St Hugo sees Ricciardo work closely with St Hugo 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.
“I grew up around wine, it’s in my blood. 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, and 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,” says Ricciardo. “And to be able to do this with St Hugo’s Winemaker, Peter Munro, one of Australia’s best winemakers, is a real privilege. It also guarantees the wines will taste great!”
The DR3 x St Hugo collaboration started with Ricciardo’s passion for wine and led to Munro introducing him to a series of St Hugo wines, explaining the science and craft that goes into creating fine wine, but also the need for using your intuition at every stage of the winemaking journey.
“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 I have an instinct for what feels right. 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,” explains Ricciardo.
The 2015 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon showcases characteristics of the fruit grown in the Coonawarra region including blackcurrant, dark violets, graphite, slate and oak char. While the 2014 Barossa Shiraz features 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. 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,” says Peter Munro, St Hugo Chief Winemaker.
Each bottle of the limited edition first release of DR3 x St Hugo is individually numbered and presented in a premium gift box. The 2014 Barossa Shiraz is available to buy online.
*2015 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon sold out.