Italian-Australian Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo is known to relish his Champagne on the podium—he even has a signature celebration affectionately referred to as “the Shoey” (more on that later). But away from the circuit, it’s Australian reds that have become Ricciardo’s true passion.
Last year, the eight-time Formula 1 Grand Prix winner greenlighted a high-end wine partnership with South Australia’s St Hugo winery and its chief winemaker, Peter Munro. The debut DR3 x St Hugo bottlings sold out faster than Ricciardo’s track-record laps at the 2018 Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix, and now Ricciardo is back for a second spin.
For the second release of DR3 (3 is Ricciardo’s F1 driver number), Ricciardo and Munro collaborated on a Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 and a South Australia Shiraz 2020 ($75 each). Ricciardo and St Hugo have also joined forces for a more modestly priced 2021 red blend called Ric Red (AUS$45; not available in the U.S.); the grapes in the blend are a closely guarded “Secret Sauce,” according to Ricciardo.
St Hugo has also been the official wine supplier for Formula 1’s Australian Grand Prix since 2019.
Ricciardo, who is driving for the Mercedes-powered McLaren team this season but will be donning a new racing suit in 2023, grew up with wine on the dinner table. “Wine [is] a lifelong passion of mine, which sparked from my dad's love of fine wine,” Ricciardo told Wine Spectator via email. “It has a lot to do with my Italian heritage; we have always been big believers in sharing good wine with even better company. When the opportunity arose to collaborate and work closely with St Hugo, it felt like a natural step.”
“Being from Australia, I knew it was key to work with a highly credible Australian wine brand that would let me collaborate with them every step of the way,” said Ricciardo, who participated in tastings with Munro during the blending process. “I really wanted to continue to grow this partnership through our yearly releases, and that was important to me. My involvement in the winemaking process is only increasing over time as my knowledge and experience in the industry continue to build; St Hugo gives me the confidence that our wines are of the highest standard.”
“I love a wine that is well-balanced and well-rounded,” he said. “[Munro] really taught me how to think in terms of shapes, and how wine is structured, whereas I usually think about wine in terms of flavor.”
Of course, wines as “racy” as the DR3 x St Hugo Cabernet and Shiraz demand to be decanted in style, and Ricciardo’s lead foot was the perfect inspiration for his limited-edition, handmade crystal decanter. It’s actually modeled after his racing shoe, from which he drinks Champagne after each victory (the aforementioned “Shoey”). “They said ‘decant,” Ricciardo deadpans in a cheeky social media video. “And I said … decan.”
And if you still can’t get enough of Ricciardo, there’s also a DR3 x St Hugo–branded set of Riedel stemware, a Le Creuset waiter’s key and black marble coasters. Australian F1 fans, start your corkscrews.
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