Exclusive Ponting Wines tasting
A virtual wine tasting event hosted by Ricky Ponting, one of Australia’s most successful cricket captains, and winemaker Ben Riggs. Tasting wines include a delicious McLaren Vale shiraz, a cabernet sauvignon and a sauvignon blanc.
Date - Wednesday 20 October 6.30pm (AEDT)
Keep up to date - Register for the event here
The link to the exclusive Wine Tasting Event will be emailed to registered members in the week prior
About Ricky & Ben
Ben Riggs has been in the winemaking game both in Australia and Internationally for more than 35 years. Based in McLaren Vale in South Australia, Ben has also completed vintages abroad in the Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Greece, Italy, and the South of France. Ben has logged a whopping 47 vintages in total. Ben’s winemaking skill has been recognised locally through over 100 trophies, countless gold medals and awards including winning the Great Australian Shiraz Challenge twice, McLaren Vale “Bushing King" twice plus two nominations for Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year.
A word with Ricky Ponting
How do you juggle fatherhood, your cricket career, travel and your exciting new wine business PONTING?
I'm lucky enough to still be involved in the game I love so much although it does take me away from home for months at a time. When I'm home I completely switch off from cricket and enjoy being in dad mode. I love doing as much as I can with the kids and making the most of every minute I have with them. Starting Ponting Wines couldn't have come at a better time for me as we launched our label at the start of the first lockdown and it gave Rianna and I a great creative outlet and something fun and positive to focus on in these crazy and uncertain times. We're both very passionate about our brand and it's become part of the juggling act I really enjoy.
How does your passion for wine and cricket come together?
The dedication of the craftsmanship is where I have seen similarities. Winemakers like Ben Riggs are so dedicated to their craft, in the same way I have seen dedication from batsmen and bowlers through their cricketing careers. Honing their craft and continuing to deliver their best at every opportunity, the pride in the performance are obvious similarities.
What does creating your own wine label mean to you and your family?
Rianna and I have always shared a passion for wine. To have an opportunity to build our own wine brand has been an exciting challenge for us to work on together. It has provided a lot of opportunity to learn more about the Australian wine industry and how much goes into bringing wine to our tables.
Tell us about the creation of your wine label design - lots of symbolism in the label
We wanted to create a brand that carried with it plenty of storytelling. We wanted to talk to not only my experiences as a cricketer but my journey with wine. The symbolism in the codes of the brand has classic links to cricket and Australia. The design tells a story as much as what is written on the back labels. It was a process to get to the final design and one we are very pleased with.
How did you get started in Wine? Has wine always been a passion?
I grew up in more of a beer and barbeque, a blue collar setting in Launceston in Tasmania. Rianna was really the one to introduce me to wine. We were very fortunate to travel the world and taste wines from many different regions, I feel this is where our passion for wine began. I must say though since I retired, I've learnt more about wine than during my playing career., probably because I'm drinking more of it! Rianna and I really enjoy sharing a glass of wine together and exploring delicious food pairings.
What is your favourite wine varietal?
These days I am open to trying a range of varietals from different regions and also abroad. But if pushed, Shiraz has always been a favourite, that and Tasmanian Pinot Noir.
All-time favourite meal to pair with a glass of wine?
It’s pretty hard to go past Rianna’s roast pork as far as my all-time favourite meal to pair a glass of wine with, whether that be a glass of white wine or a glass of the three varieties of red wine we have in the range. She does a magnificent roast pork. But the other thing I keep coming back to is that it’s pretty hard to beat a nice steak straight off the BBQ to sit down with a glass of our red wine. I would have gotten in trouble if I didn’t say the roast pork, but I think it’s on par with a beautiful steak.
What does it mean to you to be able to work with Qantas Wine on this exclusive product?
Working with Qantas Wine has been an incredible opportunity for us, they have been great in their support of our new emerging wine brand. To work closely with the wine team at Qantas Wine to develop a fresh and vibrant style of Rose has been a very enjoyable experience. We are hoping that it is the start of a long standing partnership together.
Why did you want to start your own wine?
Wine was never really a part of my life until pretty much the end of my career, and since I retired it’s become a pretty big part of Rianna and I’s lifestyle. Then an opportunity came up with some guys who had worked in the alcohol industry for a long time. They asked me what I thought about starting my own label and my own brand, Rianna and I thought about it for five minutes and thought ‘yeah, why not? It would be a great opportunity.’ It’s been about 18 months in the works and the wines have been out there for 4 or 5 months. It’s been something that we’ve really loved working on together. It’s been unusual to have our own business thing that we can work on together. It’s been a lot of fun and so far the brand is going really well so it’s really exciting for us.
Why he loves the Close of Play Cab Sauv?
I love the Close of Play Cab Sauv because Ben Riggs is obviously a master of his craft and he’s our head winemaker, but even before I started my own brand the two varietals of red wine that I really loved were Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Ben has been able to craft a beautifully soft and silky, beautifully balanced Cabernet Sauvignon with lots of taste of berry fruits through the wine, and it actually pairs up beautifully with the steak off the BBQ that I mentioned earlier. That’s sort of my lifestyle, a steak off the barbie and a glass of red wine, and the Cab Sauv certainly goes beautifully with that.
Why he loves the Pinnacle Shiraz?
The Pinnacle Shiraz from McLaren Vale in South Australia was crafted by Mr. Ben Riggs, a master of his craft. Once again, it contains those rich berry fruits and also that really black peppery taste that is also renowned for the area and renowned for Shiraz from McLaren Vale. It’s probably Rianna and I’s choice out of the whole range. We really enjoy sitting down and having a glass of Shiraz at the end of the day.
Ponting Wines is a collaboration between one of Australia’s most celebrated modern-day cricketers, Ricky Ponting and Ben Riggs, an award-winning Australian winemaker known for producing high quality wines. Enjoy four bottles each of three great wines, a fresh, bright Adelaide Hills sauvignon blanc, a ripe, rich McLaren Vale shiraz and a dark and juicy Langhorne Creek cabernet sauvignon.
AU residents 18+ only, exclusive virtual wine tasting event to be held on 20 October, 2021. Available when you purchase a specific case of Ricky Ponting wine from Qantas Wine, maximum of one voucher per person.