The Ashes may hang in the balance for England, but UK online retailer Ocado is hoping the rivalry won’t put wine lovers off trying Ponting Wines.
Ponting First Session Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2022, Ponting Top Order Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2022, Ponting The Pinnacle McLaren Vale Shiraz 2021 and Ponting Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 recently became available on Ocado.com through a deal facilitated by Austrade.
Ocado Wine Buyer Robert Grimes said: “I appreciate that cricket fans here may take some convincing before they sip a wine from the legendary Aussie skipper – particularly at the moment – but wine lovers who can look past the rivalry will be rewarded!”
Ponting said: “I hope Ocado customers enjoy exploring the range and that – whatever happens on the pitch – there will be lots of opportunities to celebrate and raise a glass this summer.”
The range is a collaboration between Ponting and award-winning winemaker Ben Riggs, with the Sydney Morning Herald recently dubbing the cricketer the “2005 Ashes villain” and asking the question: “So how can the man who smashed 2476 runs in 35 Tests against the old enemy England hope to sell his wine there? Especially when it’s priced at twice the cost Australian wines usually retail for in UK supermarkets.”
In Ponting’s favour is the the new Australia-UK free trade agreement, which removed tariffs on Australian wine. Plus the launch was given huge exposure by Tourism Australia’s UK team serving the wines at its annual summer event at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground in London recently, with more than 150 guests in attendance including the Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, media guests, travel partners and Ponting himself.
Guests were treated to an Aussie BBQ and sipped Ponting Wines while hearing from the cricketer, who captivated the crowd with stories of the friendly sportsmanship between England and Australia.
Ponting also reckons once people try the range they’ll be converted.
“It’s just going to be getting our brand out there enough where people are willing to buy the first bottle and taste it because we know when they do buy the first bottle they’ll come back because what we’ve actually got in the bottle tastes great – the wine speaks for itself,” he said.
Hitting it for a six in India
The range was launched in May with an event for passengers at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi attended by the former Australian test skipper.
At the meet-and-greet, Ponting signed special-edition Ponting Wine bottles and Kookaburra cricket bats.
“As an avid lover of both cricket and fine wine, I am truly excited to introduce Ponting Wines to the Indian market,” said Ponting. “India holds a special place in my heart, and I am delighted to share the exceptional quality and taste of Ponting Wines with my incredible fans here.”
The new Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) means Australia becomes the first major wine exporter to gain preferential access to India’s wine market.
The 150% tariff that used to apply on bottles arriving in market at US$15 per bottle has fallen to 70%. Further phased annual reductions will result in a 25% tariff on 1 January 2032.
Mid-range Australian wines also benefit. Wine priced between US$5 and $15 has seen tariffs already reduced to 95%, with a phased annual reduction resulting in a tariff of 50% on 1 January 2032.
In addition, a ‘most favoured nation’ clause means Australia will be able to benefit if another country negotiates a better tariff reduction with India for wine.Austrade advisers in India note that up to 85% of India’s wine market is currently dominated by major brands, but say the trade agreement will help smaller wine exporters.‘
“The AI-ECTA will change current market dominance,” said Austrade’s Business Development Manager (BDM) in Delhi. “By reducing tariffs on quality wines, the trade deal will help smaller companies into the market so they can compete with the majors.”