Dave Powell said he was offering the entire 2021 vintage of his single-vineyard Australian wines under his new Neldner Road label via non-fungible token (NFT) on the OpenSea platform.
It’s the latest example of how the wine world is experimenting with NFTs, which have been a much-talked-about digital trend on the fine art auction scene this year.
Powell’s auction via OpenSea launched this week and involves 100 barrels of wines being sold under the Neldner Road brand, the new name for his Barossa Valley-based winemaking operation. It was previously called Powell & Son.
‘I’ve always liked to try new things and when I found out about NFTs, it seemed to fit well with wine,’ said Powell, who previously founded Torbreck Vintners in the 1990s.
‘NFTs guarantee provenance, which is great, but it’s more about bringing my wines to a new audience who I think will be interested in what we’re doing.’
Of the 2021 vintage in Barossa, he said, ‘This fruit is simply the best I’ve ever seen – and I think these wines may well be the best I will ever make.’
He said: ‘I feel extraordinarily privileged to have secured the very best grapes from the very best vineyards in the Barossa before we knew how spectacular 2021 was going to be.’
There are 101 NFTs in the OpenSea auction, one for each of the barrels plus a special token named NFT#1 that represents the whole vintage.
Powell told Decanter.com that NFT#1 would be offered at a fixed price on a ‘buy now’ basis. If someone buys it during the auction period, then bids on the other NFTs will be rendered void. NFT#1 also includes a trip to meet Powell, see the vineyards and enjoy a special dinner – for the buyer and 19 friends.
Some of the NFTs also include holograms of the barrel, for the owner to display at home, according to the announcement. All the individual barrel NFTs include the option of having the wine bottled in different formats and the chance to spend a day in the vineyards with the team, among other benefits.
Looking ahead at the NFT trend, Powell told Decanter.com: ‘I would be very happy if this was an ongoing route to market not just for me but the rest of the Aussie industry in general.
‘As we have just launched the NFTs we will have to wait and see if it is successful and I’m sure many others will be keen to follow our footsteps if it works.’