Ascot Racecourse launches online wine shop

As lockdown has put a stop to much of the world’s sporting events this year, Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire has created an e-commerce platform to sell wines that would usually be enjoyed throughout the racing season.

Royal Ascot 2020 was cancelled in April due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The racecourse’s flagship five-day event will not be open to the public, but organisers still hope to draw in fans by broadcasting the popular outing behind closed doors.

Now, bosses have collaborated with the venue’s wine suppliers, Hallgarten & Novum Wines, and Moët & Chandon, to launch an online shop that will allow would-be racegoers to purchase cases of the wines they would usually tuck into during the meet.

The online store, called Ascot Wine Club, will sell three cases of wine, each named after former Gold Cup Champions – The Yeats Case, The Sagaro Case and The Fame and Glory Case.

Customers will also be able to create their own mixed cases with wines at a special Ascot Wine Club price.

The new platform was launched after Ascot Racecourse extended its contract with Hallgarten & Novum Wines for a further two years, lengthening its relationship until 2023, shortly before the UK went into lockdown and Royal Ascot celebrations had to be put on ice.

Ascot announced the flagship meet would go ahead on 2 June, but instead of welcoming roughly 300,000 well-dressed visitors over five days in May, the races will be broadcasted.

Hallgarten national account manager, Howard Corrigan, said the online shop had already been in the works for some months, but when it was announced races would be held behind closed doors, the plan was accelerated.

“Royal Ascot is renowned for its fashion, high-end cuisine and premium drinks, so I am delighted we are able to still be part of the five-day event and help bring Royal Ascot at Home to life.”

Last year’s Royal Ascot event saw record-breaking wine sales, with over 17,500 bottles of French and 14,000 bottles of Italian wine consumed over the course of the week. Total sales rose 16.4% by value compared to the year before and, despite rain on the first two days, rosé sales volumes increased 15%, white wine sales by 7% and red wine by 13%.

Juliet Slot, chief commercial officer at Ascot Racecourse, said: “As we plan for Royal Ascot 2020 behind closed doors, we wanted to offer a delivery service of some of our best-loved Royal Ascot wines while supporting the Ascot Racecourse Supports Charitable Fund. Combined with expert pairing advice, we hope The Ascot Wine Club will help bring the Royal Ascot experience to life, wherever you are watching the action from in this unprecedented year.”

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