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Mick Doohan launches new wine

Mick Doohan launches new wine

Mick Doohan launches new wine

Mick Doohan got back on a bike yesterday to launch a new wine carrying his name in the lead-up to this week's Cinzano Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

The former 500cc World Champion and Queensland winery Sirromet have joined forces to produce the 2002 Mick Doohan 'Special Release' Cabernet Sauvignon. As part of the launch, held on the Gold Coast, Doohan rode a Honda CBR1000 for 15 laps of the 2km circuit at the Holden Performance Driving Centre.

"I still enjoy riding motorcycles as much as ever, but my racing days are over," said Doohan. "The corners seem to come up quicker these days, even though I'm riding slower!"

Doohan, awarded the Order of Australia in 1996, heads south to Phillip Island tomorrow to attend the grand prix, which starts with qualifying on Friday and Saturday, followed by racing on Sunday.

The bottle label on Doohan's wine features a photograph of him riding his Honda NSR500 and holding the Australian flag after clinching his fourth world championship title in 1997. Doohan's move into wine was prompted by a motorsport association with V8 Supercar driver Paul Morris, whose father Terry Morris owns Sirromet.

"We all have an interest in motorsport, and we started talking about a special release wine about a year ago," said Doohan. "I sampled a few of Sirromet's wines and the one I liked the most was the Cabernet Sauvignon so we decided to go ahead and make it happen."

The fruit was hand-picked at Sirromet's vineyards on Queensland's Granite Belt region, and the winemaking process included aging in French oak for 13 months before bottling.

"The palate is velvety, rich, and silky concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon flavours with persistent fruit and oak," said Sirromet's Chief Winemaker Adam Chapman.

Doohan, who won the 500cc Grand Prix at Phillip Island in 1998, and is now General Manager of Racing for Honda, predicts Valentino Rossi will start favourite in Sunday's race. Rossi switched from Honda to Yamaha this year and if he wins at Phillip Island he will clinch the championship for a fourth successive year.

"Valentino is strong week in and week out and he's won at Phillip Island before - that's the consistency you need to keep winning championships," said Doohan.


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