Retired Chinese Basketballer Yao Ming Launches NFTs for Wines

Tuesday 04 May 2021, 12:00 PM AEST - 1 week ago

Yao Family Wines has reportedly become the first winery to offer non-fungible token (NFT) collectibles for its wines at auction.

The Napa Valley-based winery was founded back in 2011 by the retired Chinese NBA star, Yao Ming. Yao Family Wines’ move to issuing NFTs is part of the direction to bring the cryptocurrency and winery space together, according to the president at Yao Family Wines, Jay Behmke.


The Winery issued a limited edition of non-fungible token contents during the auction of its most exclusive wine dubbed “THE CHOP” last month. According to the announcement, THE CHOP is a limited 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Yao Family Wines. The NFTs paired with the auction of THE CHOP contained images of the retired basketballer, Yao Ming, and short info about the wine.

Pairing this exquisite wine with a limited edition NFT should appeal to wine collectors, sports memorabilia collectors, NFT collectors, early adopters, and anyone who appreciates the value of one-of-a-kind assets.

Jay Behmke, President of Yao Family Wines

The auction was held on April 19 “in the spirit of experimentation” and it attracted about 33 bidders.

Yao Family Wines to Donate Part of Proceeds

Yao Family Wines didn’t disclose the proceeds from the auction, but it planned to donate some of the proceeds from the auction to the Asian American community, which includes the Chinatown Community Development Center, The Museum of Chinese in America, Asian Health Services, Lucky Chow, and many others.

As a Napa Valley-based winery with a Chinese founder, we’re also pleased to dedicate a portion of proceeds from THE CHOP DROP to the Asian American community at this critical time.

Jay Behmke, President of Yao Family Wines

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