Reflecting the long held principles of its creator, Ben Riggs, the winemaker who strives to make exciting wines from icon vineyards and regions, the Mr. Riggs brand has achieved cult status. “I make wines I love to drink” is the black & white philosophy of Ben Riggs.
Mr. Riggs can be summed up in two words; Winemaker’s Wine. Built on the winemaker’s long held dream to make icon wines from icon regions, the wines express the essence of the vineyard and variety in a style that is big, rich and complex, but also with finesse, texture and elegance.
Based in his beloved McLaren Vale, Ben also teams up with renowned growers from other tried and tested regions including Clare Valley,Adelaide Hills, Coonawarra and Langhorne Creek. Combining winemaking skills and a great deal of viticultural involvement, it is from these vineyards he is able to select pristine parcels of fruit, be it McLaren Vale Shiraz, Watervale Riesling, Adelaide Hills Tempranillo, Coonawarra Cabernet or something new and different entirely to express his winemaking ability and creativity.
“I knew it was time to start pursuing my own thing and I wanted to have some serious fun doing it!” says Ben Riggs. Besides 29 vintages in Australia, Ben has presided over a further eight overseas; including Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Greece, Italy and the South of France with a broad appreciation of wine styles and winemaking practices under his belt, 2001 saw the first release of the Mr. Riggs Shiraz and it set the trade abuzz.
In 2004, the first release of the Mr. Riggs Shiraz Viognier won first place at The Hyatt South Australian Consumers’ Choice Wine of the Year Awards. And the official judges didn’t think it was too bad either, awarding this wine runner up in its category! The 2004 Shiraz Viognier went on to win the Best Shiraz of Show at the Australian Boutique Wine Awards in 2005.
June 2005 saw Ben as one of only 8 finalists for the Qantas/Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year award. A graduate of Roseworthy (in 1985), Ben has made a major contribution to regional wine industry activities having served 10 years as a board member of McLaren Vale Winemakers Inc.Three of those years saw Ben in the role of Chairman. He also chaired the McLaren Vale Wine Show over a 5 year period.