Mr McLaren Vale is now making exclusive wine, just for you!
- 1 wine
- 1 style
- 1× big red
- Ben’s a McLaren Vale legend! Over his illustrious 47-vintage career, he’s won more trophies and medals than you can shake a stick at. His knowledge of the vineyards and grapes of the region is second to none.
- He’s been taught the ropes by serious wine legends like Murray Tyrrel and Brian Croser. They took him under their wings and shared significant vino know-how that Ben puts to use to this day in making his magnificent wines.
- Once the Chief Winemaker at the iconic Wirra Wirra winery in McLaren Vale, Ben scratched the itch to break out and make his own wine. Today, he owns a Halliday 5-star winery and in June 2020 became our 57th Naked winemaker!
Ben Riggs's Story
Ben Riggs was the ripe old age of 13 when he dedicated his life to making wine.
Whilst most other teenagers were riding Malvern Stars around the yard, Ben was riding horses through the vineyards of Glengowrie in South Australia. I guess that, and his father's passion for fine wine, sealed his viniferous fate.
“I worked out many years ago my ‘why’ in life is making and growing things. If not making wine, my spare time is spent growing things and cooking.” — Ben.
Ben’s dreams began to take flight with his first vintage in 1981.
From grubby grape-picking and tank-scrubbing beginnings, he went on to Agricultural College in Adelaide and graduated with a degree in Oenology. Vintages in Napa, Bordeaux, Greece, Italy, the south of France and more in Australia followed — each one teaching him something new (and the frequent flyer points were handy too).
Over the years, Ben caught the attention of leading Australian winemakers.
These were seriously big-boots wine legends like Murray Tyrrel and Brian Croser. They took him under their wings and shared their significant vino know-how. Ben soaked up every drop of knowledge that came his way like a thirsty little vine.
He soon hit his stride, and the trophies and medals started to pour in.
By 1988, Ben was at the top of his corporate winemaking game.
He was rewarded with the Chief Winemaker gig at the iconic Wirra Wirra winery in McLaren Vale. Over the next 13 years he helped grow the business into one of Australia’s favourite big wine brands. It was a lot of fun, but independence beckoned.
By 2001, the itch to break out and make his own wine was too strong to ignore.
And he knew just what he had to do to make it.
“I realised very quickly my wines must be a reflection of my personal winemaking style but more importantly they must be something that my customers love to drink whilst definitely never taking myself too seriously.” — Ben.
Today, Ben owns a Halliday 5-star winery, and in June 2020, became our 57th winemaker.