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Ben Riggs: The wine is ‘pretty bloody good’

A name synonymous with wine in Australia is Ben Riggs. 

The multi-award-winning winemaker has spent most of his life making "unpretentious wines", determined to produce high-quality wines that are drinkable and enjoyable for everyone. 

Riggs is the man behind Queensland Rugby League's stellar Q1908 drops - The Clubhouse, The Cauldron and The Queenslander. 

"I'm a passionate, passionate wine man," Riggs, primarily based in McLaren Vale since the 1980s, said.

“I spend a lot of my time just walking around vineyards and tasting grapes. I have been doing this for a very long time… I'm pretty good at looking at the vineyard, tasting the grapes, and I have a pretty good idea of what's going to come out in the end. It's taken years of tasting grapes, making the wine.

"I have no question there'd be very few people who are going to taste any of these wines and not say they're yum, because I went out of my way to make sure they were better than they should be."

And when it comes to wine, Riggs knows his stuff. 

"It began when I was a kid at home because my father was a wine lover and we had wine with meals and it always fascinated me," Riggs said, adding his fascination continued at Westminster School in Adelaide, where there was "an excellent ag-science course". 

"I decided I preferred the vines to the sheep and the goats and read you could study winemaking... when I was about 13 decided that's what I want to do."

The father-of-three travelled far and wide early during his career, initially on a mission to "take over the world".  

"I guess I had a quest to try and garner as much experience and knowledge as possible... I was in a bit of a hurry to take over the world at one stage," Riggs said.

Overseas he worked on vintages in Bordeaux and Limoux in France; Abruzzo, Marche and Puglia in Italy; the Peloponnese in Greece; and in California. 

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