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Friday 1 May 2020

Changing of the guard at Brokenwood

It is the end of an era at benchmark Hunter Valley wine producer Brokenwood with the announcement that managing director and chief winemaker Iain Riggs will be stepping down from both roles at the end of June. 

Riggs has been a key figure in the Australian wine industry for all of the 30+ years I have been involved and you won't find a nicer or more inclusive person. 

A Brokenwood press release says the Brokenwood board has agreed that “it’s time to pass the baton to the extraordinarily capable team that is Riggsie’s legacy". 

But part-owner Riggsie won't be leaving Brokenwood completely - he’ll remain a director and, as a consultant, he’s agreed to continue to provide Brokenwood with his experience and expertise whenever needed.

Riggs has led the rise and rise of Brokenwood since the mid-1980s, turning what was originally a hobby farm to an icon Australian winery. This year was his 35th vintage in charge.

Riggs oversaw the development of Brokenwood's spectacular cellar door and restaurant complex at Pokolbin and in 2003 was awarded the Graham Gregory Award for outstanding service to the NSW wine industry. 

He was the 2013 Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine winemaker of the year and was honoured with the Len Evans Award for Leadership. 

Today he is chairman of trustees of the Len Evans Foundation that conducts the prestigious week-long Len Evans Tutorial, and is the current chairman of the Shanghai International Wine Challenge. He has a long wine show history dating back decades.

In June of 2018, he was named as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his significant service to oenology as a winemaker, to the development of the Australian wine industry, and to the promotion of the Hunter Valley region.

He was the driving force behind Brokenwood’s flagship wine, the Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz and its promotion as a unique single vineyard shiraz. 

The Brokenwood legacy looks in good shape, with Riggs having put together a talented team headed by Stuart Hordern and Kate Sturgess.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Iain! Congratulations. Great wines, great brand and they get to keep your wisdom on tap!