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DWWA judge profile: Iain Riggs AM

Iain Riggs AM is a judge at the 2024 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).

Iain Riggs AM

Iain Riggs AM has more than 50 years of winemaking, grape growing and management experience in Australia. He has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his outstanding contributions to the Australian wine industry.

After working in South Australian Riverland, Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale, Iain arrived in the Hunter Valley to join Brokenwood Wines in 1982 and became part owner, Chief Winemaker and Managing Director from 1985.

After 38 years at the helm, Riggs has stepped back from the day to day but retains ongoing part ownership and is a current Board member and consultant.

Industry experience includes being an inaugural Board Member of the Winemakers Federation of Australia from 1989, its Vice-President, and President of the Small Winemakers Forum of Australia. Riggs also Chaired the WFA Technical Sub-Committee for many years.

Iain’s judging experience over 40 years includes Chair of Sydney Royal Wine Show – for six years, Chair of Hunter Valley Wine Show – for 10 years as well as judging and Chair of many regional and state wine shows. International judging includes 9 years as Chair of the Shanghai International Wine Challenge.

As a Board Member and Tutor of the Len Evans Tutorial (LET), Iain has mentored and guided many up-and-coming Australian wine industry personnel over the, to date, 23-year life of the LET. The Len Evans Tutorial, a week-long immersion into judging and tasting the great wines from the northern and southern hemispheres, has been described by James Halliday as ‘the greatest wine school in the world’.

Iain continues to contribute to the local Hunter Valley wine industry as Chair of the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association’s Bicentennial Committee and the Living Legends Committee. Iain has been recognised for his contribution over the years with many awards including the Graham Gregory Award for contribution to the New South Wales wine industry, the Wine Communicators Austrealia Legend of the Vine, and more recently made a Living Legend of the Hunter Valley.

In 2018, Iain was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to the Australian Wine Industry.

When not immersed in wine, Iain can be found managing the Mistress Block Vineyard Boutique Accommodation and vineyard. And occasionally on the golf course.

See more judges for the 2024 DWWA.

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