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Rockford Wines

Based in Australia’s iconic Barossa Valley, the winery was built in an 1850s stone cottage style. Rockford Wines feature high quality traditional wines made from some of the best old Barossa vineyards.

The winery and cellar door sales are part of a paved courtyard surrounded by stone buildings dating back to the early settlement of Krondorf. They are committed to keeping the best of traditional winemaking alive and sharing that joy with customers.

In addition to the small home vineyard, Rockford works in partnership with several independent wine growers around the Barossa, with vineyards in Kalimna, Ebenezer, Moppa Springs, the Eden Valley and central Barossa. This gives Rockford a wide variety of soil types, mesoclimates and altitudes for its grapes. Many of the vines are planted on their own rootstocks and range between 60–100 years old, giving intense, concentrated grapes that translate into the wines. Winemaking is largely done using traditional methods such as basket presses, open-topped concrete fermenters and a 1880s Bagshaw (grape) crusher that was found on site when O'Callaghan purchased the property in the 1970s.

Rockford's flagship wine is its Basket Press Shiraz, which is aged in French and American oak hogshead barrels for 2 years prior to release. It is one of Australia's more sought-after wines and has regularly achieved high scores from critics. There are several other top wines in the portfolio, including the Rifle Range Cabernet Sauvignon, the Sparkling Black Shiraz and the Rod and Spur Cabernet-Shiraz blend.

Winemaker Robert O’Callaghan:

"My grandparents and also my parents on both sides were grape growers, so my childhood was spent in their vineyards. My parents moved to North Eastern Victoria where my father managed a vineyard for Australia’s then largest family winemakers, Seppelts. In 1965, I followed a natural path and started as a trainee winemaker at Seppelt’s Rutherglen winery. It was a wonderful apprenticeship in the old, ordered, slow and gentle Australian wine trade. The wines I drank, the previous generation winemakers I associated with, and everything I absorbed in that period had a major influence on the way Rockford is today. Although I’ve spent all my life in vineyards and wineries, the pleasure I derive from walking through rows of vines or casks filled with wine has not diminished. Wine is crafted, not created. The skill is to capture and enhance the fleeting flavours that grapes give from their variety and extract from the earth, then bottle these as a living record of the vintage they represent. Rockford wines are made from established Barossa varieties, which form an important part of our winemaking heritage, in a style that best reflects the vineyards, the winemaker’s attitude and the climate in which we live. I have always lived in and feel most comfortable with the warm Mediterranean climate of the Barossa where grapes ripen easily. My preference is to make the wine by hand with traditional methods, attitudes and equipment to produce elegant but rich, earthy, soft, generous wines that will age."