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Rockford Wines is a wine producer based in Australia's iconic Barossa Valley. It was founded in the early 1980s by Robert O'Callaghan and is now one of Australia's more prestigious wineries, making top Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
O'Callaghan began as a trainee winemaker in 1965 at Seppelts in Rutherglen, Victoria. In 1971, he headed west to the Barossa and purchased 2 hectares (5 acres) of land beneath the Barossa ranges. He planted vines and built a winery in the style of the 1850's stone cottage on the land. Rockford's inaugural vintage was in 1984.
In addition to the small home vineyard, Rockford works in partnership with several independent wine growers around 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, which allows for a greater degree of control in the winery. Many of the vines are planted on their own rootstocks and range between 60-100 years old, giving intense, concentrated grapes which translates into the wines. Winemaking is largely traditional, using basket presses, open-topped concrete fermenters and a 1880s Bagshaw crusher which 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 two years prior to release. It is one of Australia's most 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.