The Rockford Story #5

The Growers

Because of the way the Barossa Valley was originally settled, the majority of vineyards are owned by over five hundred small, independent grape growers.  Many of these fifth generation mixed farmers have their vineyards broken down into small patches of different varieties, soil types and ages. 
These vineyards are then dispersed across the whole spectrum of Barossa soil, altitude and weather conditions.  The result is an extremely diverse, viticultural, patchwork quilt; with each grower giving their patch its own distinctive character.

During the twenty years prior to establishing Rockford, I worked for several Barossa winemakers.  This allowed me access to many of the finest Barossa growers, so by the time I started Rockford, I knew exactly the kind of wine I wanted to make and precisely which vineyard would give me the grapes I needed.  It also allowed me to continue the established tradition of winemakers building long term partnerships with growers rather than owning their own vineyard. 
Many of the growers have vines that were planted on their own roots, sixty to one hundred years ago.  The partnership not only gives Rockford access to exceptional grapes from ancient vines, but also provides consistency and reliability that is not possible from a single vineyard.

I have a great deal of respect for the accumulated knowledge, skill and long term commitment of my growers.  I never under-estimate the contribution they make to each of my wines.

Cheers! Robert O'Callaghan