Rochford Wines is a family owned venture located on the Maroondah Highway in Victoria’s oldest grape growing region, the Yarra Valley. Just 55 kilometres north east of Melbourne and less than one hour’s drive from Melbourne CBD - this magnificent wine region is nestled at the foot of the Great Dividing Ranges and is opulent with premium vineyards, diverse agribusiness and breathtaking national parks.
In 1992, Newell Cowan purchased ‘Yarra Vale’ vineyard and in 1995 it became ‘Eyton on Yarra’. Although the building was already standing when purchased, some parts were destroyed and replaced in a major re-development. This provided state-of-the-art architecture, designed to maximise the views of the surrounding vineyards.
After Newell passed away, the winery was left to his daughter, Deidrie Cowan, who remained the owner and manager of Eyton on Yarra until 2002 when it was purchased by Helmut Konecsny. From 2002 onwards, development activity at Rochford Wines significantly increased. The Konecsny family relocated the wine making production from Macedon to the Yarra Valley, and increased production and planting.
As well as a vineyard and working winery, the property has a large restaurant and café, cellar door, retail shop, wine club, expansive natural amphitheatre and observation tower. It is a showpiece in the region, hosting a series of popular summer concerts providing visitors with a total Yarra Valley wine, food and entertainment experience.
Since 2010, Helmut has moved focus, predominately to his Yarra Valley wineries and vineyards and in the 2011/2012 year the property had an estimated 185,000 visitors, including 42,000 concert goers.
What is Rochford Wines' philosophy?
Specialising in premium quality, cool climate Yarra Valley wines, Rochford uses traditional winemaking practices to create intense characters that express the vineyard’s unique terroir. Winemaker, Marc Lunt, has a simple approach that involves growing the best fruit possible, then handling it gently in order to protect its character and keep extraction to a minimum. This allows the wines to express the individual vineyard site as well as the vintage with healthy acidity in cool years and in warm years, ripe fruit expression. Organic practices are used in the vineyard to increase sustainability and innovative management of the canopy means the Yarra Valley vineyards produce the best possible grapes. According to Senior Viticulturist John Evan, the success of Rochford Wines is thanks to the “right site, right clones” and that the practice of growing grasses under vines means pure organic matter is returned to the soil.
What style of wines do Rochford Wines produce?
Rochford Wines’ two great passions are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay is grown on “Isabella’s Vineyard”, which was once known as Briarty Hill. This property is just two kilometres from the Hill Road Winery at Coldstream and it is home to some of the region’s most reputable vineyards. When the vintage is right, Rochford Wines also makes Cabernet from vines grown on Isabella’s Vineyard. The Pinot Noir comes the Hill Road vineyard where the vines have grown in ancient, rocky, mountain derived, sandy, clay loam soils for more than 30 years. The Hill Road vineyard is also home to Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot, which are produced when vintage conditions allow.
Why should I visit Rochford Wines?
A visit to Rochford Winery promises not only the beauty of the Yarra Valley, but also a host of unique events, food and wine. At the Winery, you’ll find a restaurant, café, cellar door, shop, art gallery, observation tower and natural amphitheatre, where you can enjoy A Day On The Green concerts and other international acts including Rod Stewart and Lionel Ritchie.
Did you know...
Rochford Wines runs tourism experiences - A Day on The Green Concerts, Segway Tours, and Global Ballooning