Rochford showcases the Yarra Valley
Rochford Wines began life in 1998 at a small town called Rochford on the northern slopes of Victoria's Macedon Ranges, moving into the Yarra Valley five years later with the purchase of Eyton on Yarra.
Marketing manager Nathan Medhurst says the Yarra Valley property was purchases when owners Helmut and Yvonne Lottico decided to expand their portfolio to produce premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Eyton was renamed Rochford in keeping with the existing brand, and the Yarra Valley property was significantly redeveloped to improve the layout and design of the cellar door, barrel room, tower, and the construction of a new art gallery. The existing amphitheatre was also extended to accommodate larger concerts and outdoor events.
"It’s quite unique," says Nathan. "We’ve not only got a lovely cellar door complex here but we’ve also got a fine dining restaurant with a café attached, there’s an art gallery, The Loft Art Space which has all sorts of different artists, predominantly Australian. We have a concert series - we’ve had Jackson Browne here, we’ve had the Whitlams, Richard Clapton and Wendy Matthews, Vicki and Linda Bull. So it’s a kind of winery that when you visit you can quite easily spend the whole day in the Yarra Valley and enjoy your time here."
Another unique element is the observation tower where you are able to get a panoramic view of the Yarra Valley and really take it all in - "it’s breathtaking," says Nathan.
Rochford produces quite a number of wines, but Nathan says the most prominent are their whites. "Our Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay and of our reds, our Pinot Noir and Shiraz, they are really held in high esteem. We also have Traminer Riesling, Pinot Gris and Arneis which is an Italian variety that was thought to have been extinct," he says.
"The benefit of visiting Rochford cellar door is you get to try Yarra Valley wines and you also get to try wines from our Macedon Ranges Vineyard as well so you can compare between two premium Victorian wine regions."
At the restaurant the chefs make the most of the high quality local produce that’s available in the Yarra Valley. "We also run, with our wine club, food and wine matching evenings and so we make the most of the local produce with those menus as well. We’ve got a retail shop attached to our cellar door that also highlights some more of this produce and cook books and all sorts of wine related bits and pieces."
Nathan says visitors are really taken back by the architecturally acclaimed building that houses the Rochford cellar doors. "That’s the first thing that you see from the Maroondah Highway when you approach us and it’s quite awe inspiring. You get a lovely view of the whole vineyard through glass all the way around."
- Yarra Valley (Wine) (VIC)
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