Radford reigns at Rockford

Huon Hooke

Artisan Barossa Valley winery Rockford has announced that Ben Radford is taking over the role of managing director from founder, owner and spiritual guide Robert O'Callaghan.

Radford is a fifth-generation Barossan and has been winemaker at Rockford for the past six years. O'Callaghan started Rockford in 1971, when he bought two hectares of land, an 1850s stone cottage and a few outbuildings on Krondorf Road. He built Rockford into an iconic winery, making wine the traditional way with old-fashioned machinery and principles. One of its cornerstones is the basket press, which became the brand name of Rockford's shiraz, and kick-started a nationwide movement back to basket presses in the 1980s.

O'Callaghan is not retiring. ''I'm staying in the business but my role is changing,'' he says. ''I'm doing this to ensure the Rockford principles are held, and doing it now because I want to be part of the transition and make sure it is done well.''