Arguably the best of the Barossa’s boutique producers (oh how they argue), Rockford is a marvellous collusion of heritage vibes (ramshackle 1850s farm buildings) and respect for the winemaking past. Freestone walls, warming winter fireplace, bottles with corks... it’s an endearing package. But Rockford’s wines are really why you’re here – approachable, affordable and down-to-earth. Just as earthy is winemaker Robert O’Callaghan, who brings an old-school attitude to his trade, using traditional methods and equipment.
O’Callaghan is also a writer: his annual newsletter, the Rockford Rag, is as hotly anticipated as every new vintage of his fast-selling Basket Press shiraz, sourced from specifically chosen plots of old Barossa shiraz vines. Whether or not there’ll actually be any Basket Press available for tasting when you visit is a seasonal question: autumn (April to March) is probably your best bet, with brilliant vine colours a bonus. Further improve your odds of some elbowroom inside (it’s an intimate cellar door) by arriving early or late. Tastings are free.