Another cog in the generational clock at Rockford is turning. Keith Hoffmann, one of the handful of original Rockford grape growers is hanging up his snips. With no one in his family choosing to carry on the grape growing tradition, he has decided to sell the family farm. Although we source Cabernet grapes from a few growers along Rifle Range Road, Keith’s grapes have always been a key component in our Rifle Range Cabernet Sauvignon blend.
Situated in the heart of a large patch of Biscay soil on Rifle Range Road, Keith’s vineyard is a classic example of the importance of how the relationship between grower, vine and soil is finely tuned over a lifetime of trial and error. As if blessed with a sixth sense, Keith can read his beloved vines, the weather and the ground in which they gain sustenance to predict their needs. It’s mental telepathy! It’s wonderful to see someone so in tune with their environment.
Keith has sold the vineyard to another family with roots firmly planted in the business of viticulture and winemaking. Generations of the Hickinbotham family have had a profound influence on Australian winemaking and grape growing through their involvement in the legendary winemaking course at Roseworthy Agricultural College and technical breakthroughs such as understanding the benefits of ‘malolactic fermentation’ in red winemaking.
The Hickinbothams have assured us they will honour the relationship that Rockford has with Keith’s vineyard and will continue to supply the same quality of fruit we have purchased for decades. Even though he has sold the property, Keith will be spending the next twelve months or so passing on the wealth of knowledge and experience he has gained over a lifetime. Rest assured the Rifle Range Cabernet Sauvignon we have all grown to love will not change. – Source Rockford Winery