Meet the maker | Kaspar Hermann (Rochford)

Pete Sherwood
By Pete Sherwood
27 days ago
3 min read

Kaspar Hermann is the winemaker behind some of the Yarra Valley's best rated (and loved) wines at Rochford. Here's Pete on why we can't get enough, with a few words from Kaspar himself on what goes into a glass.


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Rochford has called the Yarra Valley home for over two decades now - there are few, if any, who better understand the region's quirks, intricacies, and capacity for top tier French varieties. 

Kaspar himself has been making wine in the Yarra Valley for almost equally as long - after studying Viticulture at La Trobe he’s been making wine in the Yarra Valley for twenty years, and six years ago joined forces with the team at Rochford to explore the breadth and depth of what was possible to deliver with a single site. It’s a boon for the region, as Kaspar explains - “we’re so lucky in the Yarra to have a climate and vineyard resource that enables great wines over many different varieties.”

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Whilst the site itself goes beyond the bounds of a winery to offer an all-boxes-ticked dining, tasting, and events experience (they are circled at the top of my Yarra Valley ‘must do’ list), as Head Winemaker Kaspar’s focus never wavers from what’s ultimately in the glass; the wines, from entry-level to uber-premium single site cuvées, are elite.

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"How would I describe the wines I make? Fresh, interesting, (and hopefully) enjoyable." - Kaspar Hermann

Interesting & enjoyable is a perfect mantra for these wines; it's not all chardonnay and pinot here, either - sauvignon blanc, gris, syrah & cabernets all get a look in. And if enjoying them sounds very much to your interest, Kaspar recommends acquainting yourself first with the pillars of Rochford chardonnay, pinot noir & cabernets, in that order.

Classically, the region's cooler climate lends itself to focused, pure fruit expression and wines with a lighter body. Complexity is king throughout; each of these wines champions all the intricate layers the varied topography the Yarra Valley has to offer. 

Being in close proximity to four-seasons-in-a-day Melbourne (and all the meteorological variability that comes with it) means one eye will always be on conditions over vintage - and for a vintage to graduate from “good” to “great” Kaspar looks for stable flowering conditions in the spring, followed by a summer without too many heat spikes or hail storms.

The last few years of inclement weather however has resulted in lower yields than previous years, and with that Kaspar and the team have moved their focus to the soil; optimising the health of the vines from the ground up, with a view to moving further into low/no sulphur in the cellar, something already being successfully trialled with the chardonnays here.

"My greatest winemaking achievement? I'd like to think that's yet to come..." - Kaspar Hermann

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These are wines that are built to tell the story of place and time. There is no house style, no heavy handed winemaking, and no unnecessary manipulation of fruit. Just the happy marriage of excellent farming, careful vineyard management, and hands-off winemaking. Enjoy them as Kaspar does - chardy any evening of the week, alongside a cabernet with friends at the weekend.

"My greatest wine experience? Again, hopefully that’s yet to come too!" - Kaspar Hermann

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Browse our latest & greatest selections from Rochford here.

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