Ben Chaffey, a McLaren Vale pioneer and co-founder of Seaview Winery, has died. He was 93.
A graduate in Oenology from South Australia’s Roseworthy College, Chaffey founded Seaview with former Royal Australian Air Force colleague Alan Ferguson.
The two bought Hope Vineyards winery in McLaren Vale in 1948, renaming it Benalan, before it became Seaview several years later. The Hope estate, alongside Thomas Hardy’s Tintara, were the first wineries to be established in the region in the mid-19th century, according to Decanter.
Chaffey was pivotal in campaigning for the laying of a power line in the area after discovering his newly acquired winery was taking its power from a generator.
Following Ferguson’s departure from Benalan in the 1950s, friend Edwards became Chaffey’s new partner, and the winery’s name was changed to Seaview.
Chaffey subsequently bought Edwards’ share of the business and eventually sold the estate to Allied Vintners Group in 1970.
The winery was then acquired by Penfolds in 1985, and now is part of the Fosters Group. The property now serves as the cellar door (Aussie-speak for tasting room) for Fosters-owned Rosemount Wines.