Ben Chaffey, McLaren Vale pioneer and co-founder of Seaview winery, has died aged 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.
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 name was changed Seaview.
Chaffey subsequently bought Edwards’ share of the business and eventually sold the estate to Allied Vinters Group in 1970.
The winery was then acquired by Penfolds in 1985, now part of the Fosters Group. The property is now the cellar door for Fosters-owned Rosemount Wines.
Written by Chris Snow in Adelaide