James Halliday recently featured Kalleske Wines in an article in the Weekend Australian including excellent reviews of our Johann Georg Shiraz, Eduard Shiraz and Moppa Shiraz.
The Kalleske family story has many things in common with that of the Schild family, whom we visited in this column last week. A trait common to all Barossans with a Lutheran bloodline is an all-encompassing work ethic: dawn to dusk labour six days a week, church and family on the seventh.
The seven generations of the family tree commenced with Johann Georg Kalleske and his wife Johanne Dorothea. Both were born in 1794, and arrived in South Australia with four children in 1838. In 1853 the family farm was established at Moppa. Over the generations it has featured grapevines, orchards, sheep and cattle; now it has a chaff mill and winery. Today’s 50ha of vines (of which shiraz accounts for 31ha) date back to 1875 with the Johann Georg Old Vine Shiraz block.
Cropping (predominantly organic oats) and grazing (organic dorper sheep) cover 130ha, with the remaining 20ha a mix of buildings, waterways and scrubland. While grapes have always been grown, it wasn’t until an onsite winery was built to receive the 2002 vintage that wine was made.
Sixth-generation John Kalleske (born 1944) began to adopt a proactive approach to vineyard care in the 1980s. Since 1875, the vines had been managed organically, with no herbicide or insecticide sprays, but no records had been made. Record-keeping was instituted and in 1998 the vineyards were certified organic. The use of biodynamic preparations increased and by 2008 all wine made by Kalleske was certified organic biodynamic, as were the oats in 2010.
Seventh-generation brothers Troy (winemaker) and Tony (viticulturist) have ridden the changes but Troy was interested to track the felling of the oak in a trial whereby three barrel types – Flower, Root and Fruit, according to the biodynamic calendar – were filled with the same 2016 shiraz. Hard labour has become clever and sustainable.
Source: Weekend Australaian Magazine, 23 May 2020
2017 Kalleske Johann Georg Shiraz
“The grapes are treated with the care they deserve in a small open fermenter, then pressed to French hogsheads (a mix of new and used) for two years. Its blend of dark cherry and blackberry fruit has a juicy, supple mouthfeel with unexpected lightness.”
2017 Kalleske Eduard Shiraz
“Vines from 46 to 112 years old, from three estate vineyards. Deep magenta colour. The flavours hit at high speed,with blackberry, plum, licorice and dark chocolate immediately establishing themselves in all corners of the mouth. Despite this naked power, the wine is so well balanced it’s a pleasure to drink.”
2018 Kalleske Moppa Shiraz
“The wine is medium to full-bodied, complex in a relaxed fashion, and very, very drinkable.”