The local SA wine industry is going through a time of volatility and change. Just look at recent developments in the Barossa, with last week’s confirmation that multinational Accolade will take over Grant Burge and Casella (owner of Yellowtail) currently in proposed take-over discussions with Peter Lehmann Winery. Both of these large capacity wineries, proud stalwarts of the region and industry, now find themselves scrambling for new investors.
The Barossa has 7.9% of Australia’s vineyards and produces 5.3% of Australia wine. This difference in figures can be partly attributed to the wealth of low yielding ancient vines. And that’s the key to what has made the Barossa the heart of Australian Wine. Barossa has some, if not THE oldest vineyards in the world, thanks to the dreaded Phylloxera plague in Europe in the late 19th century that decimated the vast majority of the world vineyards at the time. But even with such an advantage, the prestigious region is not immune to the current economic climate and fluctuating state of Australian wine exports.
Now more than ever, it is important to support local, but it’s not all doom and gloom for everyone. A great example of a successful family wine operation from the region is Kalleske. Winemaker Troy Kalleske & co-founder Tony Kalleske, both 7th generation family members, are celebrating 10 years of Kalleske Wines this year and still going strong.
There are currently 5 Kalleske family members (and one cousin) involved in the winery operations. That’s a lot of family!
So what’s their secret when many other wineries are struggling? Firstly, seriously old vines certainly help. Cuttings for many of the vines on the family wine estate originate from the late 1800s. With a proud family heritage of grape growing in the area since 1853, the Kalleske’s know their stuff. Secondly, their staunchly hands-on, traditionalist approach to winemaking headed by Troy, utilising open fermenters, basket pressing, and wild yeast. The result speaks for itself, akin to soul food, this is soul wine at its best. Also, their combined passion for making their vineyard sustainable, organic and biodynamic sets them apart, with many wineries only now starting to look how they can become more environmentally friendly.
The proof is always in the pudding as they say, and in this case it would be the 2013 Kalleske Greenock Shiraz being awarded 5 Gold Stars at the recent China Wine & Spirts competition, (the biggest and most prestigious Wine Competition in Hong Kong & China) The Greenock shiraz is a true family estate wine – grown, vintaged and matured on Kalleske estate. A powerful wine with intense flavours of dark berries, liquorice, cocoa and sweet tobacco supported by fine ripe tannins, the single vineyard Greenock Shiraz is the Barossa in a bottle; complex, refined and classy.
So this Christmas, show your support for SA family wineries like Kalleske and buy local. Local in every sense of the word.
Kalleske Greenock Shiraz 2013 – $39.99 (Last remaining limited quantities available at Fassina)
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