Select a Captain Barossa grower
The Kalleske tale started after my folks, John and Barb, bought their current Nuriootpa property in 1975 followed by land at Koonunga Hill in 1977 as a sheep and cropping farm.
John was a shearer by day and farmer/grapegrower by night and weekends while Barb was the classic hard working grapegrower/farmer's wife, doing the books, pruning, grape picking and vine training.
Knowing the farm's potential for premium wine grapes, and to create work for their kids, they began planting vines out there in the following years, beginning production around 1991.
John's farming took a back seat with the development of more vineyard through the 1990's and into the mid 2000's.
Shiraz/Semillon/Chardonnay/Cabernet were the go through the mid 1990's. Then, from the late 1990's to 2005, the family started to have a play with left of field varieties like Petit Verdot and Durif.
Whether it was a case of spreading the risk as well as looking for the next 'gold nugget' wine style, and trying to find niche wineries who wanted something other than the big 3 or 4 varieties.
|Petit Verdot||Neukirch Road||Ebenezer||1999|
Our Ebenezer and Koonunga blocks are at an elevation of 280 metres with an annual rainfall of 500mm. The vineyard's soil is red/brown earth over deep red clays that enjoys warm to hot summer days and cool to cold nights.
We aren't an organic vineyard and don't pretend to be, the thing is we don't use any more spray than absolutely necessary.
Luckily, in normal years, we don't have to use fungicide all that much at Koonunga as it is pretty dry, and we can get away with 2-4 basic sprays on our reds. A bit of undervine weed spraying and it's all pretty sweet.
We are pretty fussy with our pruning and irrigation timing as well as our systems and weed control. If we get these right the fruit looks after itself. We have our own equipment so we can do what's needed to be done when it's needed, which is important for us.
Family wineries need good vineyard yarns and here's a mild one of ours. My sisters' neighbour had this dog who loved to drop rocks at your feet so you'd throw them and he'd could fetch them.
We thought it was great... until the winery complained about rocks giving their crusher a hard time after delivery of the day's grapes. The dog was dropping the rocks in people's grape buckets as well! Oops.
Petit Verdot, Durif