Kalleske sets the benchmark for sustainable winemaking
In an industry proud of its environmental credentials, Kalleske Wines is setting the benchmark. The Barossa Valley's largest certified organic and biodynamic grape growing and winemaking operation – and one of the oldest certified in South Australia – has just won its second major sustainability prize in less than a year.
See how Kalleske Wines put sustainability at its core
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After collecting the Gold Award in the national Banksia Sustainability Awards – the longest running sustainability awards in Australia – last November, brothers Troy and Tony Kalleske have won the Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices category in South Australia's inaugural Best of Wine Tourism Awards.
The awards were held as part of Adelaide's membership of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network and
Kalleske will now compete in the international finals in Portugal in November against national winners from eight other countries.
Two years ago the winery also was inducted into the South Australian Regional Awards Hall of Fame after being named Sustainability Award Winner for three successive years.
Kalleske is sustainable across all aspects of its operations and is more than happy to showcase how that's done and how it impacts on what's in the glass.
"Our cellar door is in the main street of Greenock but we offer tours of the winery and vineyards for anyone who wants to understand a bit more about how organics and biodynamics works," said Tony. "Whenever we can we are educating people and promoting the benefits.
"There is an increasing interest in production and growing methods as people become more aware of the impact their choices have on their health and on the environment."
The awards for Kalleske aren't just confined to sustainability, however. Last year the winery won the Small Business Award at the Telstra South Australian Business Awards, and Tony and Troy's father John was named Vigneron of the Year in the Barossa Valley.
Kalleske is very much a family affair. John, his wife Lorraine and middle son Kym run the 50-hectare vineyard (part of a larger farm which also has sheep, cattle and some crops), while Tony and Troy run the winery they established in 2002.
The farm itself dates back to the 1850s and the oldest vines have been there since 1875. Certified organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyard and winery ensure the soil, air and waterways are not polluted with synthetic chemicals and fertilisers.
Composting is important – all winery waste, such as stalks and pressings, is returned as natural fertiliser back into the vineyard – and the property is self-sufficient for both power and water, having installed a 15kW solar system and a 250,000 litre rainwater tank.
From a winemaking point of view, Troy believes environmental integrity creates "better quality wine and more authentic wine which reflects the time and the place where the grapes were grown".
"By growing organically and biodynamically you get the best expression of that, and the characters come through in the wine," he said.
"We want our wines to represent the site they come from. We want that fruit to express itself without chemicals or artificial fertilisers. The whole focus is getting the soils as balanced and as healthy as possible."
The prestigious Great Wine Capitals Global Network brings together cities linked to internationally renowned wine regions. Adelaide / South Australia officially became a member on 1 July, after being unanimously elected by the eight other members: Bilbao / Rioja (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Cape Town (South Africa), Mainz-Rheinhessen (Germany), Mendoza (Argentina), Porto (Portugal), San Francisco / Napa Valley (USA) and Valparaìso / Casablanca Valley (Chile).