Certain names resonate strongly within Australian wine history and Jim Barry is one of them. It was Jim Barry’s drive that helped shape South Australia’s Clare Valley as a benchmark producer of world class Riesling and cemented it as one of Australia’s premier wine regions. Jim was the first qualified winemaker in the Clare Valley, graduating with a degree in oenology from the prestigious Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1947. Founded in 1959, Jim Barry Wines is still family owned, with three generations of Roseworthy graduates. Jim’s son Peter became managing director in 1985 and today Peter’s children Tom, Sam and Olivia are the winemaker, commercial manager and brand ambassador respectively. Voted ‘Winery of the Year’ by Matthew Jukes they produce highly acclaimed and award-winning wines.
The Clare Valley is a series of undulating hills within the higher ranges of the grape growing area. Vine aspect and row orientation is as critical as soil type in terms of the suitability of a vineyard site for a particular variety. Shiraz is suited to upper slopes with northerly or western aspects and Cabernet Sauvignon suits the lower slopes and thicker soils. The vines are trained on a single cordon to promote an even canopy. The Clare Valley has a high diurnal temperature difference. The cool nights allow the vines to recover from the heat of the day and produce Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon with even ripening of tannins and flavour.