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 ‘2020 Winery of the Year' at the Halliday Wine Companion Awards 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. The vines are trained on a single cordon with a rod and spur to promote even canopy growth along the cordon, which allows for shading and avoids the crowding of fruit, in order to reduce disease. 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 with even ripening of tannins and flavour.
The grapes were sorted, destemmed and crushed. Fermentation took place with selected yeasts in stainless steel fermenters with heading down boards, which submerged the skins in the fermenting must and moderated the temperature of the 'cap' while gently extracting colour, flavour and tannin. Pump-overs were conducted twice a day with a rack and return occurring each day, early in the ferment. Fermentation lasted for between 7 to 10 days before being pressed. Malolactic conversion occurred in tank before the wine was racked to French oak where it spent 12 months maturing.