A Visit to the Clare Valley – Loosen Bros. USA Monthly Newsletter

Aug 1, 2023 | Jim Barry, Featured

It’s time we catch up with the iconic Jim Barry Wines family in South Australia’s Clare Valley. The 2023 harvest wrapped up in April and the wines are already very promising. We’ll dive a little deeper into the specifics of the vintage and the recent accomplishments of the family. The Armagh Vineyard is also celebrating its golden jubilee, marking 50 years since Jim Barry planted the prized Shiraz vines back in 1968. Jim Barry is widely credited with helping to shape the Clare Valley as a benchmark producer of world-class Riesling and Shiraz, cementing this wine region as one of Australia’s best.

Dormant grape vines in the winter from the Armagh Vineyard

The Armagh Vineyard in Winter


The 2023 Vintage at Jim Barry Wines

The 2023 vintage has resulted in exceptional quality fruit and great yields despite the low growing season temperatures. Cooler conditions in the summer months meant a slower start to the growing season, however the longer hang time has resulted in excellent fruit flavor in the grapes. The Riesling is packed with phenolic ripeness and great acid. There is a great balance between fruit concentration and acidity. The reds from this vintage are restrained and poised, yet powerful. The long, slow ripening period has developed more integrated, mature tannins.

Armagh Vineyard Scaled

The contoured rows of the Armagh Vineyard

This vintage was reminiscent of vintages in the 1990s where picking in March and early April was the norm. Cool and wet weather demanded more work in the vineyards to keep disease and pest pressure at bay and to ensure even ripening. The cellar team is now in the classification and blending phase of the winemaking process while the vineyard team preps the vines for winter.


Golden Jubilee for the Armagh Vineyard

The release of the 2018 The Armagh Shiraz marked a major milestone for Jim Barry Wines as it celebrates 50 years since Jim Barry planted the Shiraz vines in 1968. To commemorate the occasion, the winery has released a book that traces the provenance of this extraordinary wine, while providing insight into its history and development.

Armagh Vines Book Cover Scaled

Old Shiraz vines in the Armagh Vineyard

Introducing the reader to the people who have been an intrinsic part of this historic journey, including winemaking and tasting notes on every vintage, it is the ultimate guide to a truly great Australian Shiraz and one of the fine wines of the world.

Since the first vintage in 1985, The Armagh has achieved remarkable success and is regarded as one of Australia’s highest-quality wines. The book The Armagh – Rare Earth and Fine Wine is available for purchase on the Jim Barry Wines website.


Recent Accolades for Jim Barry Wines

In October of 2022, the Barry family was recognized for their major contributions to the development, promotion, and showcasing of Riesling-style wine, nationally and around the world receiving the Wolf Blass AM BVK Award at the 21st Canberra International Riesling Challenge.

Jim Barry Wines family accepts the Wolf Blass Award

The Barry Family accepts the Wolf Blass AM BVK Award
(Tom Barry, Olivia Hoffman-Barry, Wolf Blass, Sue Barry, and Peter Barry)

Success in October continued at the Clare Valley Regional Wine Show. In total, Jim Barry Wines received six trophies and 17 gold medals.

  • Best Exhibition Section Dry Riesling 2021 Vintage – 2021 Block 114 Riesling
  • Best Vintage Section Shiraz – 2021 Lodge Hill Shiraz
  • Best Vintage Section other Dry Red – 2021 Expressions Malbec
  • Best Vintage Section Cabernet Sauvignon – 2021 The Farm Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Carl Sobels Trophy Best Vintage Section Dry Red – 2021 The Farm Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Best Exhibitor of Show

We’re delighted to share that Jim Barry Wines has ranked No. 29 in The Real Review’s Top Australian Wineries of 2023. It is a great honor to be included amongst some of the great names of the Australian Wine Industry.

For over 55 years, the Barry family has worked to establish a mosaic of vineyards across the Clare Valley and Coonawarra wine regions. They are firm believers that great wine is made in the vineyard, which they own and farm themselves, in order to develop the best fruit flavors possible. Their winemaking philosophy and sustainable viticulture ensure that this iconic family wine estate will continue its pedigree throughout Australia and the rest of the world for many future generations to come.