An Iconic Wine Family in South Australia's Clare Valley
In South Australia’s celebrated Clare Valley wine region, the Jim Barry winery was founded in 1959 by Jim and Nancy Barry. Widely credited with helping to shape the valley as a benchmark producer of world class Riesling and Shiraz, Jim Barry played a substantial role in cementing Clare as one of Australia’s premier wine regions. Their most illustrious wine, The Armagh Shiraz, from a single vineyard planted by Jim Barry in 1968, is one of the undisputed icons of Australian wine.
Today the winery and its vineyards are owned and managed by Jim’s son, Peter Barry, along with his wife, Sue Barry, and their three children – Tom, Sam and Olivia – who are winemaker, commercial manager and brand ambassador respectively
Over 55 years the Barry family has worked to establish a mosaic of vineyards across the Clare Valley, each unique in site, soil and aspect. They also have two vineyards in the Coonawarra region, where they grow Cabernet Sauvignon on the famous Terra Rossa soils.
2019 Jim Barry Watervale Riesling
With a pale straw color in the glass, the nose of this wine has vibrant aromatics of lemon, orange blossom. It is driven by a powerful depth of flavor; lemon, lime and grapefruit with classic Watervale fragrant, floral musk. It’s clean line of acidity gives great length and drive to the generous offerings of flavor. The wine finishes with a gentle touch of mineralic texture to round out a mouth-watering, classic Watervale Riesling.
2017 The Barry Bros. Red Blend
Decorates the glass with a bright magenta color. Juicy and vibrant on the nose, this wine displays red and dark fruit flavors – raspberry, blackberry and cherry, with lifts of violet florals and sweet spice. The palate is lively and bright with a burst of red fruit. A medium-bodied composition with soft, fine-grained tannins give length and depth, finishing with a touch of spice and savoury oak. Very easy drinking, this wine is ready to be enjoyed now through 2020.
2017 Jim Barry The Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon
On the southern boundary of Coonawarra is the old Penola cricket ground, which first saw a ball bowled in anger and the flashing cover drives of the local champions in 1950. Sadly, the ground closed in 1996. Soon after, Jim Barry purchased the 30-acre property and planted a Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard.
LODGE HILL RANGE
2019 Jim Barry Lodge Hill Riesling
Jim Barry purchased the Lodge Hill vineyard in 1977 as he was sure it would “produce some of the best Riesling in Clare.” Situated on the eastern ranges of the township of Clare, Lodge Hill is one of the highest vineyards in the Valley – at an altitude of 1575 feet – and is ideal for producing steely, minerally Rieslings, distinctive to the area.
2017 Jim Barry Lodge Hill Shiraz
The Lodge Hill Shiraz vineyard, on the Clare Valley’s eastern ranges, has soils of rich, chocolatey loam over almost vertical sheet of rock. The cracks between the rock have filled with soil, providing passage for the vine roots and free drainage – the ideal environment for low-yielding Shiraz vines.
This is Australia’s first Assyrtiko, originally planted in August 2012 at the Lodge Hill Vineyard on the eastern ranges of the Clare Valley. The wine has been praised for its similarity to its Greek counterpart and has great natural acidity with flavors of pear, apricot and apple. A medium-bodied wine with a fine texture that we do not see in our Riesling.
2014 Jim Barry The McRae Wood Shiraz
This Shiraz honors the vision of pioneer Clare Valley winemaker Jim Barry. In 1964, Jim purchased 70 acres of prime land from Duncan McRae Wood and planted his first vineyard with Shiraz. It was an inspired choice of both grape variety and location.
2014 Jim Barry The Benbournie Cabernet Sauvignon
The Benbournie region was settled in 1853 by Catholic German friends of local priest, Father Kranewitter. The tiny settlement comprises about 15 mud huts surrounded by a Roman Catholic chapel. The small community’s optimism was built on copper mining, however the industry’s decline signaled its demise before the turn of the century. All that remains today are a few ancient vines, fig trees and almond trees.
2016 The Armagh Shiraz
The name of “Armagh” was bestowed by the original Irish settlers who arrived in 1849 and named the lush, rolling hills after their homeland. In 1968 the vineyard was planted by Jim Barry and yields less than two tons per acre. The soil is sandy gravel and receives an average rainfall of 23 inches per year. The vineyard lies on a north-facing slope, which acts as a natural sun trap, ensuring the fruit is always fully ripened when picked.