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Jim Barry was a pioneer of the Australian wine industry, the first academically qualified winemaker to take up Clare Valley viticulture in 1949. He had an uncanny intuition for good land and established some of the most illustrious vineyards on the continent. Jim Barry is also a patriarch of the Coonawarra, in pursuit of the perfect terroir for Cabernet Sauvignon, he planted vines on the ancient Penola Cricket Oval, preserving the original pavilion for posterity. Jim Barry endures as one of the nation's most distinguished brands, renowned throughout the world of wine for decades of the most remarkable vintages, an evolving range of superior vineyard editions, defined by their penetrating fruit and.. Salient statements from superior sites»
There were two scrub covered parcels of land, just outside Pokolbin village along McDonalds Road, that local council had long set aside for use as cricket ground and cemetery. Both were ultimately auctioned off to the highest bidders and sown to vine. A third undeveloped site became the subject of a long running feud among the new and old neighbours. Dodgy invoices between the rivals were exchanged and the division of firewood became a further cause of contention. A truce was eventually called by the two protagonists, Brokenwood and Hungerford Hill, for the sake of healthy viticulture. The nascent blocks achieved international renown as the eminent Cricket Pitch and the Langtons Listed Graveyard.. Sociable soils make for healthy vine»
Lindsay McCall's enthusiasm for great wine began in the 1970s, he established his first Mornington plantings in 1985 on the site of a derelict orchard at Red Hill along Paringa Road. From day one, McCall focused on exactingly managing the soils and the vines, after completing his day job as local school teacher. His affinity for the land and astonishing feel for winemaking produced monumental vintages of Pinot Noir, which propelled the exquisite range of Paringa Estate wines to international renown. McCall works closely with Mornington's finest vignerons to nurture better standards of viticulture and deliver finer vintages with each harvest. Limited yields of elite parcels, the artisanal efforts of.. Exquisite editions by the master of mornington»
Jim Barry
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Jim Barry
The Jim Barry vineyards were established in the cool uplands of the North Mount Lofty ranges in 1959

In his 57 years of winemaking, the late Jim Barry saw many changes. Jim Barry graduated from Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1947 and was offered a position at the Clarevale Cooperative, becoming the first qualified winemaker to work in the Clare Valley. In 1959 Jim and his wife Nancy purchased their first property on the northern outskirts of Clare and in 1964 purchased 70 acres of land from Duncan McRae Wood, part of which now forms the famous Armagh vineyard. With a growing family to look after, Jim took on the challenge of establishing his own winery and cellar door, with the first home-made wines being produced in 1974. "When I first came to the Clare Valley, grapes were delivered by horse and cart. Today our business is international but one thing won't change, at the end of the day, the wines are what matters!"

Jim Barry

The Jim Barry philosophy to winemaking is very simple, own the vineyards to develop the best fruit flavours possible and retain these flavours during winemaking. Fruit bottled under the Jim Barry Wines label is sourced from family owned vineyards, ensuring complete and utter control over every stage of production from vine to wine. Jim Barry Wines has four distinctive climatic and geographical sites in the Clare Valley. Watervale towards the southern end of the Valley, Lodge Hill in the eastern ranges, vineyards at the northern entrance to Clare and Armagh to the west. In addition, the company has a 14 hectare Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in the Coonawarra region.

The Florita vineyard at Watervale is one of the area’s oldest. This is the vineyard where legendary winemaker, John Vickery, sourced the grapes for his great Leo Buring Rieslings of the 1960s and 1970s. At a time when the South Australian Government had initiated a vine pull program to counter an oversupply of grapes, Jim Barry went against conventional wisdom and purchased the Florita vineyard. Despite fruit being in oversupply and Riesling being overshadowed by a huge surge in popularity by Chardonnay, they knew that Florita was one of the best vineyards in the country and was crucial in their plans to produce premium Rieslings.

The first time Jim Barry walked on the soils of Lodge Hill in 1977, he knew it was a special site. It now produces two of Jim Barry’s most famous wines – The Lodge Hill Riesling and The Lodge Hill Shiraz. At 480 metres, the Lodge Hill vineyard, situated on the eastern ranges of the township of Clare, is one of the highest points in the Valley. Jim’s original intention was to devote the entire Lodge Hill vineyard to premium Riesling. The soil in the Riesling vineyard, on the other side of the crest, is brown loam over a layer of clay and slate bedrock that is about 900 million years old and has cracked just off the vertical so that water can drain freely through it. It’s a soil that nourishes the vines adequately, but makes them struggle just a bit, making it suited to growing intensely flavoured, finely structured Rieslings.

Jim Barry

However, while he was pottering around with his trusty shovel, digging here and there, he discovered a very different soil profile on the small north-facing slope. Warmer than the rest of the property, Jim decided it was the perfect place to plant Shiraz. So in essence, there are two vineyards within the one. The Shiraz vineyard's soil consists of about 40-50 centimetres of rich, chocolaty loam over rock, consisting of almost vertical sheets. The cracks between the sheets have been filled with soil, providing passage for the vine roots and free drainage – the ideal environment for low-yielding Shiraz vines.

The Armagh Shiraz has achieved extraordinary success and is regarded as one of Australia's highest quality wines. The vineyard was named after the adjoining hamlet of Armagh, established by Irish settlers in 1849 and named after the lush rolling hills of their homeland. Jim Barry planted the 3.3 hectare vineyard in 1968 with Shiraz clones originally sourced from Israel. The vineyard is planted on its own roots on grey sandy abrasive topsoil over clay subsoil and receives an average rainfall of 600 millimetres per year. Such is The Armagh vineyards suitability that minimal intervention is needed to maintain yields below 4 tonnes per hectare, which produce rich and concentrated fruit of the rare quality required to produce wines with ageing potential.

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 local champions in 1950. Jim Barry always had an affection for Coonawarra and the region's fabulous Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, so when the property went on the market, the opportunity to transform it into a vineyard was too good to miss. To preserve a little piece of Coonawarra cricketing history, the original pavilion was retained and the vines were planted around the cricket pitch. Jim Barry today, maintains the traditions of a family run winery committed to producing quality wines through an innovative approach to viticulture and winemaking technology.

Jim Barry