Obituary: Jim Barry

  • Wednesday 20 October 2004

Jim Barry, the pioneering Clare Valley winemaker and producer of the legendary Armagh Shiraz, has died aged 79.

Although Barry spent 22 of his 57 years of winemaking with the Clarevale Cooperative in South Australia’s Clare Valley, he would eventually achieve worldwide recognition with the wines that bore his name.

Barry graduated from Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1947 and, having previously undertaken work experience for Clarevale, was offered a permanent post at the cooperative.

The first winemaker in Clare Valley to use a pH meter, Barry first started acquiring his personal vineyards in 1959. The family now owns properties totalling over 200ha.

After leaving Clarevale in 1969 and setting up his own winery and cellar door a year later, the first Jim Barry wines were available in 1974.

In 1985 Barry released the first Armagh Shiraz made from the low-yielding vines he planted in 1969 and used until 1985 in his Sentimental Bloke port blend.

Jim Barry Wines now makes around 70,000 cases annually.

Jim Barry is survived by his wife, Nancy, and six children, four of which are in the wine business.

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