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Governor of South Australia to open 2008 Jim Barry Clare Valley Field Day

From its humble beginnings on the Watervale oval, the Jim Barry Clare Valley Field Day will this year seek to establish itself as one of the major showcases of viticultural, winemaking and farming technology in the State.

In 2008 the event will shift from Watervale to the much larger Clare Showgrounds to cope with the expansion from wine and grape technology to also include agricultural displays for graingrowers and graziers.

Announcing this year’s event which will be held on May 7, Chairman Peter Barry said he was delighted that the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AO CSC RANR, will perform the official opening.

“Although Clare is best known for its winemaking and viticulture, its agricultural activities such as graingrowing, wool production and beef cattle grazing are still at the heart of the Clare Valley’s economy and define the character of our local community,” Peter said.

“We are honoured that the Governor has accepted our invitation and will be able to get a better understanding of the breadth and depth of the region.”

He said the Jim Barry 2008 Clare Valley Field Day will showcase the latest machinery, services, education, technology and information available to the local viticultural and agricultural community. Along with the large array of exhibitors there will be mobile bottling demonstrations, a small winemakers competition and wine tastings.

“Watervale, at the southern end of the Valley and the home of Riesling, has played host to the field day over recent years, however the move to the Clare Showgrounds will mean increased accessibility and convenience for both site holders and visitors,” Peter said.

“Clare is a convenient central destination for growers from the Barossa as well as the new vineyards in the Great Flinders, and we expect farmers will attend from Yorke Peninsula, the Mid North and the pastoral areas.”

The major sponsors of the 2008 Clare Valley Field Day are Jim Barry Wines, National Australia Bank, WSB Distributors, Greenwood Park Harvesting and Fuller. Many local volunteer organisations will also donate their time to help ensure the success of the Field Day.

Jim Barry Wines, was also the major sponsor at the previous Clare Valley Field Day in 2006.

“It is ironic that our company became the major sponsor,” managing director, Peter Barry said.

“I was keen to see the continued success of the Watervale Field Day, as it was known then, so I took on the role of committee chairperson. Then when we were looking for sponsorship, it seemed only right that I put our name forward.

“Contributing to the local viticultural community is something I am very enthusiastic about. As one of the most highly regarded wine regions in Australia, it is vital that we stay on the cutting edge of viticultural technology and education."

The 2006 Clare Valley Field Day raised $8,000 which was used for local community projects, including the replacement of the roof on the historic Watervale Grandstand. Funds from the 2008 Field Day will again be returned to the local community and volunteer service organisations, including the continued restoration of the grandstand.

Sites are now available and can be booked through the event coordinator on 0417 800 858.

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