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30/07/2009

Jim Barry Wines celebrates 50 years

Clare Valley’s Jim Barry Wines will be celebrating 50 years on Monday 3 August. To help mark the occasion, 50 friends, family and wine writers will visit the winery for a celebratory lunch and tasting of old rare wines.

Established in 1959 by Jim Barry and wife Nancy Barry, the company has grown to become a highly successful wine business with a line-up of well established brands and trophy-winning wines, which are available in 25 countries around the world.

Jim and Nancy purchased their first property and vineyards on the northern outskirts of Clare 50 years ago. The property was part of the original estate of Edward Burton Gleeson, founder of Clare, and known as Burton Cottage. Over the years, they continued to purchase various blocks of land to plant vineyards throughout the Clare Valley and expand Jim Barry Wines.

In 1964, Jim and Nancy purchased 70 acres of prime river flats from Duncan McRae Wood in the Armagh area of Clare. This property became the foundation of the world-renowned ‘The Armagh’, first released in 1985.

In 1986, Jim Barry’s sons (Mark, Peter and John) purchased the famous “Florita” vineyard, formerly owned by well-known Australian identity Leo Buring. Celebrated for its superb Riesling, this vineyard now produces the multi-award winning Watervale and Florita Riesling.

"Sometimes it takes longer than a lifetime to do a lifetime's work… it's now up to my children." — Jim Barry 1925 – 2004.

Today, the company is headed by Jim’s second son Peter, who took over from his father as managing director in 1985.

Peter said he is proud to see the winery reach 50 years and he looks forward to celebrating this milestone with family and friends.

“Over the past 50 years, Jim Barry Wines has grown to become a highly successful business,” Peter said. “I am excited to be celebrating this great achievement and I look forward to the future.”

“Our focus has always been uncompromising based on wine quality, which is why we grow our own grapes and control the flavour from the vine through to the wine,” he said.

To keep with tradition, the celebration lunch on 3 August will be held at the original licensed premises of Jim Barry Wines in Clare.

Among those attending the celebrations will be James Halliday, Jeni Port, Ray Jordan and Ken Gargett. Old and rare wines made by Jim Barry Wines, dating back to the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s will be available for tasting on the day.

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