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Australian wine legend honoured with medal of the Order of Australia

Brian Barry, South Australian winemaker, wine show judge and wine consultant, was this week awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his outstanding achievement in and service to the Australian wine industry.

The Federal Government awards recipients with an Order of Australia to recognise their service and contribution to a particular field of endeavour.

Mr Barry, who is 79, has spent 62 years of his life helping to develop the Australian wine industry. He said he received the award for his many years of skilled winemaking and his ability to enhance wine quality and the reputations of wine regions such as the Riverland, Barossa Valley, Hunter Valley and the Clare Valley.

“I spent many years in the show ring judging wines and assessing the general standard of wine making. I also worked as wine consultant for over 25 years, helping to improve wine quality for many of Australia’s famous labels,” Mr Barry said.

Mr Barry is known for his innovative and analytical abilities in the wine industry and has worked for a variety of wineries and companies since beginning his career in 1945.

The OAM is one of over 3500 awards he has received during his life. Last year his family wine label, Brian Barry Wines, won the 2005 Canberra National Riesling Challenge Wolf Blass Trophy in recognition of outstanding winemaking contribution and setting the highest standards in the development of Riesling in Australia.

The boutique wine label will also be releasing the first ever Syrah (Shiraz) grown at Jud’s Hill Vineyard in the Clare Valley in August this year. This collector’s edition wine has been made to last 20 years or more, and will have a limited release of only a few hundred dozen available world-wide.

Mr Barry started his wine business in 1977 and his winemaker son Judson Barry joined in 1992. Judson is proud of his father’s achievements and believes the OAM represents a lifetime of dedication.

“He has been an integral force in lifting the standard of Australian wine quality, which ultimately led to our nation’s wines being recognised as some of the world’s finest, paving the way for the Australian wine export boom.

“It’s a great honour to be his student and son,” Judson said.

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