One of the Clare Valley's most respected wineries started its 60th birthday celebrations in style, winning one of Australia's most revered wine accolades.
Jim Barry Wines was awarded the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Winery of the Year, ahead of more than 1200 wineries from around Australia.
Established by patriarch Jim Barry in 1959, the Clare Valley winery has become synonymous with crafting quality Riesling, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon while also pioneering the variety Assyrtiko outside of Greece.
James Halliday said, "The 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Winery of the Year is Jim Barry. This year, Jim Barry's performance at the Clare Valley Wine Show was six gold medals for Riesling and that has never happened before, and it probably won't happen again."
"They are really, really good communicators and they focus on what the Clare Valley does best - Riesling."
Second-generation wine-maker Peter Barry, who oversees day-to-day operations alongside sons Sam and Tom said, "The entire industry watches in anticipation for the announcement of these awards."
"James Halliday is the king of the Australian wine industry, and I feel that we have just received a knighthood."
"The Halliday award is a tremendous accolade representing our commitment to owning our own vineyards, to wine quality, and to the Clare Valley.This win is the realisation of the dreams we have and what dad set out to achieve from the beginning."
"I feel euphoric - this recognition encompasses all of my father and family's hard work, commitment and vision. He was my hero and mentor, and he would be so proud of what we've achieved."
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Jim Barry was the first qualified winemaker to work in the Clare Valley, graduating from Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1947 as just the 17th oenologist from the newly established course.
As part of the 60th birthday celebrations, Jim Barry has released a commemorative book detailing the family's six decades of winemaking.
"As a young person, we all dream about the future," Peter said.
"My family's dream over three generations has always been to make wine that was respected by our peers."
"We have won many trophies and gold medals over the years, but this is our greatest award to date."
Eldest son and winemaker, Tom Barry, said, "When I came home from university to Clare, we were already making great wine."
"I got the best training possible - I shadowed dad and got one-on-one tutoring."
"I've spent 10 years working alongside him and talking wine every single day."
"I've been able to make small areas of improvement, working with our vineyards and making better examples of those wines," Tom said.
Over three generations, the Barry family has worked tirelessly to help develop the Clare Valley's reputation as a premium Riesling producer, and together with their Clare Valley comrades, the wine-producing community has put Clare Valley on the world map.