Far Out! Jim Barry Wines celebrate Watervale Riesling with 70s retro label

Riesling lovers rejoice! It’s time to celebrate – 70’s style- as Jim Barry Wines commemorates 50 consecutive vintages of their popular Watervale Riesling with a limited-edition label.

The 1970s was a decade of disco, colourful counterculture and for Clare Valley, the birth of Jim Barry Wine’s Watervale Riesling. As such, the family-owned winery decided to mark the milestone with a temporary transformation of the popular wine, with a groovy 70’s inspired label, paying tribute to its birth year of 1974.

Sales and Marketing Director, Sam Barry, said the winery is very proud of how this brand has grown over the years and made Riesling approachable to all wine drinkers.

“The Watervale Riesling has been a constant in our portfolio since our winery was built in 1974, and indeed, it is the only wine that we have consistently produced every vintage since then,” Sam said.

“Its success is in its quality and consistency- the consumer knows what to expect every time they open a bottle,” Sam said.

Third generation winemaker, Tom Barry, said while the style of the wine has evolved over the 50 years, the quality of the fruit has remained the same, and he is sure their consumers will love the funky new label, which pays tribute to the vibrancy and ethos of the times. 

“The fruit for this wine was originally sourced from a property owned by my grandparents, Jim and Nancy Barry, in Watervale,” he said. “When my dad, Peter, and his brothers purchased the historic Florita vineyard in 1986, production was able to increase considerably.”

“Over the years, we have modified sugar levels and embraced improved winemaking technology, to hit the mark with our customers,” said Tom.

The Watervale Riesling is testament to the Barry family’s commitment to Riesling over three generations. Indeed, Jim Barry Wines has been awarded the greatest number of trophies for Riesling at capital city wine shows over the past decade.

In 2022, the family was awarded theWolf Blass AM BVK Award at the 21st Canberra International Riesling Challenge for their major contribution to the development, promotion and showcasing of Riesling Style Wine, nationally and around the world.

Proprietor, Peter Barry, believes it is a privilege to make Riesling in the Clare Valley and is glad that it has never become ‘popular’ in mainstream winemaking, ensuring the integrity of the variety.

“My father, Jim, was a pioneer of dry table wine in the Clare Valley and saw a future of varieties like Riesling, Shiraz and Cabernet.I am grateful to my parents for their hard work and foresight, which has afforded us the opportunity to make this wonderful variety for over 50 years,” said Peter.

On the 2023 Riesling vintage, Tom Barry said thewine is packed with flavour and phenolic ripeness, with great acid. “The balance achieved between fruit concentration and acid is outstanding,” he said.