Jim Barry Wines celebrates 50th vintage at family’s winery site

Jim Barry Wines completed the 2023 vintage in Clare with excellent yields and fruit quality. The 2023 season marked the 50th vintage at the family-owned winery’s Clare site- built by Jim and Nancy Barry in 1974.

With cooler conditions in the summer months, the 2023 Jim Barry Wines vintage was slightly delayed starting, however, this longer hang time resulted in excellent fruit flavour in all varieties.

Third-generation winemaker, Tom Barry said although it was the latest season the winery has experienced, the long hang time allowed some wonderful development in the fruit.

“The Riesling is packed with flavour and phenolic ripeness, with great acid,” he said. “The balance achieved between fruit concentration and acid is outstanding.”

The 2023 vintage is reminiscent of those in the early 1990’s according to proprietor, Peter Barry.

“Picking in late March – early April was the norm and we saw some outstanding vintages throughout this period,” Peter said. “The cooler weather has meant extra work in the vineyard to keep disease at bay and ensure ripening. We used our learnings from the 2017 vintage to ensure our vines remained healthy through the season.”

Although it was April before the winery began harvesting Shiraz and Cabernet grapes, Tom said the reds are restrained and show poise and power.

“The long slow ripening resulted in a more integrated and mature tannin and flavour profile.”

Despite the late start, the 2023 vintage was more compressed than the 2022 season, and the vintage was completed in approximately eight weeks (four weeks shorter than 2022).

Recent improvements to the winery site ensured the winemaking team could handle the compressed time frame.

“Our winery has come a long way from when it was built 50 years ago. My grandfather, Jim, always embraced technology and instilled a drive for innovation in the subsequent generations of the family. We are always striving to create the best wine possible utilising the new wine technology that is available to us. This philosophy has put us in good stead to make great wine from this site for another 50 years at least,” said Tom.

With the harvest now complete, the winemaking team at Jim Barry will begin the exciting process of classification and blending, while the vineyard team gets straight back on the tools to begin their winter program.