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Australian Wine Pioneer Jim Barry Dies

The family's flagship wine, The Armagh, is one of the country's best Shirazes.

Posted: October 16, 2004

Pioneering Australian winemaker Jim Barry, who was among the first university-trained winemakers in the country when he arrived in Clare Valley in 1947, died on Oct. 14. He was 79.

Barry and his wife, Nancy, started planting vineyards in 1959 and made their first wines in 1974. Their goal always was to make Jim Barry Wines a family business. Today, their son Mark is the winemaker, Peter the general manager and John the viticulturalist of the estate, which covers more than 500 acres and produces 70,000 cases annually.

Jim Barry's flagship wine, a big Shiraz called The Armagh, often rates among the country's best. First made in 1985, it uses vines the Barrys planted in 1968.

Other wines in the portfolio include Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, but South Australians know the winery best for its Watervale Riesling, which was Jim Barry's personal favorite. "He enjoyed a glass of it nearly every day," said Peter.

Barry is survived by his wife and six children.

--Harvey Steiman

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