Jim & Nancy Barry
Building a Family Business
Jim and Nancy met when he was boarding in Clare while working at the Clarevale Co-operative. He proposed just six weeks later and they were married in 1950. In 1959 Jim and Nancy purchased their first property and vineyards on the northern outskirts of Clare. The property was part of the original estate of Edward Burton Gleeson, founder of Clare, and known as Burton Cottage.
In 1964 they purchased 70 acres of prime river flats from Duncan McRae Wood in the Armagh area of Clare. This property would go on to be the foundation of their red wine production – including the world renowned ‘The Armagh’ first released in 1985. In 1969, after guiding Clarevale for 22 years, Jim took on the challenge of helping to establish Taylor’s new winery and vineyards at Auburn (originally known as Chateau Clare Estate). He and Nancy also continued to develop their own grape interests and expand the wines under their own label. This success led Jim and Nancy to establish a winery and cellar door sales complex at their north Clare property.
In 1974 the first “home-made” wines were produced at a new winery built on a hill, with a spectacular outlook over the picturesque northern Clare Valley. In 1977 they purchased the 329 acre (133ha) Lodge Hill property, historically known as Wolta Wolta. One of the highest vineyards in the Valley, it has an austere, cool climate, ideal for producing wine. Along with the house built on the property, Lodge Hill also caters for Jim’s thoroughbred horse stud.
Clare River (1989) - opposite the winery at the northern end of the Valley Watervale Riesling.
- Jacka’s (1995) - adjacent to Clare River
- John Knox Oval (1998) in Coonawarra
The vineyard holdings of Jim Barry Wines now exceeds 200 hectares.
Sadly, Jim passed away in Clare in 2004. Fortunately Nancy continues to play an important role in the everyday running of the business.