Jim Barry is celebrating being named the 2020 Halliday Winery of the Year.
The Halliday Wine Companion Awards were held last night in The Great Hall at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.
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 winemaker 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 Winery of the Year award is a tremendous accolade representing our commitment to owning our own vineyards, wine quality, and 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.
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.
The accolade comes as Jim Barry is preparing to celebrate 60th birthday this month, which will see the release of a commemorative book detailing the family’s six decades of winemaking.
“As a young person, we all dream about the future. 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,” said Peter.
Sam Barry, Sales Manager at Jim Barry, said: “The trade has been so supportive and good to us, and we believe that this award will only give them more confidence in us and our wines. They are a big part of this award.
“Grandpa and Grandma’s vision was always to own our vineyards and to give ourselves the best chance of making the best wine possible. Sixty years later and this is still our philosophy. It is something that my brother and I will pass onto the next generation.”
Watch what James Halliday had to say about the Halliday Winery of the Year:
Other major winners last night included Vanya Cullen from Cullen Wines for Winemaker of the Year and the 2016 Yangarra Estate Vineyard High Sands McLaren Vale Grenache as Wine of the Year. Best New Winery was Shy Susan Wines, of Tasmania, while Dark Horse of the Year went to Dal Zotto Wines, in King Valley, Victoria.
Australia’s Best Value Winery
Domaine Naturaliste was named Best Value Winery of the Year at the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards.
The winery was established in the Margaret River by Bruce Dukes (above) in 2012.
He told the Busselton Mail: “We love the award because the best value does not really refer to the cheapest wines, but the greatest quality to value ratio,” he said.
“Having a wine brand allows me to explore another aspect of the wine industry, as well as express the quirks of my personality through those wines,” he said.
“What I seek to do with my wines is display the area I am in, which is Margaret River, and to me the gift of Margaret River is the freshness of fruit perfumes, generous textures and absolute purity of the wine.”