The Assyrtiko Jim Barry’s grapes were hand-harvested and meticulously sorted. The fruit was chilled to 6°C before being destemmed and pressed. After cold settling, the juice was racked with a portion of the light “fluffy” lees. Cool fermentation took place with selected yeasts at temperatures of 14 to 16°C and lasted two to three weeks. A small parcel underwent cool fermentation in aged French barrels, enhancing the texture.
The Assyrtiko vines are from clones that Peter originally imported from Gaia’s vineyard, Santorini. They were first planted in 2012 in the Lodge Hill vineyard, on the eastern ranges of Clare where the soils are brown loam overlaying a layer of clay and slate bedrock. Subsequently, blocks have been planted at the Florita vineyard in Watervale in the western ranges of the Clare Valley on terra rossa soils. The Lodge Hill block produces wines which are tight and have excellent persistence of flavour, while the vines planted on terra rossa soils are more generous and fuller flavoured. All the vines in the Assyrtiko blocks are planted in shallow soils over the bedrock which makes them struggle just a little, producing intensely flavoured wines. The vines are single cordon trained to promote even canopy growth and provide optimal shade.
Certain names resonate strongly within Australian wine history and Jim Barry is one of them. It was Jim Barry’s drive that helped shape South Australia’s Clare Valley as a benchmark producer of world-class Riesling and cemented it as one of Australia’s premier wine regions. Jim was the first qualified winemaker in the Clare Valley, graduating with a degree in oenology from the prestigious Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1947. Founded in 1959, Jim Barry Wines is still family-owned, with three generations of Roseworthy graduates. Jim’s son Peter became managing director in 1985 and today Peter’s children Tom, Sam and Olivia are the winemakers, commercial manager and brand ambassador respectively. Voted ‘Winery of the Year’ by Matthew Jukes they produce highly acclaimed and award-winning wines.