Peter has presided over many significant developments of Jim Barry Wines’ since becoming Managing Director in 1985. He undertook his first vintage at the family’s business in 1977 and returned to the winery in 1982 after completing his Oenology Degree at South Australia’s Roseworthy Agricultural College.
He succeeded his father, the late Jim Barry, as Managing Director and embarked on a steady expansion program of the company’s vineyards to the point where Jim Barry Wines now produces fruit from viticultural holdings at 10 locations in the Clare Valley totalling more than 200 hectares, along with a 14 hectare property at Coonawarra.
This access to high-quality, estate-grown fruit has been instrumental in the development of a number of prominent brands, including The Armagh Shiraz, The McRae Wood Shiraz, The Lodge Hill Shiraz, First Eleven Cabernet Sauvignon, The Benbournie Cabernet Sauvignon, The Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon, The Florita Riesling, The Lodge Hill Riesling as well as the Watervale Riesling.
Another of Peter’s achievements is the growth of exports to a level where Jim Barry Wines are available in more than 25 countries throughout the world and 50% of the company’s production is destined for international markets. While spending as much time as he can in Clare, Jim Barry’s international focus means Peter travels extensively, visiting Europe, the United States and New Zealand annually and he tours markets in Australia on a regular basis.
Peter is strongly involved in local winemaking and tourism organisations, including the Clare Valley Winemakers Incorporated where he serves on the Executive Committee. Peter is also the Chairman of the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) Export Committee.
Peter and his wife, Susan, have three children – Thomas, Samuel and Olivia. Peter and his family made their home on a 30-hectare vineyard/farm in the Armagh region of the Clare Valley.
1977 -1978 Two vintages as a cellar hand at Jim Barry Wines.
1979 -1981 Studied Oenology at Roseworthy Agricultural College, following in the footsteps of his father, Jim Barry, who graduated in 1947. Completed split vintages at Rothbury in the Hunter Valley (with David Lowe) and Bilyara in the Barossa Valley (Wolf Blass).
1982 Returned to the family winery and took on the responsibilities of viticulture and marketing.
1985 Took over as General Manager of Jim Barry Wines from his father. Developed The Armagh Shiraz in collaboration with all family members. Took on the first of three two-year terms (1984-1986, 1986-1988, 2002-2004) as Chairman of the Clare Valley Winemakers Inc, making him the longest-serving Chairman since the formation of the CVWI. Also involved in the development of the Clare Gourmet Weekend.
1986 Purchased the renowned Florita vineyard from Leo Buring, along with brothers Mark and John. Established an alliance with Negociants International to distribute Jim Barry Wines around the world.
1992 Developed The McRae Wood Shiraz with fruit sourced from the Armagh Vineyard.
2000 Developed the First Eleven Cabernet Sauvignon with 100% of the fruit sourced from the Old Cricket Ground vineyard in the Coonawarra.
2001 Developed The Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon from fruit sourced from the Clare Valley and from the Old Cricket Ground vineyard in the Coonawarra.
2001 -2002 Developed The Lodge Hill Riesling and Shiraz with fruit sourced from the Lodge Hill Vineyard.
2002 Developed The Benbournie Cabernet Sauvignon from 100% Clare Valley fruit.
2004 Developed The Florita as a super premium Riesling sourced from The Florita vineyard’s best parcels of fruit. Developed the Three Little Pigs Shiraz Cabernet Malbec.