The Reg & Co. brand has a short history, releasing our first wine, "Tank Slap" Riesling on the 30th October 2016.
I however, have a long history in the wine industry. My father is the late Jim Barry who graduated from Roseworthy Ag College in 1947, the 17th diploma of Oenology. A job with a Cooperative company took him to the Clare Valley where he met and married my mum Nancy. Soon there was a pitter patter of small feet and I finally came along as number six of six kids. My dear mum says that I was a pleasant surprise because of a seven-year gap between number five and myself.
Consequently, being a lone kid, I spent a lot of time with Jim in the vineyard and in wineries, as before he built his own in 1973, he stored his barrels at several wineries and even a soft drink factory in the town of Clare.
So, I started work with Jim aged 16 in 1982, and my first job was to move a 1.5-inch poly pipe from row to row as we used to flood irrigate the vines back then. While I waited for the vines to water, I'd walk the row with a hoe in hand and hoe the weeds, shoot knock (removing water shoots from the vines) and make sure the water followed the channel. This was the life, working outside.
Over the next five years, I learnt all the different aspects of viticulture and grew to love the game. From the art of winter pruning to operating grape harvesters, it was rewarding and a challenge.
In 1988 I was off to Roseworthy College myself to study viticulture. What a blast, meeting new people that were interested in the same things I was. Lifelong friends were made and a nick-name that stuck and is the essence of the brand "Reg & Co. I even learnt a few things.
I graduated in 1991 and went off to Adelaide for a year to sell wine for the family company, Jim Barry Wines. After that, I came home and got stuck back into what I like most, viticulture.
On Australia Day 2001 my wife Gayle and I, purchased the Mundawora Property, 7km north of Clare. This was the starting point for me following my own path in the wine industry. Mundawora had 6 acres of vines with an interesting history. Some of the Shiraz were planted from stock Jim supplied to the original property owners, the James family in 1967. This same stock was planted by Jim on the family block west of the winery and makes the world renowned "The Armagh" Shiraz. Straight away, in August 2001, we planted a further 15,500 Shiraz vines (10hectares) from the same stock at Mundawora.
After 32 years working with Jim Barry Wines I decided it was time to do my own thing. I left the family company at the end of 2015 and started a new venture... Reg & Co.
John "Reg" Barry