Jim Irvine


Pete Thornton

what pete shot

A ‘mostly’ portrait and ‘brief’ interview series by professional photographer Pete Thornton exploring the idea that one image has the power to tell the whole story.

Each ‘sitter’ suggests the next person to be photographed in this series, and thus ensues an interesting and unknown trail of Barossa identities to come.

Stay tuned… Pete

>> Jim Irvine
Barossa unearthed

Jim Irvine

90 Glasses for the 90 year old ‘King of Merlot’

Jim is bright, sharp and entertaining as we chat, pour, swirl, taste and appreciate his award winning 2009 Grand Merlot, (bit special – thanks Jim!) We then spend the morning photographing the man who has achieved so much in his life and who’s name is synonymous with the Barossa and indeed in the world of wine!

His list of achievements are long and varied, from his early days learning his wine making craft under the watchful eye of the Hardy’s brand down at McLaren Vale and indeed all over Australia. He worked his way up through the ranks and became Chief winemaker at Hardy’s Siegersdorf winery in Barossa during the sixties and then state manager for Hardy’s in Victoria.

Jim moved on to become Winery Manager and Chief Winemaker at Krondorf – overseeing new innovations in propagation, irrigation, harvesting and wine making. He was integral in the setting up of Vinpac. Notable awards came to Jim during this time at various wine shows and then after a brief period at Saltrams, Jim and the family started planting vines at their property at Eden Valley in the early 80’s and so began Irvine Wines, with many success stories and accolades during this time including three time World’s Best Merlot against European acclaimed super premium Merlots.

He became a Baron of Barossa in the late 90’s, and has lived and worked in the Barossa for 65 years.

Jim is most enamoured with the Barossa itself, and has witnessed the happy transition of the wine industry from
mostly small grape growers and wineries to larger family owned, and now large corporations – and feels the joining of Grape growers, with Wineries and Tourism Associations is sure to bring added impetus to the Barossa brand and its enviable global recognition.

Happy 90th year Jim.

See the Barossa Unearthed series so far…

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