Find out what wines by a show judge taste like!
- Glenn Barry is a South Australian wine wizard, an ex-chief winemaker for Knappstein and a highly respected wine show judge. His philosophy of ‘no boring wines’ ensures a fantastically flavoured flourish in every bottle.
He’s had a stellar career working vintages in big wineries in Italy, the US and Canada, as well as here in Australia. When he tired of years sleeping on other folks' couches, he settled down in South Australia and worked his way up the ranks to Chief Winemaker.
With a ton of medals under his belt and all the right connections, he’s struck out on his own. Now he makes his own wines for us that are fun and interesting to drink. And you can be the judge of that!
Many years ago, Glenn swapped a lab coat for blood, sweat and grapes.
He was good at science, but not a fan of typical science-y jobs. Unimpressed with the thought of spending his life in a lab coat, Glenn was seduced by the blend of science and craftsmanship of winemaking. He packed his bags and moved from Brissie to Wagga Wagga to validate his feelings with a qualification. Then it was game on!
“I got my first vintage gig in the Clare Valley in ‘98 and quickly realised that this was the life for me. Lots of hard work, late nights and very dirty hands but to have something tangible, a bottle of wine, that people could enjoy at the end of it all was so damn satisfying!!” — Glenn.
Glenn’s winemaking career reads like a textbook to the craft.
He soon took off overseas and worked vintages in big wineries in Italy, the US and Canada, as well as here in Australia. When he tired of years sleeping on other folks' couches, he took a job at Hardy's Tintara Winery in McLaren Vale.
Not afraid of the hard yards, Glenn worked his way up to Senior Winemaker and Site Manager. He won numerous gold medals at wine shows, like Best White and Best Red Wines at the Royal Adelaide Wineshow in 2007.
Then in 2011, like a prodigal son, he moved back to where it all began — Clare Valley. This time as Chief Winemaker of the illustrious Knappstein brand, where he promptly took out Best Wine in South Australia in 2012 for his Riesling. And the wine show judging offers started rolling in.
And then came the itch.
He knew it was coming — the urge to get out and do his own thing. So Glenn left his stable ‘big wine’ role and quietly launched a little winery called Tonic. These premium, small batch wines in their funky-shaped cork-topped bottles are already on the radar.
But tiny volumes of wine from a new label tucked away in the Valley wasn’t going to pay the bills. Glenn needed more. More grapes and more customers. So he picked up his mobile and gave me a call.
Bingo. We got Glenn Naked.
He was true to his philosophy of ‘no boring wines’!
“I always try to make wines that are fun to drink with a little bit of interest. I had a note on my office computer for 15 years that simply said IS IT A GOOD DRINK? And that's what I try to do when making wines, make something that is simply delicious.” — Glenn.
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