Meet our wild winemaker, Barry

by Babich Wines October 7, 2020

He’s a wild one, but we like his character. So, we’re making Barry one of the winemaking team in our Marlborough winery.

He has been around since we opened the winery in 2014, always trying to get involved. We gave him some juice to play with right from the start, and he has proved to us that he can make wine that is at least as good as that made by more cultured peers. So, now we’re giving him more and more to do.

Barry got his name from Laura Stringer, microbiologist at the winery. Because Barry isn’t a person, but a strain of wild yeast. His name is derived from Babich Retained Yeast.

“All wineries have wild yeast in them, and we’re lucky that ours is a good one,” says Marlborough winemaker Jens Merkle. “We have found that the wines Barry makes have great depth and density, with an appealing aromatic profile. They are often more complex than the ones made with commercial yeast.”

Also, using Barry saves cost and has environmental benefits, as he doesn’t require transport or packaging.

You have probably been drinking some of Barry’s work without knowing it. Barry has a hand in most of our organic wine, and often in the Black Label and Winemakers’ Reserve wines.
“We’re still working on it,” says Jens, “but you can expect us to entrust more of our wine to Barry in future.”

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