Founder of Barristers Block, Jan Allen, says wine tourism is at the heart of what they do at the Woodside winery and this acquisition on Eyre Peninsula “provides an opportunity to replicate the integrated tourism experience”.
“Making high quality wine is entrenched in our DNA and creating a welcoming space to enjoy this wine in a beautiful environment is at the heart of our experience at Barristers Block,” Jan says.
“The Boston Bay acquisition means that we can bring the hospitality of the Adelaide Hills to Port Lincoln, providing a similar experience to another unique setting and established wine brand.”
Jan’s son Lachlan agrees. “Sitting right on the coast, it’s probably one of the closest vineyards to the sea in the world.
“We believe that we will be able to provide not only beautiful quality wines and locally sourced produce, but build all the other tourism trimmings to make it a multi-layered offering that will be sought after by locals and tourists alike.
“Our model in the Adelaide Hills is direct to the consumer, meaning we have a really good understanding of who our customer is and what they want – which is brilliant drinkable wine consumed in a phenomenal location with quality food pairings.
“For us, this is the winning formula and Boston Bay has the perfect bones for us to replicate our customer centric model.”
Jan’s other son, James, says it is evident the region is currently undervalued, but on the cusp of an upward swing.
“This was a strategic investment for us,” he says.
“We wanted to secure a site outside the Adelaide Hills that is primed for growth and not saturated.
“We were looking for opportunities and during intrastate travel over lockdown our mum stumbled across this hidden family-owned gem.
“There is a strong tourism tailwind on regional South Australia, particularly the Eyre Peninsula and this acquisition allows us to be part of that growth trajectory.”
The acquisition has taken 18 months and was settled yesterday with immediate and long term plans already underway.
“We plan on hitting the ground running and our guests should feel our mark on this beautiful winery pretty quickly,” Lachlan says.
“Boston Bay is synonymous with the Eyre Peninsula and the Port Lincoln community and therefore the name will stay the same.”
Short term activities include a cellar door renovation, brand refresh and plans to immediately elevate the current food offering, washing it down with the hospitality Barristers is known for.
Long term plans include building premium accommodation and developing the wine portfolio.
“We plan to build on the Boston Bay wine portfolio, working with the Mediterranean climate to present the best varieties,” Lachlan says.
“Naturally we are thrilled to have the award-winning Boston Bay Riesling join our stable of wines which complement the world class produce and seafood from the region.”
Today’s announcement also coincides with the unveiling of the family succession.
“We had just started talking about succession plans prior to the 2019 Cudlee Creek Fires which destroyed our Adelaide Hills vineyard,” Jan says.
“This event was literally the spark that fast-tracked my sons’ involvement within the business and today marks the start of the succession roll-out.
“From humble beginnings, I am proud to bring in my two sons to continue the legacy of the foundations that I’ve laid.
“Blood, sweat and tears are the building blocks of the Barristers Block brand and I look forward to seeing what’s next for my children and grandchildren.”
Barristers Block began with the first plantings at the family owned Wrattonbully vineyard in 1997.
Boston Bay Wines was established by Graham and Mary Ford in 1984 after they made the move from Sydney.
They put the business on the market in August 2021.
Photo: Lachlan, Jan and James Allen. Photo by Matt Turner.