Sipping by the sea: Adelaide Hills winery Barristers Block acquires Boston Bay Wines

Sipping by the sea: Adelaide Hills winery Barristers Block acquires Boston Bay Wines

Barristers Block family owners James and Lachlan Allen (Credit: Matt Turner)

After operating for more than two decades, family-owned Adelaide Hills winery Barristers Block has expanded its horizons with a third vineyard acquisition in South Australia, recently acquiring Boston Bay Wines on the Eyre Peninsula for an undisclosed sum.

The latest buyout adds to the family’s 25-acre vineyard in Wrattonbully, where Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown, and a 20-acre vineyard at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills that produces Tempranillo, Sauvignon Blanc, Fiano, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Barristers Block family owner Lachlan Allen told Business News Australia that the opportunity to acquire a vineyard in a local region with a growing tourism sector was a ‘no brainer’.  

“Wine tourism has really become its own sector in the last five years. It's become an experience people want together. The Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale benefit from the proximity to Adelaide and to try and fit within that is actually quite challenging because there's a lot of brands in those areas,” he explained.

“When this opportunity in Lincoln came up, we started looking pretty heavily at a lot of the tourism data. Port Lincoln and Eyre Peninsula as a whole tend to be above average in terms of visitors and the numbers to the region.”

According to data from the South Australian Tourism Commission, the Eyre Peninsula is projected to generate $397 million in visitor expenditure in 2025, and could make an estimated $500 million by 2030.

“We thought there's an opportunity to get into a really unique area that can actually give people traveling through or moving to the community something to embrace. Sitting in a vineyard that overlooks the sea… there are not too many places in the world you can do that,” Lachlan said.

Founded in 1984 by Graham and Mary Ford, Boston Bay Wines is situated 6km from Port Lincoln and overlooks Boston Bay, where there are regular sightings of ships, yachts and migrating whales. The land totals 15 hectares, featuring both a cellar door and a four-bedroom home.

Taking over operations of the new site from today, the Allen family has planned a cellar door renovation, brand refresh and will also update the current food offering. Long-term changes include building premium accommodation and developing the wine portfolio.

“Boston Bay Wines is a really big brand to the region - especially for the local community down there so we won't change the name, but we'll just bring a little bit of a revamp to the label itself. I think it's a nice transition [as] new ownership comes in and helps move it forward,” Lachlan said.

“We're also looking to expand on their existing Riesling plantings because that's their stand-out variety, and probably add a couple more that are better-suited to that Mediterranean environment over there.”

Operating Barristers Block alongside his mother Jan and brother James, Lachlan has spent 13 years working in the agricultural sector and joined the family business after the Cuddle Creek Fires in 2019.

Barristers Block owners Lachlan, Jan and James Allen (Credit: Matt Turner)


“We've definitely faced a few challenges in our time, but I think being a pretty tight family unit we've managed to pull in and navigate those waters where we've had the opportunity,” Lachlan said.

“When we started off with the Barristers Block brand back in 2002, we probably had no idea where it was going at that point in time. Now having a couple of brands within the portfolio, I think it's an acknowledgment of what Jan has pulled together and where we can go in the future.

“It's really exciting and we think that there's a lot of synergies that apply that will help us get the best out of it. We really want to provide a good opportunity for Port Lincoln locals within the community. Hopefully, we can keep Boston Bay running for many years to come.”

The news of the acquisition also coincides with the announcement of a family succession, with brothers Lachlan and James slowly taking over operations from their mother Jan.

“We had just started talking about succession plans prior to the 2019 Cuddlee Creek Fires which destroyed our Adelaide Hills vineyard. 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,” Jan said.

“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.”

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