South Australian winery Barristers Block has purchased Boston Bay Wines, found in Port Lincoln, with a view to expanding its wine tourism model.
Barristers Block purchased Boston Bay Wines (based in Port Lincoln) on Monday 15 May, following an 18 month acquisition process, and took over operations yesterday, 16 May.
Jan Allen, Founder and Owner of Barristers Block, believes the new acquisition offers the company the opportunity to reproduce the successful integrated wine tourism experience it offers in its Adelaide Hills location.
“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 said.
There’s a large cellar door at Barristers Block’s Woodside winery, alongside the Vignerons Vila Bed and Breakfast, offering a comprehensive wine tourism experience.
“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 continued.
The seaside location of Boston Bay makes it an ideal candidate for this kind of wine tourism offer, says Lachlan Allen, Family Owner and Jan’s son.
“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,” Lachlan commented.
“For us, this is the winning formula and Boston Bay has the perfect bones for us to replicate our customer centric model.”
Another of Jan’s sons, James Allen, believes the purchase of Boston Bay is also simply good business in an area where he tips real estate to grow in value.
“This was a strategic investment for us. 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,” James said.
“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.”
Now, the new owners have a raft of changes planned in the short term: improvements to the cellar door, a brand refresh and elevation of the winery’s food offering. However, the winery will not be renamed.
“We plan on hitting the ground running and our guests should feel our mark on this beautiful winery pretty quickly. Boston Bay is synonymous with the Eyre Peninsula and the Port Lincoln community and therefore the name will stay the same,” said Lachlan.
“While the Hills has the quaint and quiet countryside atmosphere, Boston Bay has an incredible view back over the Bay to Port Lincoln and we can’t wait to welcome our customers to our new home.”
Succession planning at Barristers Block
Jan’s sons are now deeply involved in the family business, and the Founder unveiled Barrister Blocks succession plan.
“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,” she concluded.