A new era for Boston Bay Wines

By Nola James

14 Apr, 2024

A change in ownership brings new labels, new varieties and a cellar door refurb to this popular tourism spot.

South Australia’s Boston Bay Wines is set for revival after it changed hands for the first time after 40 years of operation.

Jan Allen, alongside sons James and Lachlan Allen, of Adelaide Hills-based winery and cellar door Barristers Block, bought the Port Lincoln label and assets from founders Graham and Mary Ford in May 2023. According to real estate data, the asking price was $2.5 million.

First up was a redesign for the winery’s labels, which hadn’t changed since 1984. It’s out with the almond-hues and cursive script, in with a more dynamic nautical stripe and a refreshed seagull motif. Next up, a new fit-out for the cellar door, which is known for its Eyre Peninsula views.

Lachlan Allen, Jan Allen, James AllenLachlan, Jan and James Allen.

Boston Bay wines were previously made and processed in the Clare Valley by David O’Leary of O’Leary Walker Wines. Since the Allen family took ownership, all winemaking now takes place in the Adelaide Hills, although it’s not clear who makes them.

There are currently around 14ha of estate vineyards on the Port Lincoln property, bringing the Allen’s total holdings to 40ha. Riesling will remain a focus and a few new varieties are on the cards – current plantings of merlot, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon may be reduced to make way.

Fruit from the Allens’ Adelaide Hills and Wrattonbully properties has been brought in to extend the Boston Bay range, adding sparkling wines, a pinot noir and a cabernet shiraz blend to the line-up. A new release picpoul was sourced from the Fleurieu Peninsula – it’s likely to become an estate-grown variety soon.

Back in its heyday, Boston Bay Riesling won a few awards, including Winestate Magazine’s Riesling of the Year Trophy for the 2019 and 2014 vintages. It’s not a wine we’ve seen at Wine Companion in recent years, although the Allens intend to submit for the 2026 Companion. Watch this space.