HomeFood + WineBarrister's Block is bouncing back

Barrister’s Block is bouncing back

A light has appeared at the end of what has been a very long and dark tunnel.

The past three years have thrown more than enough curveballs at the Allen family behind popular Woodside cellar door Barristers Block. When the deadly Cudlee Creek bushfire broke out in December 2019, it left a trail of destruction through the area including the Barristers Block property, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

A few months later the family’s resilience was tested yet again with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic which owner Jan Allen describes as a “double whammy”.
Lockdowns and restrictions slowed business almost to a halt, as massive efforts to pull out and replant scorched vines continued for months on end.

But now a light has appeared at the end of what has been a very long and dark tunnel.
“We’ve done things differently to try and rebuild even bigger and better than what we did in the first instance,” Jan says.

“It’s been really tough on our staff but now everyone’s really back on board.
“They’ve been really enthusiastic and positive.”

The recovery process has included replanting the vineyard and increasing trending varietals such as fiano, pinot noir, tempranillo and Montepulciano.


The family business also celebrated their recent expansion into the Eyre Peninsula following the acquisition of popular Pt Lincoln winery Boston Bay Wines.

The acquisition leaves the Allens with new plans and fresh perspectives.
Jan and her husband Evert now live between the Adelaide Hills and Pt Lincoln, enjoying the best of both worlds as they execute their plans to bring Barristers Block’s hospitality style to the peninsula.
Longer opening hours, pizza nights and live music are just some of their plans for the new venture.

“Boston Bay Wines is very well known on the peninsula and it has a very big following,” Jan says.
It’s part of the tourist blueprint here along with Peter Teakle Wines and other tourist attractions.
“We see wine tourism as an incredibly important aspect … when many people went to places like China for example, we instead chose to increase our footprint in the local market.”

One thing that remains consistent within the Barristers Block brand is the importance of family values and delivering a casual, yet high quality, visitor experience.
With the Allens’ sons Lachlan and James also involved in the business, it truly is a family affair.
“The family is involved in every aspect of the vineyard,” Jan says.

“You’ll see us all doing either the yard work or in the office, or I’ll be serving behind the counter.
“We’re all very passionate about both regions’ tourism, hospitality, and particularly the wine industry.”

Visitors to Barristers Block can enjoy a tasting and a grazing platter or settle in for lunch and spend the afternoon taking in the peaceful surroundings. Kids will also be delighted by the farm animals which call Barristers Block home, including chickens, geese, horses, cattle and sheep.

Barristers Block is open 11am to 5pm, seven days a week.

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