Adelaide Curated: Chester Osborn, d’Arenberg Chief Winemaker
Meet winemaker who isn’t afraid to think outside of the box.
When the eccentric, colourful Chester Osborn told his father about his ‘Cube’ idea for the new d’Arenberg cellar door, they all thought he was crazy. Especially when they started talking numbers.
But his vision wasn’t a fleeting thought. It had been in Osborn’s head for over 14 years. His family soon came around once they saw his ‘Cube’ model. And with their cellar door being the busiest in McLaren Vale, they knew more space was needed.
“I wanted to build something completely different to our cellar door which had been housed in the 19th century homestead on the Osborn property,” Osborn said.
“I thought, wine is such a puzzle to work out, what’s the most iconic puzzle? The Rubik’s cube.”
But, Osborn’s ‘puzzle’ became a lot harder to work out than the original brain teaser, thanks to the geometric pattern he constructed around the outside.
The d’Arenberg Cube is a five-storey, multi-cube shaped building with the top two levels twisted on their axis. There’s an optical illusion that makes the building appear as if it’s floating above the vineyard that it sits in. From a distance, it’s spectacular.
“There’s nothing like the Cube. Everywhere you look, whether it’s through the Alternate Realities Museum on the ground floor, private tasting areas, an immersive art gallery, the restaurant or to the ‘cellar’ door on the top floor, there’s so many interesting things to discover.”
Each of the five levels have been carefully designed to entice and excite the senses, including features such as a wine inhalation room, a virtual fermenter, a 360° video room, and many other tactile experiences.
“It’s weird, it’s wild, and it’s whacky.”
While it’s still early days, the Cube has already received great acclaim.
“We’re still learning more about the capabilities of the building and what we can offer. The idea is to offer more functions and events in the future, including new food and wine tasting experiences. There will be new art going in and around the Cube, which will be ever-evolving as we add new pieces every week. The space is like a living thing. It’s growing and changing.”
The Osborn family have owned and operated the d’Arenberg property at McLaren Vale for over 100 years. The Cube offers wine-lovers an entirely new way to experience and enjoy a delicious drop.
Guests can choose their own adventure at d’Arenberg and combine the traditional cellar door visit with exciting discovery, luxury or culinary decadence.
The Cube and the cheeky mastermind behind it, Osborn, embodies d’Arenberg’s motto: the art of being different.
He’s a huge advocate for the region and Adelaide as a whole. Here are some of his favourite experiences, all too do with wine, of course.
The best place for a drink
“My house! Joking. My favourite place for a drink would be 2KW.”
The best late night hangout
“I love Chihuahua. There’s no other place like it for those really late nights.”
The best place to get over a (wine) hangover
“Bed, or start drinking again and you’ll soon get over the hangover. No, I don’t really get hangovers often anymore. I use Hydrodol, which prevents me from getting hangovers. It’s magic.”
The best place for casual eats
“Lantern. It’s a hidden city gem with authentic, home-style Thai street food. Their food and wine menu changes as the seasons do. It’s tucked away just off Gouger Street in Adelaide’s Asian melting pot.”
Best thing to do for free
“Body surfing in the sea when there’s a good wave down here at Port Willunga or any of the coast near McLaren Vale.”
Favourite d’Arenberg wine right now
“I’m really enjoying the Derelict Vineyard Grenache 2009. For white wine, I can’t go past the Lucky Lizard Chardonnay 2016, which was recently voted #6 in the Adelaide Review Hot 100 Wines. I also like the Pollyanna Polly Sparkling White NV –one of the top sparkling’s in Winestate Magazine Wine of the Year Awards.”
Published 08 February, 2018