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People profile
Chester Osborn

Chief winemaker and viticulturist, d’Arenberg

In the McLaren Vale wine region, an unlikely structure has emerged – a contemporary, twisted glass box that glistens in the South Australia sunshine. The A$15m d’Arenberg Cube serves two purposes. It’s a brand home for the award-winning wine producer, offering a multi-sensory, art-filled journey through the world of d’Arenberg and a range of blending and degustation masterclasses, and it’s a world-class restaurant.

“When the guest enters the building, they walk through a mist that introduces their senses to the wine of the day,” says chief winemaker and viticulturist Chester Osborn. “There’s an art gallery of wine-related installations and an interactive gallery called Alternate Realities, because when two people have the same glass of wine, they’ll have different realities of that wine.”

For Osborn, whose great grandfather, Joseph Osborn, founded the d’Arenberg wineries in 1912, it’s been a long-held dream. As the owner of one of the busiest cellar doors in McLaren Vale, research by wine and tourism industries noted the need for more tourist drawcards and the Cube is his response. Osborn needed more space to cater more people.

“We have a successful restaurant called d’Arrys Verandah and a tasting room, which are always fully booked,” he tells Attractions Management. “I thought about creating an 1800s, colonial-style restaurant, but then one day I woke up and realised we needed something really iconic that will make people really want to come and see us.”

PUZZLE ME THIS
Wines from d’Arenberg are famously something of a riddle – for example, The Dead Arm Shiraz, The Hermit Crab Viognier, The Money Spider Roussanne – “and wine, too, is a puzzle to work out,” says Osborn. That inspired the idea of a Rubik’s cube-shaped structure, with the top two levels appearing to have been twisted. The mirrored design means it looks like a cube floating on top of a vine.

In the new fine dining restaurant, Michelin-starred chefs Brendan Wessels and Lindsay Durr will be serving a menu inspired by the theme of alternate realities and at “the top end of international cuisine – think Melbourne’s Vue de Monde or El Celler de Can Roca in Spain,” says Osborn. There are four big terraces where guests can admire the panoramic view and, on the top floor, the bar, tasting room and lounge area will be located, featuring glass art, lightboxes, video screens and projections.

“The bar is made up of 115 screens showing content of a person swimming along, as if they’re trapped inside.”

There are plenty more offbeat or zany installations and interactives inside the visitor experience, including a cow sculpture with a polygraph, a natural automated winemaker, a “flower and fruit” room, decorated with artificial flowers and fruits and filled with wine aromas the visitor can try, and a 360-multimedia immersion room that recreates the vineyard.

The d’Arenberg Cube – expected to open in late November – is built to accommodate 500,000 annually and Osborn says he will charge a flat A$10 ticket price for non-diners and non-members who just want to do the experiences. As wine tourism continues to blossom in McLaren Vale, where there are 120 wineries and 18 cellar doors, Osborn’s iconic Cube is certain to attract attention.

“It’s a very busy tourist destination, second to Barossa Valley in numbers, but not by much,” he says. “It’s on the way to Fleurieu peninsula and Kangaroo Island, which are popular destinations, so we have a lot of people heading there who don’t stop, but maybe they will now. There are 40 restaurants in this region and its only 40 minutes drive from the centre of Adelaide, so it’s popular for a day or overnight trip.”

The d’Arenberg Cube visitor experience and restauramt opens in late November
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People profile
Chester Osborn

Chief winemaker and viticulturist, d’Arenberg

In the McLaren Vale wine region, an unlikely structure has emerged – a contemporary, twisted glass box that glistens in the South Australia sunshine. The A$15m d’Arenberg Cube serves two purposes. It’s a brand home for the award-winning wine producer, offering a multi-sensory, art-filled journey through the world of d’Arenberg and a range of blending and degustation masterclasses, and it’s a world-class restaurant.

“When the guest enters the building, they walk through a mist that introduces their senses to the wine of the day,” says chief winemaker and viticulturist Chester Osborn. “There’s an art gallery of wine-related installations and an interactive gallery called Alternate Realities, because when two people have the same glass of wine, they’ll have different realities of that wine.”

For Osborn, whose great grandfather, Joseph Osborn, founded the d’Arenberg wineries in 1912, it’s been a long-held dream. As the owner of one of the busiest cellar doors in McLaren Vale, research by wine and tourism industries noted the need for more tourist drawcards and the Cube is his response. Osborn needed more space to cater more people.

“We have a successful restaurant called d’Arrys Verandah and a tasting room, which are always fully booked,” he tells Attractions Management. “I thought about creating an 1800s, colonial-style restaurant, but then one day I woke up and realised we needed something really iconic that will make people really want to come and see us.”

PUZZLE ME THIS
Wines from d’Arenberg are famously something of a riddle – for example, The Dead Arm Shiraz, The Hermit Crab Viognier, The Money Spider Roussanne – “and wine, too, is a puzzle to work out,” says Osborn. That inspired the idea of a Rubik’s cube-shaped structure, with the top two levels appearing to have been twisted. The mirrored design means it looks like a cube floating on top of a vine.

In the new fine dining restaurant, Michelin-starred chefs Brendan Wessels and Lindsay Durr will be serving a menu inspired by the theme of alternate realities and at “the top end of international cuisine – think Melbourne’s Vue de Monde or El Celler de Can Roca in Spain,” says Osborn. There are four big terraces where guests can admire the panoramic view and, on the top floor, the bar, tasting room and lounge area will be located, featuring glass art, lightboxes, video screens and projections.

“The bar is made up of 115 screens showing content of a person swimming along, as if they’re trapped inside.”

There are plenty more offbeat or zany installations and interactives inside the visitor experience, including a cow sculpture with a polygraph, a natural automated winemaker, a “flower and fruit” room, decorated with artificial flowers and fruits and filled with wine aromas the visitor can try, and a 360-multimedia immersion room that recreates the vineyard.

The d’Arenberg Cube – expected to open in late November – is built to accommodate 500,000 annually and Osborn says he will charge a flat A$10 ticket price for non-diners and non-members who just want to do the experiences. As wine tourism continues to blossom in McLaren Vale, where there are 120 wineries and 18 cellar doors, Osborn’s iconic Cube is certain to attract attention.

“It’s a very busy tourist destination, second to Barossa Valley in numbers, but not by much,” he says. “It’s on the way to Fleurieu peninsula and Kangaroo Island, which are popular destinations, so we have a lot of people heading there who don’t stop, but maybe they will now. There are 40 restaurants in this region and its only 40 minutes drive from the centre of Adelaide, so it’s popular for a day or overnight trip.”

The d’Arenberg Cube visitor experience and restauramt opens in late November
 


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