Chester Osborn, the Willy Wonka of wine in Australia, has transformed his family’s estate in McLaren Vale into a spectacular extravaganza for all the senses, just a short 45-minute drive from Adelaide. The estate is brimming with personality, yet it respects a 109-year heritage that places it among the country’s prestigious First Families of Wine.
The wine style at d’Arenberg is impressive, with a vast portfolio of white, rosé, red, sparkling, sweet, and fortified wines, each with quirky cuvée names. The winery has a huge range of 37 grape varieties, and it is the largest biodynamic grower in Australia. Chester has introduced the world’s first fully automated natural winemaker, and he experiments with warmer-climate varietals such as Mencia, Montepulciano, Aglianico, and Negroamaro.
At the heart of the estate is the d’Arenberg Cube, a stunning mirrored four-story construction designed to resemble a Rubik’s Cube, reflecting the complexities and puzzle-solving nature of winemaking. The entrance features a piece of reverse perspective art that sets the tone for the Alternate Realities Museum within, which includes a 360-degree video room, a sensory room, and a virtual fermenter that makes you feel like you’re in a tank of grapes.
For the ultimate day out, guests can mix and bottle their own wine at the ‘Blending Bench’ experience, followed by an eight-course degustation menu and pairings at the flagship restaurant, d’Arry’s Verandah. The restaurant is housed in a restored nineteenth-century homestead with stunning views over the hillside and is named after Chester’s father.Although d’Arry handed the winemaking reins over to Chester in 1984, he still runs the business at the age of 92.
d’Arenberg is a must-visit for wine lovers and anyone looking for an unforgettable sensory experience. With its vast range of wines, stunning Cube, Alternate Realities Museum, and flagship restaurant, it’s no wonder that d’Arenberg has become one of the most popular destinations in McLaren Vale.