IT’S a busy month for winemaker Chester Osborn, what with Galvo Garage, Hermit Crab, Ironstone Pressings and the $14 million five-storey, Rubik’s Cube-inspired, tower at his McLaren Vale vineyards.
Some see the glass-encased steel and concrete Cube as Chester’s folly and he concedes it has made both his father managing director d’Arry and his company board a bit nervous.
“Some people refer to this as Willy Wonka’s wine factory, and in a way it is,” 54-year-old Chester says.
Whether it’s a folly or an audacious master stroke will soon be established as the Cube opens.
Chester says it’s an assault on the senses with art installations, tasting rooms, what he calls a “wine fog room”, flagons connected to bicycle horns to give insights into wine aromas and a luxury restaurant.
South African husband-and-wife team of head chef Brendan Wessels and Lindsay Dürr have been appointed to run the restaurant. The pair have previously worked in Michelin-starred establishments overseas and top Australian restaurants.
The Cube got $2 million state government regional development funding and Chester believes it seals d’Arenberg’s status as McLaren Vale’s busiest cellar door with 50,000 visitors a year.
Chester is a fourth-generation Osborn in the 104-year-old family wine venture.
That penchant is also shows in his six new wines that reached my tasting bench last week. There is the $65 d’Arenberg 2014 The Ironstone Pressings Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre, the $15 2016 The Hermit Crab Viognier-Marsanne and the $29 2014 The Galvo Garage Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Petit Verdot, which are ravailable at darenberg.com.au, the 58 Osborn Rd, McLaren Vale, winery and wine shops.
The three other new wines are the 2014 d’Arry’s Original Shiraz-Grenache, currently available at $18, the 2014 Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon, for release in early 2018 at $65, and the 2014 Dead Arm Shiraz, for release in June at $65.
PETER Windrim from Krinklewood Vineyard and Shannon Burgess-Moore from De Iuliis Wines have won places in the 2017 Young Guns of Wine Top 50 awards.
The 11-year-old awards showcase the best up-and-coming winemakers across Australia and 2017 judging had a rigorous two-day tasting of contestants’ wines.
Other NSW Top 50 winners were Xanthe Freeman of Freeman Vineyards at Hilltops, Tom Ward of Swinging Bridge, Orange, and Chris Carpenter of the Canberra’s Lark Hill Wines.