Chester Osborn: “Some people refer to this as Willy Wonka’s wine factory, and in a way it is”
Leading Australian winemaker d’Arenberg will soon open a cellar door with a stunning five-storey Rubik’s Cube inspired design. For d’Arenberg Winery’s Chief Winemaker, Chester Osborn, the building represents the realisation of a dream as well as a AUD $14 million investment.
Osborn is a well known art enthusiast as well as the proud owner of an eclectic and eccentric collection of shirts. His architectural puzzle and winery is four modules wide, four high and four deep and is already an iconic sight in the heart of McLaren Vale, a fast 40km drive south of Adelaide, South Australia.
The Cube is set to open officially in May 2017, and visitors will then be able to appreciate its many art installations, wine tasting rooms, restaurant and “wine fog room”, among other exciting areas.
“Some people refer to this as Willy Wonka’s wine factory, and in a way it is,” Osborn says. And just as the legendary chocolate factory, Osborn is confident his project will have planty of people wishing for a golden ticket: “With 500 acres of organic and biodynamic vines we represent about a third of all McLaren Vale’s premium production,” he says. “And we’re the busiest cellar door in the region with 50,000 visitors a year.”
Osborn plans to fill any vacant space with collected and commissioned art installations. One of the highlights will be the “art installation room” made to give the impression of being inside a wine fermenter. “We want this to be very stimulating,” Osborn says.
The Cube will nearly double d’Arenberg’s current workforce to just over 100, adding another $2 million a year to the wages bill, but with wine tourism rapidly picking up, Osborn says predictions of 500,000 visitors a year might not be out of the question.
More information: darenberg.com.au