Chester Osborn knows the value of thinking outside the cube. D’arenberg’s chief winemaker joins Chris Komorek and Alister Robertson on By The Glass to share the winery’s intergenerational story and the fifteen year gestation of the D’arenberg Cube.
“I always thought that message wasn’t being given as well as I would’ve liked. For years we would come out with a new wine. We started by calling them stage names and then we ramped it up to bigger blends, different and more complex names” says Osborn.
That next step was the D’arenberg Cube. Opened in December 2017, the structure was Osborn’s idea, but took over a decade to be realised. “Fifteen years ago I built the model and presented it to the board – and (Dad) really thought I’d gone ‘round the twist when he saw it. He didn’t like the idea and (neither did) his brother and sister.”
“I snuck it in on the basis that he didn’t think that it was actually buildable” recalls Osborn.
The timing of the development was imperative in the realisation of Osborn’s dream. In 2014 they began construction, operating under 2010 building codes which had more lenient energy rules. The facade is made predominantly from double-tempered glass, for it was single-tempered, it would explode. The technology, and the ability to manufacture the double-tempered glass as such large quantity, only became available in 2014.
Now, with 190 employees, it’s obvious that Osborn is excited for the future and for the fifth generation of Osborn’s. “They’re three different kids, it’s amazing how different they can be.” His youngest is Mia, who is 15 years old and the most likely to succeed him, “she is quite quirky, a very headstrong, and that’s what I was like at her age.”
When it does come time to hand over the winery, Osborn knows it’ll be different to when he took the reins in 1984. “I don’t think I’ll be as giving as my father was,” he says. “But I’m really looking forward to it because I’ll be educating them.”
Listen to podcast:
Theme music courtesy of Max Savage
Recorded live at Mache; mache.space/
Ali Robertson (left), Chester Osborn (middle) and Chris Komorek (right) / By The Glass