AT A GLANCE:
Name of wine estate: d’Arenberg
Wine region: McLaren Vale
Standout points: The strange d’Arenberg Cube; the Salvador Dali Exhibition; d’Arrry’s Verandah Restaurant
Winemaker: Chester Osborn
Wine style: Vibrant New World wines in a diversity of styles – 70 wines from 37 grape varieties!
The Willy Wonka of winemakers
For an insight into what to expect from a visit to d’Arenberg, look no further than owner-winemaker Chester Osborn himself: the riot of long, curly blond hair, the retina-scorching shirts, the mind ever fizzing with wit, mischief and eccentricity. This is all expressed in the most wonderful and engaging way at this immensely popular, nay iconic, McLaren Vale wine destination.
To venture through the futuristic wine wonderland of the d’Arenberg Cube – a five-floor Rubik’s Cube-shaped building set in the middle of the vineyards – is to take a dizzying trip into Chester’s kaleidoscopic mind. The Cube features, among many mind-bending oddities, a fully automated ‘natural winemaker’, a Wonka-esque inhalation room and an ‘Alternate Realities Museum’. The Cube also houses a tasting room on the top floor, where you can sample from the huge d’Arenberg wine range – the ‘icons’ Dead Arm Shiraz, Coppermine Road and Ironstone Pressings are all worthy of your attention – with 360-degree views of the McLaren Vale region. You can also experience hosted masterclasses, or play winemaker for the day by blending and bottling your own wine. There’s something for everyone, even if you just want to see the view from the top!
Food for thought
As well as producing some of the best wines in Oz, the McLaren Vale has a sensational food culture. Enjoy a generous slice of it at one of the three great restaurants on the d’Arenberg estate. d’Arry’s Verandah offers dazzling meat, vegan and vegetarian menus from the idyllic setting of a restored 19th-century homestead, with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. The Cube restaurant meanwhile promises inventive degustation menus to remember.