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Chester Osborn and his 'mad' Cube vision


On the eve of the opening of the five-storey d’Arenberg Cube at McLaren Vale, Chester Osborn talks to The Message Pod about his unconventional childhood, what drives him, and the 14-year campaign that went into realising his cubic dream.

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A fourth-generation winemaker, Osborn started work in the d’Arenberg winery at seven years old, getting paid 10 cents an hour. Now, at 55 – after almost half a century in the vineyard – he says he is just as infatuated with winemaking as when he began.

He talks to The Message Pod’s Nicole Haack about everything from being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and surviving on only around four hours sleep a night, to how he worked to bring his vision for the d’Arenberg Cube to reality – starting with creating a model showing how it might look.

“I presented a model of it, half a metre high, in a little vineyard, with little grapevines in there and soldiers and ambulances and fire trucks and things … I had to make it look realistic in scale.

“They thought I was pretty crazy mad … my uncle said, ‘Well, if winemaking doesn’t work out you could get a job as a model maker because its a pretty smart model’ … it took years for them to agree.”

Now that crazy idea has finally been realised, with the $14 million d’Arenberg Cube – which incorporates a new cellar door, restaurant, private function areas and artworks – launched last weekend and open to the public from today at the d’Arenberg Winery.

Listen to the full podcast below.


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