In 1912 Joseph Osborn purchased Milton Vineyards in the hills just north of Gloucester and Bellevue, now just known as McLaren Vale. Joseph's son Frank Osborn left medical school for life in the vineyard. Fruit from the 78 hectares of vineyards was sold to local wineries until his own cellars were complete in 1928. In 1943 Frank's son Francis d'Arenberg, universally known as 'd'Arry', returned from school, age 16, to help his ill father run the business, eventually assuming full management of d'Arenberg in 1957.
d'Arry bottled the first of the famous diagonal red stripe labelled wines two years later. d'Arenberg's wines of the 1960's gained immediate cult status amongst imbibers and judges. One Cabernet Sauvignon won a Jimmy Watson Trophy at the 1969 Royal Melbourne Wine Show and another Grenache-based wine was awarded 7 trophies and 29 gold medals from Australian capital city wine shows. Enter the fourth generation, d'Arry's son Chester d'Arenberg Osborn. After graduating from Roseworthy College and touring other Australian and European wine regions, Chester took over the reins as Chief Winemaker in 1984. d'Arenberg has received a host of awards and accolades including 2009 Winery of the Year, Wine & Spirits Magazine (USA) and Best All-Round Winery, Houston International Wine Competition 2009 and listed as a 5 star and Best Winery in the 2013 edition of James Halliday's The Australian Wine Companion.
Chester Osborn, chief and fourth generation family member, is continuing the family's wine making tradition that spans over two centuries. Chester and his wine making team utilise the original 1920s cellars and the traditional wine making processes to create the wines that proudly wear the red stripe label. All wines, including the whites, are basket pressed and the reds are traditionally fermented in open, wax-lined concrete fermenters.
Chester's wine making philosophy is to produce wines that have great fragrance and fruit character with palate texture and length balanced by fine natural acidity and tannins. He sums up his wine making as; 'The art of our wine making is about great viticulture, extremely gentle handling of the grapes and fermented must, strict ferment temperature regimes and no fining or filtration. Obviously it is a lot more complex than this however there's a lifetime of knowledge required to describe it all.'