“The dynamic, gifted Chester Osborn makes an amazing array of wines in McLaren Vale, Australia, from his gorgeous assortment of value-priced offerings to his high-octane Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. His wines have been gobbled up by an insatiable American audience looking for value and individuality, and he’s one of an increasing maverick breed of Australians who have done unbelievably well in this marketplace.” - Robert Parker Junior - TOP 40 Wine Personality's of the World
The man behind the labels
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.’ Chester has long been recognized as a unique and knowledgeable member of the wine making profession. His reputation has been recognised by Australian and International wine writers who regularly approach him for comments and insight into the industry. He has undertaken guest speaker roles at both industry and consumer events and has been called upon to contribute to number articles and books about wine. In the late 1990s , Chester, and his good friend, Zar Brookes, spent several late nights and a few wines coming up with quirky names for the wines that now had his distinctive stamp. Chester came up with names that were related to the family property or the wine making process. These names and the stories behind them are now told at dinner parties across the world and help make the d'Arenberg brand so memorable.
A life time in wine.
Chester Osborn was born in 1962 into a wine making family, and raised on the family property where father d’Arry Osborn had begun producing wines with the red stripe label in 1959. During Chester’s primary and secondary years of schooling he worked in the vineyards and the cellar floor during school holidays. Wine making was not Chester’s only interest at a young age. In his teenage years he developed a keen enthusiasm for photography and won a national award. In 1980 Chester commenced his Oenology degree at Roseworthy Agricultural College. During the next three years he worked the vintage period in various wineries including Tullochs in the Hunter Valley and Hardy’s Chateau Reynella. In 1983, Chester graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Oenology and took over the reins as Chief Wine maker at d’Arenberg, rejuvenating the 70 year old cellars and 19th Century vineyards as well as overseeing all aspects of wine making, viticulture and marketing. In 1984 he took leave from the winery and spent most of the year undertaking a viticultural and oenological tour of France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Chester Osborn has received masses of critical acclaim for his wine making talents. Most recently he was recognized as The Red Wine maker of the Year at the 2007 Japan International Wine Competition.
- Top 5 Australian Value Brands of the Year – Wine & Spirits Magazine
- Small to Medium Manufacturer- Business SA 2010 Export Awards
- Best All-Round Winery – Houston International Wine Competition
- Winery of the Year – Wine & Spirits Magazine (USA)
- Finalist- Gourmet Traveller Wine maker of the Year (announced Sept 2008)
- Voted Top 10 Best Producer of Australia Shiraz, US Wine and Spirits Magazine
- Trophy for Red Winemaker of the Year- Japan International Wine Challenge
- Robert Parker’s Top 40 World Wine Personalities- The Wine Advocate
- Australian Shining Lights award- Winemaker of the Year- recognizing Chester’s contribution to the industry and his ongoing leadership.
- Finest Producer Trophy - International Wine Challenge-Asia
- The Len Evens Trophy. This trophy is awarded each year to the winemaker with the most consistent high scores in the International Wine Challenge over a period of five years.
- VOGUE Entertaining and Travel Magazine award Australia’s Winery Of The Year
- Chester Osborn voted Person of the Year at the 8th Annual Hospice du Rhone Celebration (Pasa Robles, USA), in recognition of outstanding contribution to Rhone Wines.
- Runner-up to Australian Winemaker of the Year,Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine
- Short-listed for the International Wine & Spirits Competition International Winemaker of the Year
- Wine Society Perpetual Trophy for the Most Successful Winery of the Competition at the Sydney International Top 100 Competition.
- Winestate magazine’s Inaugural Winemaker of the Year
- Crowned McLaren Vale Bushing King for producing the best table wine in the district