Our Princes Men Gallery Induction – Chester Osborn

Old Collegian, Chester Osborn, was inducted into the Princes Men Gallery on Thursday 28 June 2018. It is customary for Prince Alfred College to honour the achievements of our distinguished Old Scholars, recognised in a range of extraordinary chosen fields. Chester Osborn, is the chief winemaker and viticulturist at d’Arenberg Wines and is renowned for the inspiration behind the d’Arenberg Cube, a five-storey building, which is a multifunction centre in the heart of McLaren Vale.

At the induction, Prince Alfred College Headmaster, Bradley Fenner, spoke of Chester Osborn’s  achievements including; his time with PAC, his outstanding achievements in his career and other professional accomplishments.

Speech by: Headmaster Bradley Fenner

“Good afternoon students, staff and special guests, Chair of Council John Keeves, and in particular Old Scholar Chester Osborn. I would also like to mention Chester’s father D’Arry who was unable to be with us for Chester’s induction into our Princes Men Gallery. D’Arry was himself inducted into our Princes Men Gallery some years ago.

As most of you are now aware, we have adopted the practice of inducting a prominent Old Scholar into Our Princes Men Gallery each term. It is an impressive and distinguished group of Old Scholars recognised in this way, with achievements in an extraordinary range of areas.

Chester Osborn attended Prince Alfred College from 1975 to 1979. His Headmaster of the time, Mr Bean, who is also with us today, has told me that Chester applied himself particularly well in the subjects that were of interest to him. Chester tried his hand at a number of sports, including tennis, rowing, basketball and swimming. He won the school photography competition in 1979, showing something of the creative talents that he has put to use later in life.

Chester is chief winemaker and viticulturist at d’Arenberg wines, which was established in 1912 and has therefore been running for over 100 years. He is a fourth-generation winemaker, taking over from his father in 1983. Here they are together celebrating the family’s centenary in wine-making.  Chester has forged a reputation for producing strikingly individual wines and melding tradition and innovation.

He has a minimal input approach to viticulture, with a preference for dry growing, no fertilisation, no soil cultivation and no sprays – in effect organic viticulture. In the winery, he also maintains many practices used by his father and grandfather.

Discovering new wine varieties suited to the McLaren Vale has been an ongoing passion for Chester. He has been instrumental in introducing many varieties to the region and now makes more than 70 different wines from at least 33 different varieties.  Chester is acknowledged not just in this country, but internationally, as a leader in the wine industry.

Recently, Chester opened what was a 14 year dream in the making, the d’Arenberg Cube – a five-storey, multi-function centre in the heart of McLaren Vale. It has drawn media attention worldwide for its striking appearance, a Rubik’s cube-shaped building, with the top two floors twisted on their axis, and a striking geometric pattern on the outside. The bottom level is also clad with a stainless reflective surface, which from a distance makes the building appear as though it is floating atop the vineyard in which it resides.  As you can see, it has also won several awards.

As well as being a winemaker, Chester is an in-demand speaker at events and he is acknowledged as a unique and prominent personality in this city and state.  He was recently included in a list of the most influential South Australians.

I know that Chester is a proud Princes Man and he is living proof that Princes Men do not all come from the same mould. Long may that continue.  Chester is first and foremost his own man, and an individual.  But he is also an outstanding example for all of us in the way that he has pursued his dreams with passion and determination, but also in a systematic and carefully planned way that ensures that those dreams do come to fruition.

Chester Osborn, it is with great pleasure and pride that I now induct you into Our Princes Men Gallery and present you with this tie, which is worn only by members of this distinguished group. Congratulations from all of us.”

Bradley Fenner, Headmaster
Prince Alfred College