Chester Osborn attended Prince Alfred College from 1975 to 1979. 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. He is a fourth-generation winemaker, taking over from his father in 1983 and 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 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.
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.