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Uncorked: Chester Osborn

D’Arenberg’s flamboyant owner, winemaker and star of the McLaren Vale, Chester Osborn, has been passionate about wine since he sat on Les Evans’ knee aged seven.

Chester clutching a magnum of 'Dead Arm' Shiraz
Chester clutching a magnum of ‘Dead Arm’ Shiraz

What Vintage are you? 


What bottle sparked your love of wine?

Probably a random red I flogged, with a mate when I was seven. I’m pretty sure most of what I drank wasn’t agreeing with my taste buds, except for the fortified white Muscat, but I persevered for the rest of my life, and remember really enjoying a 1963 Rougehomme Claret in around 1980, (made by Owen Redman before selling to Lindeman’s).

Ambition or talent – what matters more?

Talent only comes with ambition. It’s passion that drives learning and the desire to understand the intricate detail.

What would you be as a wine?

Our ‘Cenosilicaphobic Cat’, (a Sagrantino Cinsault blend named after the cat that lived in fear of an

D'Arenberg's Cenosilicaphobic Cat
D’Arenberg’s Cenosilicaphobic Cat

empty glass) – so I’d be unique, complicated, deep and brooding. Closed when young, but loud when maturing and a whole lot of fun.

Where are you happiest?

Tasting 200 glasses of the next 200 barrels of wine I have to blend. Any variety.

What’s your greatest vice?


Best advice you ever got?

Don’t drink too much

Your cellar’s underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save?

Any of the 80’s DRC’s

What’s the best & worst thing about the wine business?

Best – the wines and the people. Worst – the people that are negative about wine who, instead of talking about what you should drink, talk of what not to.

Desert island vine?

Sagrantino or Nebiolo


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