By Rob Pickard
With the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee taking place in 2012 it’s a year to remember, add to this d’Arenberg’s 100th birthday and you have a quite a year on the cards. One of Australia’s most loved wineries and a long standing Bibendum producer, the legendary d’Arenberg celebrates 100 years of family ownership and winemaking in 2012.
The centenary celebrations kicked off with a bang in early February when d’Arry and Chester Osborn were joined by their extended family, Australian and International wine media, local winemakers. Alongside members of Australia’s First Families of Wine and their distributors from around the globe, including Bibendum Managing Director Michael Saunders, where guests partied at the the McLaren Vale winery.
A winery with a long and colourful history, d’Arenberg was established in 1912 by Joseph Osborn, who started the d’Arenberg story with the purchase of a picturesque property atop the rolling hills of the McLaren Vale, where the winery remains active to this day.
Joseph was soon joined by his son Francis Ernest Osborn, and the father and son duo expanded the vineyard holdings to 78 hectares, selling grapes to local wineries until the winery facilities were finished in 1927. In 1943, third generation Francis d’Arenberg Osborn (universally known as d’Arry) joined the business at age 16 to assist his ill father. d’Arry assumed full control of the business in 1957 when his father passed away, and in 1959 he created the d’Arenberg brand, and the famous red stripe, we know and love today.
Chester d’Arenberg Osborn became Chief Winemaker in 1983, the fourth generation of the Osborn family in the business. Chester and his team still make wine from the old vines planted by his ancestors all those years ago. He is always passionate about producing wine through the traditional winemaking techniques used throughout their 100 year history.
Known for an eclectic and colourful portfolio of oddly named wines and the bold red stripe that adorns each bottle, d’Arenberg and Chester believe stories have been a central part of the winery over the year. All of the d’Arenberg wines have a story behind the name, with the Footbolt Shiraz named after a racehorse owned by Chester’s Great-Grandfather and The Derelict Vineyard Grenache which pays homage to d’Arenberg’s natural viticulture practices. So as part of the centenary celebrations, which are set to continue around the world throughout 2012 in all d’Arenberg’s various markets, d’Arenberg is encouraging wine lovers everywhere to share their stories on facebook.
d’Arenberg are using Facebook to gather the stories from people who drink their wine, and have carried out an overhaul of their Facebook page to allow the sharing of photos and videos for their centenary celebrations. We will be posting a few of our videos and photos from our time with d’Arenberg over the years, and we’re looking forward to seeing all the d’Arenberg fan stories over the course of 2012.
Click here to view the new d’Arenberg facebook page.
Read more about the 100th birthday celebrations at d’Arenberg earlier this month.