A LARGE hole is being dug in the middle of a vineyard at d’Arenberg Wines in McLaren Vale to make way for a new five-storey wine centre, modelled on the Rubik’s Cube.
The $10.5 million design - which will encompass a new tasting room, three bars, a function space, offices, an additional restaurant to d’Arry’s Verandah and a dynamic viewing gallery - is the brainchild of flamboyant owner and winemaker Chester Osborn.
“I was going to build some heritage thing, but then I thought, ‘no, let’s go really modern, let’s do a Rubik's Cube with colours on the outside',” Osborn says. “But the board didn’t like that, so I presented them with a 4x4 model with an intricate multi-changing pattern on the outside.
“I also turned the top two floors and pulled out blocks – one block will look like it’s fallen out into the car park, which will be the bore shed – it’s more challenging than a Rubik’s Cube.”
The bottom storey of the new building will be clad in mirror glass and set back one and half metres from the four storeys above, giving the impression that there is a cube floating on top of the vines.
“The engineers say it’s the most complicated design they have ever worked on, but the council took a fair while to come around.”
Osborn anticipates the large number of international visitors and wine trade will continue to increase, making the investment worthwhile.
“There are 40 restaurants already in McLaren Vale, so what’s another?” he says. “d’Arry’s has been full for 11 years and, with the Southern Expressway making the region more accessible, there is a demand for more and more dining.
“The building will be a piece of art – everywhere you look there will be something going on that’s wild and different.”
Osborn hopes the building will be completed by the end of 2016 and has installed a time-lapse camera to document the construction process. You can watch the progress here. Or for a real-life glimpse of the action at d'Arenberg, book in for a vintage tour and tasting that will take you from the winery to the vineyards.
This story first appeared in The Forager on InDaily.