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Tuesday 4 April 2017

The April Fools' Day wine joke that turned out to be fact

It bore all the hallmarks of a classic April Fools' Day prank. 

The team at d'Arenberg Wines, led by winemaker Chester Osborn and brand manager Tash Stoodley, are known to be among the wackiest in the wine industry. 

From the team behind wines with exotic names as The Anthropocene Epoch Mencia and The Noble Botryotinia Fuckeliana Sauvignon Blanc came a press release dated April 1, that announced a new installation at the under-construction d'Arenberg Cube: the addition of rooftop umbrellas spanning almost the entire surface area of the glass roof.

A total of 16 umbrellas, that is, 15 black and one red, with hydraulically operated mechanical arms lifting each of them in a choreographed sequence of movement. 

Dancing umbrellas!

Ha, ha! Good laugh. Delete. 

Then, two days' later, second thoughts. Maybe it was true. 

It was.

d’Arenberg has released an updated artist’s impression of its five-storey multi-function building, which will, in fact, feature the choreographed umbrellas. Installation has commenced and is expected to be complete within the month. 

Fourth generation family member Chester Osborn, had the idea to build the d'Arenberg Cube over 13 years ago, and has been refining the plans ever since. 

"The umbrellas are being installed to shelter the building from the sun beaming through the clear glass roof,” he said. “Due to building regulations, no more that 5% skylight is permitted, and so I needed to meet regulations, while also having a bit of fun, in true d'Arenberg style.

"Each umbrella is electrically operated and retractable, enabling them to fold in and lie down when not in use. The umbrellas can also operate independently, with each set in four quarters. 

Osborn continues to work on the interior fit out, filling the building with wall to wall artwork, a wine inhalation room, two virtual fermenters, and a plethora of sensory experiences designed to "entice and excite the senses". 

d’Arenberg has received assistance from a $2 million State Government Regional Development Fund grant, which will support the core structure building construction, internal fit-out, equipment and car park development. 

A time-lapse camera has also been installed on the property by Logic Films, capturing the building progress, taking an updated photograph every 10 minutes, and can be viewed at

Once again d'Arenberg has mastered the art of being different.     

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