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Friday 16 December 2022

Wine industry pioneer dies at age of 95

UPDATE:  The memorial service for winemaking icon d'Arry Osborn will be held at d'Arry's Verandah on at 3.30pm on January 17, 2023, the family has announced.

Due to the high numbers anticipated, the ceremony will also be livestreamed.

Here is the link to RSVP for the memorial:

One of the pioneers of the modern Australian wine industry, d'Arry Osborn of d'Arenberg Wines, has died at the age of 95. 

Francis d'Arenberg Osborn, known throughout the wine industry as d'Arry, completed over 75 vintages at the family winery in McLaren Vale. 

His son, Chester, a fourth-generation family member, now runs the business.

The family said in a statement: "It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Francis d’Arenberg Osborn - better known and loved as d’Arry - at the age of 95.

"d’Arry was much loved by family, friends and wine lovers the world over as a great raconteur, regaling all with humorous stories gathered over a lifetime.

"A true statesman of the wine industry, d’Arry will be greatly missed by all at d’Arenberg.

"Wherever you are in the world, find a bottle with d’Arry’s famous red stripe and join us in raising a glass to a great man and a life well lived."

Born on the family property on December 27, 1926, to Francis Ernest and Helena d’Arenberg Osborn, he was given his mother’s name upon her death.

He started in the family winery at the tender age of 16, at a time when Clydesdale horses did the work of a tractor and kerosene-powered the motors and pumps.

Over his lifetime d’Arry oversaw more than 70 consecutive vintages at d’Arenberg. With the introduction of the famous ‘red stripe’ in 1959, d’Arry took d’Arenberg from bulk flagon production to an internationally recognised wine brand.

The 1968 d'Arenberg Cabernet Sauvignon won the Jimmy Watson Trophy in 1969.

d'Arry received multiple honours including the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 1978.

In 1995 he was invested as a Patron of the Australian Wine Industry in “Honour of an outstanding contribution to the affairs of the Australian Wine Industry”.
A Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2004 Queen’s Birthday Honours list followed.

In 2016 he was awarded South Australian Legend of the Vine by Wine Communicators of Australia joining a prestigious group and becoming a life member of WCA.
d’Arry is survived by his two children, Chester and Jacki Osborn, and his three grandchildren Alicia, Ruby and Mia Osborn.

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