d'Arenberg is one of the most significant wineries in McLaren Vale. In 1912 Joseph Osborn (pictured left), a teetotaler and director of Thomas Hardy and Sons, purchased the well established Milton Vineyards of 25 hectares in the hills just north of the townships of Gloucester and Bellevue, now known as McLaren Vale.
Joseph's son Francis Ernest ('Frank') Osborn left medical school, choosing to forsake the scalpel for pruning shears.
He soon increased the size of the vineyard to 78 hectares. Fruit was sold to local wineries until the construction of his own cellars was completed in 1928. Dry red table and fortified wines were produced in ever increasing quantities to supply the expanding markets of Europe.
In 1943 Frank's son Francis d'Arenberg Osborn, universally known as 'Arry', returned from school, age 16, to help his ill father run the business, eventually assuming full management in 1957. In 1959 d'Arry decided to launch his own label d'Arenberg, named in honour of his mother, Frances Helena d'Arenberg.
The winemaking processes of the past have been maintained, capturing the unique small-batch character of the wines and the true flavour of the McLaren Vale region. All grapes, red and white, are basket-pressed.
The reds are still traditionally fermented with the grape skins (caps) submerged in open wax-lined concrete fermenters utilising the age-old technique of foot-treading.