In 1912 Joseph Osborn, a teetotaller 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.
Josephs 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 Franks son Francis d'Arenberg Osborn, universally known as dArry, returned from school, age 16, to help his ill father run the business, eventually assuming full management in 1957. In 1959 dArry decided to launch his own label dArenberg, named in honour of his mother, Frances Helena dArenberg. It was a small and humble start but the wines gained immediate cult status amongst imbibers and judges.
Enter the fourth generation, dArrys son Chester dArenberg Osborn. From a very early age Chester was focused on continuing his familys winemaking tradition, and after graduating from Roseworthy College and touring other Australian and European wine regions, Chester took over the reins as Chief Winemaker in 1984. He immediately set about returning the familys vineyards to their traditional grape growing practices of minimal inputs and no fertilisation, cultivation and irrigation wherever possible, therefore achieving natural soil flavours with very low yields.