Introducing The Cube
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The d’Arenberg Cube is a five-storey glass structure towering over the Mourvèdre grapes of the d’Arenberg estate in the vine-striped region of McLaren Vale, South Australia. While some have dubbed it ‘Willy Wonka’s Wine Factory’, others (including its owner) are calling this space the ‘Museum of Alternate Realities’. Whatever its nickname, we’re intrigued.
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A long-standing vision of fourth generation grapegrower and winemaker Chester Osborn, its puzzle-like exterior evokes an askew Rubik’s cube.
Inside the cube
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This contemporary reimagining of a cellar door features more than a bar of bottles for sampling. After guests enter the building – through a mirrored origami door that crumples open, no less – there are four storeys of unexpected creativity ready for adult exploration.
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The ground floor is an inventive, sensory assault. There’s the “wine fog room” that mists the beverage into the air, creating a halo of vino ready for vapour consumption. Plus, there’s an abundance of artworks, sculptures and projections for visitors to immerse themselves in.
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The first floor is the site for custom experiences such as cooking classes and blending tutorials, where guests can concoct their very own bottle of shiraz under the expert instruction of d’Arenberg winemakers.
Vine and dine
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The highlight of the cube’s creation is sure to be the fine dining destination, d’Arenberg Cube Restaurant, fronted by husband and wife team Brendan Wessels (centre, who previously wore whites for two Michelin-starred Le Poussin) and Lindsay Dürr (left), pictured here with Jamie Steele.
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Serving “long” and “extra long” menus, the top-floor eatery has riotously coloured chairs and tables fashioned from old oak barrels and an unrivalled view of the McLaren Flats.
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Distinctive décor in the restaurant includes a wall of tribal masks and artefacts, gathered from various cultures around the Southern Hemisphere, reflecting the menu’s “tribal feast” theme.
View from the top
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Or, perhaps the glass-topped pavilion floor – the crowning glory – where purposefully crooked umbrellas shade guests from the hot summer sun.