Chester is a fourth generation winemaker, taking over from his father d’Arry in 1983. He has forged a reputation for producing strikingly individual wines and melding tradition and innovation. He has a minimal input approach to viticulture that incorporates a preference for dry growing, no fertilization, no soil cultivation and no sprays. These techniques are used to get the greatest expression of the soil from a network of ancient vines across the McLaren Vale region. In the winery Chester maintains many practices used by his father and grandfather including the use of open wax-lined concrete fermenters, basket presses for reds and whites and foot treading red ferments.
Discovering new varieties suited to the diverse terroir of McLaren Vale has been an ongoing passion for Chester. He has been instrumental in introducing many varieties to the region including Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Tempranillo and Souzao and now makes more than 70 different wines from over 37 different varieties, including single vineyard Shiraz and Grenache wines, called the Amazing Sites.
Recently, Chester opened what has been a more than a 14 year dream in the making, the d’Arenberg Cube – a 5 storey multi function centre in the heart of McLaren Vale. It has drawn media attention worldwide for its striking appearance, a cube shaped building with the top two floors twisted on their axis and a striking geometric pattern on the outside. The bottom level is also clad with a stainless steel reflective surface, which from a distance makes the building appear as though it is floating atop the vineyard it resides in.