Newly opened Rubik’s Cube-like wine cellar expected to attract crowds to the Australian wine region

Lip-smacking blends are enough to bring tourists to a wine region, but throw in some out-there architecture and crowds are guaranteed to descend.

The formula has worked for the Marques de Riscal Estate in Spain (where Frank Gehry’s modernist structure wows visitors to Rioja) and now Australian winemaker Chester Osborn is hoping to make an equally dramatic impression.

Fourteen years in the making, his dream wine cellar d’Arenberg Cube recently opened 40km south of Adelaide in the McLaren Vale wine region.

Costing AUD$15 million (£8.6 million), the glass, steel and concrete structure was inspired by a Rubik’s Cube, with the two top floors of the four-tier building skewed on their axis.

When entering, an eery abstract fanfare plays, programmed by the current temperature and humidity levels. Inside, doors fold back origami-style to reveal bizarre installations such as an inverted bull cradling a lie detector (a reference to the “bulls***” surrounding some wine talk), part of an Alternate Realities Museum.

Other curiosities include a peep show in an oven (showing people sloshing wine), 44 wine flagons mounted on bicycle handlebars in the Sensory Room, and the Quiet Space Fermenter, where VHS video tapes dangling from the ceiling are projected with images of feet treading a fermenter.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>The Cellar Door (d’Arenburg/PA)</figcaption>
The Cellar Door (d’Arenburg/PA)

Then, of course, there are the wines – a top floor Cellar Door tasting room features glass bars with 115 televisions featuring silhouettes of a naked woman underwater. But with so many distractions on the way up, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d already sunk a few bottles before getting there.

The cellar is open daily 10am-5pm.  Entry costs AUS$10 (£6) including a tasting. Find out more here.