Former Petaluma supremo Brian Croser had to treat his vineyard owner wife Ann to a week in the best hotel in Paris to convince her to release half of the chardonnay grapes from her Tiers Vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley to his new Tapanappa winery venture.
The result is the 2005 Tapanappa Tiers chardonnay ($70) from the same vineyard as Petaluma’s far more expensive Tiers chardonnay.
Tapanappa, a joint venture between Croser (who was bought out at Petaluma by Lion Nathan in 2001), the Cazes family, Chateau Lynch Bages and the Bollinger group, aims to produce great wines from great Australian terroir and is also making superb red from its Whalebone vineyard in Coonawarra. The wines are hard to find (two thrids are exported) but the search is well worth the effort. The chardonnay is probably the best made in the Adelaide Hills.