The name “Tapanappa” is inspired by the 550-millionyear-
old geological formation that underlies the Fleurieu Peninsula where the Croser family have a coastal property and their newest vineyard, Foggy Hill.

The word Tapanappa is derived from the local aboriginal language, implying “sticking to the path”. This is exactly the philosophy Brian Croser has employed in selecting his Distinguished Sites, matching the climate, soil and geology of a location to the right varieties and fastidiously managing the vineyard to make unique Australian “terroir” driven wines.

Brian Croser AO
Founder and Wine Industry Innovator

Brian Croser has been an innovator in the Australian wine industry for more than 40 years. Educated at the University of Adelaide, where he was later Deputy Chancellor for eight years, and at the University of California at Davis, Brian was involved in establishing the Charles Sturt Wine Science degree in Wagga Wagga as well as many of the major Australian wine industry institutions through the 1970s and ‘80s.

Brian and Ann Croser began Petaluma in 1976 and set about exactingly matching varieties to regions and meticulously managing for 27 years the vines in Petaluma’s “Distinguished Site” vineyards in Clare, the Adelaide Hills and at Coonawarra.

Considered one of Australia’s leading exponents of terroir-driven wines, he pioneered the development of the Adelaide Hills viticultural region, planting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and establishing the Petaluma winery in the Piccadilly Valley from 1978. This was followed by Shiraz and Viognier at Mt Barker from the early ’90s.

Development and expansion

In the mid 1980’s the purchase and renovation of the historic Bridgewater Mill provided a home for “Croser”, the eponymous premium sparkling wine made from fruit from the Piccadilly Valley, first released in 1987.

During that period, he also established, with Rollin Soles, Argyle winery in Oregon in 1985, then later the Tunkalilla Vineyard, a Riesling and Pinot Noir vineyard in the Eola Hills just north of Salem in Oregon.

Recognition and representation

He has been the President of the Winemakers Federation of Australia, a founding board member of Wine Australia, the Chairman of Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra (The National) and Perth wine shows and has received numerous awards for service to the Australian wine industry including the prestigious Maurice O’Shea award, an Honorary Doctorate from Charles Sturt University and a Doctor of the University of Adelaide in July of 2007.

In 2004 Brian was named “Man of the Year” by Decanter magazine. He also has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his contribution to research and education and for service to the Australian wine industry.

Brian loves to write, informed by his passion for his profession and is often published in leading global wine publications.

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