Brian Croser AO

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.

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.

Accolades

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.

Brian's Musings

Tapanappa 2024 Vintage Report

Author:
Source:
Date: May 2024

After 55 vintages in Australia, you might surmise I have seen it all. Hot years, cold years, wet years, drought years, big crops, small crops, no crop. In 1983, the “Ash Wednesday” fire year, the fire was followed by a tropical deluge. We harvested no grapes from Clare or Coonawarra. Piccadilly Valley was not yet in production.

 » Read more about: Tapanappa 2024 Vintage Report  »

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South Australia 2024 – a view from the Adelaide Hills

Author:
Source: www.jancisrobinson.com
Date: Apr 2024

Brian Croser sends a first-hand report from Tapanappa in the Piccadilly Valley on a small but promising harvest. Above, Croser scrutinizes the Chardonnay grapes in the Tiers Vineyard.

We all know what comes in small packages, but can they be a little bigger than the 2024 vintage from our Tiers,

 » Read more about: South Australia 2024 – a view from the Adelaide Hills  »

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THE FUTURE IS ‘FINE’

Author:
Source: WBM – Australia’s Wine Business Magazine
Date: Jan 2024

by Brian Croser

The Australian wine industry has squandered three decades being confused about the differences between premium and non-premium wine and where the opportunities really lie. Brian Croser reports. 

Imagine the world without America and China. I don’t mean their geographic absence, rather imagine after the Australian wine industry’s 1990s growth spurt,

 » Read more about: THE FUTURE IS ‘FINE’  »

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2023 Diary of a Vintage

Author: Brian Croser
Source: WBM
Date: May 2023

On 11 April we were yet to begin the harvest for all but a young block of Foggy Hill Pinot Noir that was harvested on 5 April.

In an average year we would have harvested all three of our vineyards by April 11.

After 54 diverse vintages, none the same as any other,

 » Read more about: 2023 Diary of a Vintage  »

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South Australia 2023 – a sequel

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Jancis Robinson
Date: Apr 2023

Brian Croser of Tapanappa provides the sequel to his report on the nerve-wracking 2023 harvest. Above, the vines at Tapanappa are finally free of the netting that kept the berries safe from the birds.

It is 18 April, a gloriously typical autumn day in the Adelaide Hills.

 » Read more about: South Australia 2023 – a sequel  »

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South Australia 2023 – a first-hand view

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Jancis Robinson
Date: Apr 2023

2019 Foggy Hill Vineyard DEFINITUS Pinot Noir has made James Halliday’s TOP 100

Author: James Halliday Top 100
Source: The Australian
Date: Nov 2022

James Halliday’s Top 100 wines for 2022 have been revealed! 

We are thrilled to announce our 2019 Foggy Hill Vineyard DEFINITUS Pinot Noir has made the prestigious list.

2019 Foggy Hill DEFINITUS Pinot Noir

Bramble, briar and black tea aromatics set the scene for a very complex pinot that needs encouragement to release its perfume.

 » Read more about: 2019 Foggy Hill Vineyard DEFINITUS Pinot Noir has made James Halliday’s TOP 100  »

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And it was all yellow… and green and orange and red and purple

Author: Brian Croser
Source: WBM
Date: Nov 2022

WBM, September/October 2022 Issue

SAM (Southern Annular Modulation) is determined to go south again as the Australian spring arrives. In southeastern Australia that means another summer of cool south-easterly winds, generated deep in the Great Southern Ocean, that arrive on our southern shores at the top of the counterclockwise revolving high-pressure systems as they transit from west to east.

 » Read more about: And it was all yellow… and green and orange and red and purple  »

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Let’s Not Forget Economic Sustainability

Author: Brian Croser
Source: WBM
Date: Aug 2022

WBM, July / August Issue

The word sustainability buzzes around the internet incessantly and now rings in my ears, replacing that persistent Leonard Cohen anthem as my new ‘ear worm’. I am about to tread in a place that better angels would avoid, but there are some things about sustainability that need saying.

First and foremost,

 » Read more about: Let’s Not Forget Economic Sustainability  »

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TRUE TO STORY

Author: Brian Croser
Source: WBM
Date: Jul 2022

Tapanappa Foggy Hill Vineyard, Photo by Jodie Pilgrim

A distinctive attribute of fine wine is that it endures, reposes in cellars often long after the maker and collector have sipped their last, to re-emerge at family celebrations or in more mercenary circumstance at fine wine auction.

At the auction of a bottle of aged wine,

 » Read more about: TRUE TO STORY  »

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Timing is the well spring of opportunity

Author: Brian Croser
Source:
Date: Jul 2022

Tapanappa, Brian Croser

Timing is the well-spring of opportunity. 

My generation, the “Boomers” have enjoyed pretty good timing and I know I have, and I am grateful. 

My career as a vigneron began with my training in the later 60’s and early 70’s, paralleling the birth and development of the modern Australian wine matrix.

 » Read more about: Timing is the well spring of opportunity  »

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The Urgency Of Levy Reform

Author: Brian Croser
Source: WBM
Date: Jul 2022

The CSIRO has sort of announced the redundancy of at least three senior scientists, experts and researchers in grapevine genetics and physiology at the Adelaide CSIRO offices located at the Waite Research Institute.

A further number of technical support staff and rumour has it more to come, have been or will be laid off in parallel.

 » Read more about: The Urgency Of Levy Reform  »

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