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

Three In A Row

Author: Brian Croser
Source:
Date: May 2022

Vignerons the world over, live with the caprice of nature, the weather God in particular.

The optimal result of a bountiful crop of outstanding quality grapes is a small sliver on the roulette wheel of weather dictated outcomes through a seven-month growing season, regardless of provenance.

More often the combination of a small crop of outstanding quality creates a consumer demand that can’t be met,

 » Read more about: Three In A Row  »

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South Australia’s cool 2022 vintage

Author: Brian Croser
Source:
Date: Apr 2022

Image of the current harvest at Foggy Hill Vineyard by Jodie Pilgrim.

It’s 3 pm on the first of April, April Fool’s Day, but nobody anywhere in the world is in prankish mode.

In the Piccadilly Valley in the centre of the Adelaide Hills it is 17 °C, the maximum temperature of this mid-autumn day.

 » Read more about: South Australia’s cool 2022 vintage  »

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A century of South Australian climate change

Author: Brian Croser
Source:
Date: Mar 2022

Veteran of 52 vintages and the varying weather they have exhibited, Brian Croser, of Tapanappa in South Australia, wonders whether they’re in for a cooler period.

For the avoidance of doubt and of a fusillade of online scorn and abuse, what I am about to describe is the beginning of a cool vintage against a backdrop of inexorably increasing temperatures.

 » Read more about: A century of South Australian climate change  »

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Tapanappa Unveils Latest Chardonnay Vintage

Author: Anne Krebiehl MW
Source: Falstaff
Date: Feb 2022

As a pioneer of Australian cool-climate viticulture, Brian Croser was the first to plant Chardonnay in the Adelaide Hills – now his latest vintage is out.

Few people can claim pioneer status in the 21st century but Brian Croser can: he was the first to plant vines in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills in 1979 – in the Tiers Vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley.

 » Read more about: Tapanappa Unveils Latest Chardonnay Vintage  »

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Live podcast “Cork Talk” with Tim Atkins MW

Author: Tim Atkin
Source: Tim Atkin MW
Date: Oct 2021

Listen to Brian’s live podcast “Cork Talk” with Tim Atkins MW on Brian’s thoughts about Australian fine wine and the future of fine wine world:

https://open.spotify.com/episode/2XSErrxRTCziVWJziLbmjw?si=57ErAnmzQRmdN3oUGtzt-A

 » Read more about: Live podcast “Cork Talk” with Tim Atkins MW  »

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Croser reflects on 40 years of industry politics – and nothing much has changed!

Author: Brian Croser
Source: WBM
Date: Sep 2021

On September 30 I retire by decree, as a director of Wine Australia after an eventful seven years including three quite different iterations of the board and two chairpersons, not counting an interim chairperson.

I am the only soldier left standing from the initial board of Wine Australia, beginning as an amalgamation of the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation and the Australian Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation in July 2014.

 » Read more about: Croser reflects on 40 years of industry politics – and nothing much has changed!  »

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The Life of Brian

Author: Anthony Madigan
Source: WBM
Date: Sep 2021

We can never know About tomorrow Still we have to choose Which way to go

You and I are standing At the crossroads Darling, there is one thing You should know

When I joined a wine publishing house 21 years ago my boss Paul Clancy gave me his old tuxedo for all those dinners he didn’t want to go to,

 » Read more about: The Life of Brian  »

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The New Normal: Winemaking in the COVID environment

Author: Brian Croser
Source: The Buyer
Date: Aug 2021

Describing himself humbly as a ‘single vineyard vigneron’, others in the wine trade might call Tapanappa’s Brian Croser ‘a vine and wine visionary’ or ‘innovator’. In a career that has spanned more than 50 years he has arguably done more than anyone to shape the Australian wine industry – a true trailblazer, mentor and industry leader.

 » Read more about: The New Normal: Winemaking in the COVID environment  »

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Tiers Has A Hip Replacement

Author: Brian Croser
Source:
Date: Jul 2021

The Tiers Vineyard Old Block in the Piccadilly Valley is 41 years old, planted in 1980.

The oldest planting at The Tiers was planted the year before in 1979 and was pulled out in 2003 to make way for the new Tiers 1.5m planting of Dijon clones on rootstock at the high vine density of 1.5 metres between rows and 1.5m metres between vines in the row (4,444 vines/hectare).

 » Read more about: Tiers Has A Hip Replacement  »

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South Australia 2021 – near perfect

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: May 2021

Brian Croser reports on the 2021 vintage, which he describes as ‘perfection in a sea of uncertainty’.

In South Australia we have just completed one of the very best vintages of my 51-vintage career.

Against a background of global social tumult, roiling sickness and death in India and other developing nations,

 » Read more about: South Australia 2021 – near perfect  »

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The Master Winemaker 100: Brian Croser [Tapanappa Wines]

Author: Arabella Mileham
Source: The Drinks Business
Date: Aug 2020

Earlier this year, The drinks business published a guide celebrating the talent of the winemakers who have scooped the highest accolade of our Global Masters tasting series, which is judged almost exclusively by MWs. Each week we profile the winemakers behind these medal winning wines – the creatives, scientists, mavericks and dreamers who are at the pinnacle of winemaking.

 » Read more about: The Master Winemaker 100: Brian Croser [Tapanappa Wines]  »

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From an Australian optimist

Author: Jancis Robinson
Source: Jancis Robinson
Date: Aug 2020

In the spring an old man’s fancy lightly turns to cheering us all up. Brian Croser ruminates in the Adelaide Hills.

The annual cycle turns regardless of drought, bushfires and COVID- 19. The wattles are in full blossom, the jonquils and daffodils are flowering, the magnolia and almond blossoms are just emerging and we are pruning Tiers Vineyard.

 » Read more about: From an Australian optimist  »

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Wines are sold by Tapanappa Wines Pty. Ltd. ABN 86 104 001 667