Brian's Musings

Tapanappa News & Articles

Sunshine, Riesling & Qantas

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Nov 2011

Remarkably the sun came out in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and has prevailed over the occasional misty rain drift from the Pacific for the past 16 days.

The coolest and latest vintage of the Oregon wine industry’s short history received the last moment filtered sunlight required to elevate sugars, colours and flavours out of the “failed to ripen”

 » Read more about: Sunshine, Riesling & Qantas  »

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Whether Weather or Climate Change is More Important?

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Oct 2011

Here we are again in Oregon where vintage used to be in September.

Today is the 13th of October, a cool foggy damp day in downtown Dayton and at least two weeks from harvest.

Dayton is a small town at the junction of the Yamhill and the Willamette Rivers, which in turn flow into the mighty Columbia and out to the Pacific Ocean beyond Portland city.

 » Read more about: Whether Weather or Climate Change is More Important?  »

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Pale in Comparison by Huon Hooke

Author: Huon Hooke
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
Date: Oct 2011

The following article by Huon Hooke appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, October 11th 2011

Brian at Foggy HillA super-wet season has prompted a perfectionist to sell off his pinot for a few dollars.

Brian Croser draws three samples of 2011 pinot noir from their barrels, all pale coloured but charming for their floral and cherry-like perfumes.

 » Read more about: Pale in Comparison by Huon Hooke  »

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Review 2: Wine, Terroir & Climate Change by John Gladstones

Author: Brian Croser
Source: by John Gladstones
Date: Aug 2011

Introduction

John Gladstones has constructed his wonderful new book, Wine Terroir and Climate Change to examine the effect of each element of terroir (the environment) on the stages of growth and fruit ripening of the grape vine. He has proposed hypotheses around the vine physiological responses to these terroir signals and the ultimate effect on grape composition and wine quality and style.

 » Read more about: Review 2: Wine, Terroir & Climate Change by John Gladstones  »

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Review of Wine, Terroir & Climate Change by John Gladstones

Author: Brian Croser
Source: by John Gladstones
Date: Aug 2011

This wonderful book is a book in two parts. I deal here with the Wine and Terroir part of the book, which is contained in the first 11 chapters and then again in chapter 14, 21st century viticulture and its terroirs: a summary. Chapters 12 and 13 deal with Climate Change and its potential effects on viticulture as we know it.

 » Read more about: Review of Wine, Terroir & Climate Change by John Gladstones  »

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2011 Vintage Report

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Aug 2011

In the 42 years of my involvement in the Australian wine industry the bad wet vintages prior to 2011 have been, 1969, 1974, 1983 and 1989.

Including 2011 that’s one every 8 years or so. 

It’s been 22 years since the last one so we have been treated well  by climate standards,

 » Read more about: 2011 Vintage Report  »

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The Australian wine community’s biggest challenge

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Jul 2011

The following article orinignal formed a response to the Winemakers’ Federations of Australia’s submission to the GWRDC 5 Year Planning process.

Even if the WFA’s new research model is adopted by the GWRDC and is supported by the Australian wine community it is unlikely to discover and implement any paradigm shifting technology,

 » Read more about: The Australian wine community’s biggest challenge  »

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Natural wine: does this description have meaning?

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Jun 2011

This post was originally in response to a question raised by a magazine editor on what is natural wine, and does this description have any real meaning.

DirtThis is a subject on which everyone is correct.

It is only relevant to fine wine at the very top end of quality and intellectual interest.

 » Read more about: Natural wine: does this description have meaning?  »

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Canaries of Climate

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Jun 2011

Canary - image courtesy of David.R.CarrollThe Australian wine community is allowing itself to be tarred by the brush of climate politics.

Sometimes called the “canaries of climate”, wine regions have emerged and disappeared with the swings of climate over the more than 10 centuries of recorded wine history. For any region, climate decides the choice of varieties,

 » Read more about: Canaries of Climate  »

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Closures

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Jun 2011

The following post was originally in correspondance with a UK wine writer.

Tapanappa CorkI am convinced cork has a future as long as its considerable past as a wine closure. That’s not from a “green” perspective but as a closure which contributes to the established expectations of knowledgeable and experienced consumers of traditional bottle ageing character and complexity,

 » Read more about: Closures  »

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7th ANU University House Wine Symposium

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: May 2011

University House 7th Wine SymposiumThis will be a long and technical Blog. Even if no-one else reads it, the very writing of it will ease my mind.

The story begins with the rebirth of the ANU University House wine Symposia. The 7th was held last Friday after a 17 year hiatus, organised by Kiaran and Tim Kirk sons of John the founder of Clonakilla .

 » Read more about: 7th ANU University House Wine Symposium  »

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Brian Croser finds a perfect partner in esteemed Champagne house Bollinger

Author: John Fordham
Source: The Sunday Telegraph
Date: May 2011

BRIAN Croser has a history of surrounding himself with some of the most distinguished and influential names in the wine world.

When the Petaluma founder secured a partner for his Croser sparkling wine project in the mid 1980s, it was none other than Bollinger, the esteemed Champagne house.

This gave his fizz label very serious clout and,

 » Read more about: Brian Croser finds a perfect partner in esteemed Champagne house Bollinger  »

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Vintage 2011

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: May 2011

The smoke or should I say the cloud of fungal spores is dissipating after the 2011 harvest and we now have a clearer view of quality and quantity. 

This is a really difficult situation to manage.

The quantity of quality wine produced from most areas will be vastly reduced and the quantity of really bad wine will be vastly increased.

 » Read more about: Vintage 2011  »

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What’s normal at Foggy Hill?

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Apr 2011

The rain is predicted to arrive tomorrow so the last sparkling autumn day is with us after nearly two weeks of glorious weather. If only this weather had prevailed in the last weeks of March and the first weeks of April but that’s viticulture. 

I feel grateful that we have very selectively harvested some very nice Chardonnay from The Tiers,

 » Read more about: What’s normal at Foggy Hill?  »

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Easter

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Apr 2011

Almost the latest Easter possible and in only a handful of vintages over the past 33 at Piccadilly would we still have fruit to harvest and fermentations in exponential phase on April the 23rd. Despite the very late harvest, Easter is providing family time down on the Fleurieu Peninsula with a sausage sizzle at the beautiful Seabrook Farm on the edge of the Great Southern Ocean and the Deep Creek National Park.

 » Read more about: Easter  »

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Cool climate sceptics take note

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Apr 2011

Cool climate sceptics take note. 

There are those in higher latitude viticultural climes who claim ownership of “real cool climate”.

I think this is mostly meant to imply the Australian main land  and California at least are incapable of producing “real cool climate wines” and are immune to the effects of vintage variation and excluded from the benefits of achieving grape maturity in the last gasp of autumn as the leaves fall off the vine.

 » Read more about: Cool climate sceptics take note  »

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The advantage of low vines.

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Apr 2011

This is a year to have small low close spaced Cabernet Sauvignon vines. We left at 5am on Monday still mildly affected by receding wedding hangover and arrived at a drizzly Whalebone Vineyard at 8.30 after the obligatory “steak, onion and tomato” pie at the Naracoorte bakery. Our worst fears went unspoken as we entered the vineyard having been preoccupied with Foggy Hill and Tiers (and wedding) over the past week.

 » Read more about: The advantage of low vines.  »

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The pickers chose

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Apr 2011

Well it happened. The pickers chose. The most diverse group of new Australian arrivals including some very tall people from the north of Africa arrived to harvest our diminutive vines. Foggy Hill was harvested on Tuesday and Wednesday in the most spectacular autumn weather imaginable. Sitting on the back of the bin behind the tractor,

 » Read more about: The pickers chose  »

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Harvesting of Foggy Hill

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Apr 2011

April 5th and we have harvested the older block of 114, 115 and 777 Pinot Noir clones from Foggy Hill at 5 tonnes/hectare as expected but exactly one month later than last year.  Foggy Hill has had more than 200mm’s of rain on it since January 1st, 100mm’s more than last year. From October to the end of March Foggy Hill only received 1000°C days of heat above 10°C which is marginal for ripeness and in German wine region ranges.

 » Read more about: Harvesting of Foggy Hill  »

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April Fool’s Day

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Mar 2011

As I have pointed out before, at the end of February, counter-intuitively, all of Tapanappa’s terroirs had accumulated marginally more heat than average for the October to February growing season so far. Days have been cooler than average but nights have been warmer than the days have been cooler because of persistent cloud cover.

March is set to change all of that.

 » Read more about: April Fool’s Day  »

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The places I work.

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Mar 2011

Tiers Vineyard - Piccadilly ValleyI am sitting in Auckland, waiting to go through to Adelaide at 3am Adelaide time, having started from Chile 18hours ago after a twelve hour-day in the vineyards of Alto Jahuel and Leyda. It will be raining on my Pinot Noir on the Fleurieu Peninsula and on my Chardonnay in the Piccadilly Valley when I arrive home in 6 hours time.

 » Read more about: The places I work.  »

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Of Cycles and Trends

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Mar 2011

All stable in Chile at least. The Chileans understand the risks of living in a shaky land and empathise with the New Zealanders and especially with the Japanese and the shattering dimension of their land’s torsion and the consequences.

It is interesting to observe La Nina’s other face on the Chilean shore of the Pacific opposite Australia.

 » Read more about: Of Cycles and Trends  »

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Chile (and the net dilemma resolved)

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Mar 2011

Off to Chile at 6am tomorrow morning. Every thing in the Tapanappa vineyards is now about watching the “pot boil” and trying not to take too much notice of the weather predictions. Nothing can be done now but wait for the final cinch of ripening when 10% of the season dictates 40% of the quality.

 » Read more about: Chile (and the net dilemma resolved)  »

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Thank goodness

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Mar 2011

Walked Tiers and Foggy Hill after the drizzle cleared this afternoon and the sun shuttered through north-bound clouds. No fruit split and the ground has soaked up the moisture and drained it away. Thank goodness for our slopes and friable freely drained old soils. Thank goodness for the Great Southern Ocean bringing on the front edge of a high with its cooling drying southerly breezes,

 » Read more about: Thank goodness  »

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