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

A Fighter For Fine Wine

Author: Margaret Rand
Source: The World of Fine Wine
Date: Jun 2020

There have been few more influential figures in the modern history of Australian wine than Brian Croser.

“I always had the conviction that Australia’s national geographical attributes, climate and soils, its very stable temperate climate on the edge of the Great Southern Ocean, gives a climate the equivalent of 40-45 degrees North. We should be a major supplier of fine wine to the globe.

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Looking back at Australian Chardonnay

Author: Jancis Robinson
Source: Jancis Robinson
Date: May 2020

I think it was Xavier Bizot who had the idea of celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the planting of the Tiers vineyard in the Adelaide Hills in 1979.

He is the son-in-law of Brian Croser, who initially planted the vines for his nascent Petaluma wine operation. Much wine has flowed under the bridge since then,

 » Read more about: Looking back at Australian Chardonnay  »

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2020 Vintage Report – Unforgettable

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: May 2020

Note this report was also published at https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/south-australia-2020-unforgettable

Last time I wrote about the emerging 2020 vintage I was branded ‘a denier’, ‘a dinosaur’ and ‘an angry old white man with a tin ear’, among other compliments. Let me begin this final version with a disclaimer: A hotter and drier future cannot be denied or avoided and each of us can and should do our utmost to mitigate that.

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THE TIERS VINEYARD TURNS 40. HERE IS A WHOLE LOTTA CHARDONNAY TO CELEBRATE

Author: Andrew Graham
Source: Oz Wine Review
Date: Mar 2020

I’m in cleanup mode at the moment, sifting through the (physical) sample pile and my (digital) notes to tidy things up Kondo-style.

While it’s cathartic to delete some half-baked stories written late at night, I’ve discovered some unpublished gems too – just like this set of notes from the Tapanappa Tiers vineyard 40th birthday event held last year in the Adelaide Hills.

 » Read more about: THE TIERS VINEYARD TURNS 40. HERE IS A WHOLE LOTTA CHARDONNAY TO CELEBRATE  »

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Croser Celebrates

Author:
Source: Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine
Date: Mar 2020

Huon Hooke – Cheers to Tiers

Author: Huon Hooke
Source: Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine
Date: Mar 2020

‘Be-Calmed’ – Brian Croser iterates his thoughts on the 2020 Australian Vintage

Author: Brian Croser
Source: WBM
Date: Feb 2020

Leading winemaker Brian Croser AO shared his thoughts on smoke taint and the 2020 vintage in an article on the ABC website last week. Several people on social media criticised Brian for some of the things he said in that story. He was even branded a ‘dinosaur’. Here Brian iterates his thoughts on #V20.

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2019 Vintage Report – Small, Dry and Moderate

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: May 2019

The description of the 2019 harvest is worthy of a politician or two.

The most startling aspect of the 2019 vintage in the Piccadilly Valley and to a lesser extent Wrattonbully, is the very low yield. Foggy Hill on the Fleurieu Peninsula yielded to expectation.

The low yield in the Piccadilly Valley was mainly because of the cold,

 » Read more about: 2019 Vintage Report – Small, Dry and Moderate  »

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Book Review: Wine and Place

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Jancis Robinson
Date: Jul 2018

This book review by Brian first appeared on JancisRobinson.com here: https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/wine-and-place-book-review

Wine and Place – A terroir reader
Tim Patterson and John Buechsenstein
University of California Press
ISBN 9780520277007
$39.95

This book is the story of my life.

For a book that starts out by declaiming that it is not written to be read in one session,

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2015 Fleurieu Pinot delivers Gold… again

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: Jul 2018

The 2015 Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir has once again picked up a gold at the Drinks Business, 2018 Global Pinot Noir Masters. Further raising questions over Brian’s decision to declassify this wine! In his summary of the competition Patrick Schmitt MW noted:

Once the wines surpassed the £20 mark, as one would expect,

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The Story of a Chardonnay Clone

Author:
Source:
Date: Jul 2018

4 August 2020 See this update. It transpires that Gingin, Mendoza and OF are in fact three different clones of Chardonnay, albeit from the same block in California.

6 November 2018 See also Chardonnay clones updated.

30 July 2018 

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A Small Boast

Author: Brian Croser
Source: Tapanappa
Date: May 2018

Being in the fine wine growing and making business is deeply personal.

I have spent 40 years choosing distinguished vineyard sites, planting them with the right variety, refining the viticulture and the winemaking and enduring the swings and roundabouts of the third party critical assessment of the wines. Like any parent I take offense when my wines (aka my alternative children) don’t achieve the points and accolades I think they deserve.

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