September 28, 2005
By Clive Platman
©2005, The Birmingham Post
Now in his mid-50s, Brian Croser is regarded by many authorities as the greatest Australian winemaker of his generation. Nominated as Decanter 2004's "Man of the Year", Croser is the pioneer of Australian "terroir" by his insistence on marrying the vineyard site to the ideal grape variety.
Traditionally, Australians planted every conceivable variety in the same vineyard regardless, and then wondered why the quality was so ordinary. By contrast, Croser, whose ambitions have always been at the premium end of the market, introduced the idea of planting the most suitable variety. Under his Petaluma label, founded by him in 1976, Cabernet and Merlot were grown in the Terra Rossa soils in Coonawarra, Riesling in high-altitude Clare, and Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the cooler Adelaide Hills.