Xavier Bizot was in London last week to show the latest vintages from the Tapanappa range of top end Australian wines, the brainchild of his father-in-law Brian Croser.
Although he told the drinks business that it was hard work to convince the UK wine trade to take Australian fine wine, he managed to secure listings at The Fat Duck and Fortnum & Mason.
?Independent wine merchants and sommeliers keep an open mind but it’s a lot of work to convince them to take the wines,? he said.
?Some are blown away by [Tapanappa’s] Tiers Chardonnay and the Foggy Hill Pinot Noir but Australian fine wine is an oxymoron in this market,? he added.
?Good wines created by good brands and backed by good vineyards have been forgotten because of bad decisions by big corporations,? he said of Australia’s fine wines.
He also recorded that Tapanappa’s export business had been hit hard by the economic crisis and 60% of the brand’s 4,000 case production was now sold in Australia, up from 40% in 2008.
Bizot said that Asia was its biggest export market and ?performing well? while the US was ?very slow? and the UK only ?ok?.
In the UK and elsewhere he reported that the Pinot Noir was the easiest wine in the range to sell both because of the grape variety’s popularity, but also the ?fantastic story? of Tapanappa Pinot Noir ? which is made from ?a planting in the middle of nowhere in South Australia ? which is known as Shiraz country.?
Brian Croser and his family, along with the Cazes family of Château Lynch Bages and Bollinger, Champagne, founded Tapanappa in 2002.