Fine Wine Archives Reviews

Interview of “wine terroirist” Brian Croser

Written by Aksel Ritenis


Brian Croser has been an innovator in the Australian wine industry for 40 years and most of us know him for his fabulous Pelauma and Croser wines. ,. Educated at the University of Adelaide, (of which he was Deputy Chancellor for 8 years,) and at the University of California at Davis, Croser was involved in the establishment of the Charles Sturt Wine Science degree in Wagga Wagga and in the establishment of Australian wine industry institutions through the 1970’s and 80’s.Brian and Ann Croser began Petaluma in 1976, which is recognised as Australia’s leading exponent of terroir driven wines. Croser exactingly matched varieties to regions and meticulously managed the vines in Petaluma’s “distinguished site” vineyards in Clare, the Adelaide Hills and at Coonawarra for 27 years. Croser 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 and Shiraz and Viognier at Mt Barker from the early 90’s. In the mid 80’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.The Croser family owns the original vineyard of the modern Adelaide Hills wine industry, the Tiers Vineyard, an Australian Chardonnay distinguished site now being progressively replanted on very close spacing with new Chardonnay clones on rootstocks.With Rollin Soles, Croser established Argyle winery in Oregon in 1985 and the Croser family are currently establishing Tunkalilla Vineyard, a Riesling and Pinot Noir vineyard in the Eola Hills just north of Salem in Oregon.Committed to the research and development of new “distinguished sites” for specific varieties, Croser and his family have developed a Pinot Noir Vineyard at the cool, foggy apex of the Fleurieu Peninsula at Parawa, 300 meters above and just 8 kilometres north of the Great Southern Ocean. 

1) You are undoubtedly famous and perhaps best known in Australia and internationally for pioneering viticulturein the cool climate terroir of the Adelaide Hills and the establishment of the iconic brands Petaluma and Croser. How did your interest in cool climate viticulture in the Adelaide Hills come about?

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Axel is the Editor and Publisher of Connoisseur Magazine "for the Finer Things in Life" and has been the custodian of the magazine for over 10 years and leader of a team of freelance Journalists and Community Members who continue to make it all happen!-Join the Team at Connoisseur Magazine!

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