Brian Croser throws open the cellar door

After nearly 30 years of being off-limits to the public, Brian Croser’s Adelaide Hills winery, the former home of Petaluma, will soon be open to visitors.

The Croser and Bizot families will open a cellar door at the winery, in Spring Gully Rd, Piccadilly, in early January. The winery is where Petaluma wines (tastings) have been made since the early 1980s. It is now home to Brian and Ann Croser’s Tapanappa (tastings) and daughter Lucy and son-in-law Xavier Bizot’s Terre à Terre wines (tastings). The Petaluma wines have continued to be vinified there up to vintage 2014, but the new Petaluma winery is expected to be ready for the 2015 harvest.

“It will be the closest Adelaide Hills cellar door to the city of Adelaide, just 20 minutes by car,” says Xavier Bizot, who is the son of former Champagne Bollinger head Christian Bizot. “The tasting room will be in the front of the building on the top floor.”

As Brian and Ann Croser still live next to the winery and its neighbouring Tiers Vineyard (pictured above), they have until now managed to preserve their privacy. But it’s a whole new era for the families, and in the current wine market, cellar door sales are likely to be a boon for business. As it is, much of the Tapanappa wine is sold direct, to mailing-list customers and online.

Tapanappa owns the Whalebone vineyard at Wrattonbully and the Foggy Hill pinot noir vineyard (tastings) at the bottom of the Fleurieu Peninsula, as well as the Tiers vineyard (tastings). Terre à Terre owns its own Wrattonbully vineyard, directly across the road from Whalebone, and produces excellent sauvignon blanc under both the Terra à Terre label (tastings) and second-label Down To Earth (tastings), as well as full-bodied cabernet sauvignon-based reds.

The Bizots also have an importing company called Terroir Selections, which brings in top-line French wines including Marcel Deiss from Alsace (tastings), the much-improved Bollinger-owned Burgundy brand Chanson, and a Bandol rosé, Terrebrune. New tasting notes for all of these will be uploaded soon. 

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