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Croser leaves Petaluma

Published:  23 July, 2008

Brian Croser, one of Australia's most prominent and outspoken wine-industry figures, has finally severed his ties with Petaluma, the winery he set up three decades ago in the Adelaide Hills

Croser - who recently established Tapanappa, a new project in Wrattonbully, in conjunction with Jean-Michel Cazes and Arnould d'Hautefeuille - left his post as chief winemaker at the cool-climate producer earlier this month.

Petaluma was taken over by New Zealand-based brewing company Lion Nathan in a hostile takeover in 2001. Lion Nathan also owns a number of premium Australian estates such as St Hallett, Stonier and Knappstein.

According to Peter Cowan, group managing director of wines and spirits at Lion Nathan: Con Moshos, who has been with Petaluma since 1981, has assumed responsibility as Petaluma winemaker from vintage 2006. Brian will remain available, on request, in a technical consulting capacity.

Petaluma will continue to source from its existing distinguished sites in the Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley and Coonawarra with ongoing focus on winemaking excellence and producing wines of discernible vineyard origin. Everything else at Petaluma will remain the same, with Andrew Hardy continuing in his role of general manager.' Croser will continue to live in the house that overlooks the winery.

The first vintage of Tapanappa, a single-vineyard blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc, will hit the UK this month. Priced at around 30 a bottle, it is available from Mentzendorf