The Tiers Vineyard planted with Chardonnay in the Piccadilly Valley in 1979,
The Whalebone Vineyard planted to the Cabernet varieties in Wrattonbully in 1974 and
The Foggy Hill Vineyard planted with Pinot Noir on the Fleurieu Peninsula in 2003.
Since 2002, the Croser family have invested significantly in the refinement of the viticulture of these three distinguished sites. The old vines at the Tiers and Whalebone vineyards have been restructured and re-trellised. New vineyards have been planted with superior clones on rootstocks at very close spacing at both the Tiers and Whalebone vineyards.
The Croser family have also pioneered a new wine region at Parawa on the Fleurieu Peninsula by planting Dijon clones of Pinot Noir on rootstocks at the close spaced Foggy Hill Vineyard. These vineyard investments are consistent with Brian's belief that Australia cannot compete with the best of the fine wines of Europe and North America without significant further investment in the improvement of vineyards aimed at improved grape and wine quality.
Tapanappa is unique in Australian viticulture, having new vineyards planted to the traditional European formula of close spacing (1.5 meters X 1.5 meters) with the vines only 0.5 meters above the soil surface and in all three region
The heat summation for the Foggy Hill Vineyard for the growing season was 1113C days versus the long-term average of 1135C days. The spring was very dry at 42% of normal rain and the combination of warm and dry early conditions precipitated an early bud burst, flowering and fruit set. The ideal flowering conditions created a potentially large crop that required significant fruit thinning at veraison.
Because the dry conditions had dried out the topsoil, the vines tipped into the ripening phase quickly and completely at veraison, ensuring an early harvest of evenly ripened Pinot Noir grapes.
Despite the thinning at veraison, the crop was 25% greater than average, elevated by a summer rainfall event in January. Tapanappa 2015 Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir is a moderately coloured and delicate wine, the reflection of a cool season and more appropriately labeled as Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir rather than the more concentrated wine expected of Foggy Hill single vineyard designation. The 2015 Tapanappa Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir was harvested from the Foggy Hill Vineyard on the 4th and 5th of March.
2015 Tapanappa Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir has a medium intensity, bright cherry hue. The aroma is of herbal flowers and black currant with a background of the olive and nettle of the stalk inclusion. Given the medium colour, the palate is surprising in its sweet fruit intensity and texture, with an appropriately drying tannin finish. This is a Pinot Noir that will age beautifully, building colour and complexity as it goes. Despite its Fleurieu Peninsula Pinot Noir label it is “a true reflection of the unique Foggy Hill terroir.”- Brian Croser, Winemaker.