Today Tapanappa is wholly owned and run by the Croser family of the Piccadilly Valley in South Australia's Adelaide Hills.
Tapanappa was created in 2002 by Brian and Ann Croser in partnership with Bollinger of Champagne and the Cazes family of Lynch Bages in Pauillac,
To utilise three of Australia’s most expressive and unique distinguished sites to create fine wines of distinction.
Tapanappa’s three distinguished sites are;
- 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 regions.
In June 2014 the Croser family reached agreement with Bollinger and the Cazes family that Tapanappa’s future as a fine wine company would be optimised when wholly owned by the Croser family. Changing markets and economic times, the increasing involvement in Tapanappa of Croser family members, and its reliance on Croser family vineyard assets made this all but inevitable. The terroir driven purpose of Tapanappa has been focussed and strengthened by the involvement of Bollinger and the Cazes family from 2002 until 2014 and they remain firm friends of Tapanappa and the Croser family, and remain as importers of Tapanappa in key markets.
This moment of change for Tapanappa was given impetus by the return of the Petaluma winery to the Croser family in December 2014, Reborn as the Tapanappa Winery and giving Tapanappa a home address at The Tiers Vineyard, 15 Spring Gully Road, Piccadilly. We have our winery back. The ownership of Tapanappa has changed but the mission remains the same,
To maximise the quality of the wines from these three distinguished site vineyards, regardless of cost, that also implies producing only the tiny amounts of wine available from each vineyard.
Today Tapanappa is managed by Xavier Bizot and his wife Lucy Croser, another Croser son-in-law, Sam Barlow looks after the winery facility, IT and cellar door. Tapanappa’s portfolio of wines is distributed in Australia by Terroir Selections, which was founded and is operated by Xavier and Lucy. Tapanappa has evolved into a family fine wine company from vineyard to market.