Dr Brian Croser AO

Recipient of Distinguished Alumni Award 2021

A trailblazer of modern Australian winemaking, Dr Brian Croser AO has played an integral role in evolving the nation’s small, fortified wine industry into the world’s fifth largest wine exporter.

In his early career, Brian was Chief Winemaker at Thomas Hardy & Sons before shifting his attention to education, establishing the Wine Science course at the Riverina College of Advanced Education (now Charles Sturt University). 

Later, in pursuit of “the coldest, wettest place in South Australia to grow Chardonnay” Brian became the first winemaker to break ground in the Adelaide Hills’ Piccadilly Valley, where he continues to harvest grapes today.

He has also established a consultancy business, as well as two successful wine companies, Petaluma and Tapanappa Wines. 

“My central goal has always been very simple, to make the best wine possible,” said Brian

“To do that you have to grow the right varieties in the right place, after that it’s all fine-tuning.”

Brian has been recognised extensively for his significant contributions to wine, including being appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2000, awarded the prestigious Maurice O’Shea Award in 1997 and named the 2004 Decanter Man of the Year. More recently, Wine Communicators of Australia awarded him the 2021 WCA South Australia Legend of the Vine.

Brian holds a Doctor of the University (honoris causa) from the University of Adelaide in recognition of his contributions to both the wine industry and the University community. He has also been awarded a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) from Charles Sturt University.

Appointed to the University of Adelaide Council in 1998, Brian served as Deputy Chancellor for eight years from 1999 until 2007.

“There are so many alumni who have gone through the University [of Adelaide], distinguished people, and to be selected from among that very successful cohort is a great honour.”

“And because the University has been so close to my heart, it means even more.”

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