Petaluma Tiers Chardonnay, Piccadilly Valley, South Australia

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Petaluma Vineyards was established by Brian Croser in 1976, Petaluma have established a huge reputation, primarily for their Chardonnay from the Piccadilly Valley, but more recently for Riesling from the Clare Valley and a Cabernet/Merlot blend from the Coonawarra. Croser grew his empire, extending the publicly listed Petaluma Limited group by acquiring premium labels Knappstein Wines, Mitchelton, Stonier and Smithbrook, and also participated in a venture in Oregon, Argyle. In October 2001 Petaluma itself was acquired by giant Australasian brewers Lion Nathan, and Croser was appointed chairman of the Lion Nathan wine group. The Tiers Vineyard, planted in 1979 on friable red soils, is the lowest and warmest vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills. The viticultural paradox of a “cool location”, “warm site”, ensures complete ripening in the cool, sunny and dry conditions of mid-Autumn. Everything in the Tiers Vineyard is done by hand including the picking of grapes to ensure the fruit is delivered in perfect condition to the Petaluma winery. The fruit is de-stemmed and then undergoes a gentle pressing. The cold juice then allowed to settle before it is racked off into Vosges oak barriques for fermentation.

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