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New A$10 million Petaluma winery

Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett
Lion Nathan has approved a new A$10 million winery for Adelaide Hills producer Petaluma, to replace the one established by Brian Croser 30 years ago.

Chief winemaker Andrew Hardy told Harpers he is hopeful that the first crush in the new winery, which is to be situated in Mount Barker, just a short drive from the existing site in Piccadilly Valley, will take place in 2008.

He said: We've got board approval, and we're just waiting for final approval from the Mount Barker council and the environment protection agency. It's going to be the same size as the existing winery - 2,000 tonnes - but we'll be downsizing our fermentation vessels, from around eight tonnes to two, and going for a much more hands-on approach.'

Hardy said that the current winery is starting to show its age: It's 30 years old, hasn't got a roof on it, and a lot of repairs and maintenance needs to be done. To fix everything would cost A$3-4 million, or we can build a new winery for A$10 million.' He added that another consideration for the move was that the existing winery is right by Brian's back door', and seeing as Croser cut his ties with Petaluma earlier this year, the company is keen to leave Brian in peace'.

To mark Petaluma's 30th birthday, a tasting was held in Adelaide's National Wine Centre earlier this month, featuring practically every one of its Rieslings, followed by a dinner at its cellar door operation at Bridgewater Mill.

Hardy added that a vertical tasting of Petaluma would take place in London in the New Year, around the time of the Australia Day tastings.