Renowned Australian winemaker Brian Croser has been appointed as consulting winemaker to Santa Rita, taking up the role with immediate effect.

Croser, who was Decanter Man of the Year in 2004, is best known for founding the Petaluma winery in 1976 and Tapanappa – a joint venture with the Cazes family of Bordeaux and Bollinger family of Champagne – set up in 2002.

Anibal Arista, general manager of Chilean winery Santa Rita, welcomed Croser’s appointment.

‘We are thrilled to welcome Brian to the Santa Rita winemaking family.’

‘His extensive experience with top winemaking regions around the world, together with his terroir-driven point of view, has outstanding synergy with the philosophy of our talented team of enologists,’ she added.

Croser will be working closely with Santa Rita’s Reserva and Medalla Real ranges, as well as the premium Casa Real, Triple C and Pehuén wines.

Commenting on the deal, Croser said he was ‘delighted to help Santa Rita and its viticulture and winemaking team optimise the quality opportunity of their diverse ‘distinguished site’ vineyards.’

‘This is the only consultancy role I have accepted and I do so because of the outstanding quality potential offered by Santa Rita’s vineyards and people.’

Croser will be working alongside Santa Rita’s head winemaker and technical director Andrés Ilabaca.

Written by John Abbott