Product information

Tapanappa Tiers Vineyard 1.5m Chardonnay 2022

Chardonnay from Picadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia


$58ea in any 3+
$55ea in any 6+
Alc: 13.5%
Closure: Screw Cap


The build in intensity of this very complete wine is clear. Yes the acid is there, it has the depth and length to hold it. The mid-palate weight is exceptional and oak use (⅓ new) refined, layered and harmonious.

Perfumed with white flowers, a little baking spice crème pat. Super citrus, white grapefruit and stunning intense lime.

Tasting the 3 side by side as a great way to explore depth, length and shape of fruit.

The separator from so many Chardonnays on the market is the texture, shape and flow of Tapanappa’s incarnations. They feel so complete and harmonious. I’d happily devour all 3 of the 2022 Chardonnays, each representing a clear jump in quality to match the pricing as you step up.

I looked at this over the course of 48 hours, by accident rather than by design, and I much preferred it with a bit of air in it. It’s driven by limey acidity and while its quality is clear from the outset, it really comes into its own once its pear flavours are allowed to reach full voice, and its sweet-spicy oak settles in, and its tinned peach characters reach an equal pitch to the lime-like notes. It’s then a glorious chardonnay, flavoursome and refreshing, long and sophisticated, full of run and yet measured and controlled at the same time.

Campbell Mattison, TWF 95+ Points

When you look at the production techniques, wine chemistry, the youth of these wines, and their track record it makes sense that both of the Tiers Chardonnays will look super tight in their youth.  All the result of lower pH and higher acidity levels from a year cooler than the stunning 2021 combined with a technically correct SOaddition.

It highlights the importance of tasting wines over time and with experience to truly assess quality particularly when the wines are this young. In this case time allows the sulphur to be consumed, oxygen to work its magic and the wine to open up.

Only 2 left in stock

Check out all of the wines by Tapanappa

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

“2022 Tiers 1.5M Chardonnay stands alongside its older sibling, the 2022 Tiers Old Block, as an equal but with the subtle differences of its close spaced, French clone, earlier ripening habit. Both wines are truly outstanding vintage examples of the Tiers special terroir.

The 2022 Tiers 1.5M is a buttercup green-yellow colour, very similar to its older vine sibling. The aroma is more of white peach than nectarine and with the slight brioche and cinnamon-vanilla complexity of the yeast and oak. The flavour is intense and very fruit ripe and fresh. The aroma is dominated by the intensity of the Chardonnay fruit. The flavour is intense reflecting the aroma with exceptional length of flavour. The trade-mark Tiers fruit sweetness and texture is offset by the acid and grapefruit finishing cut of the Tiers Vineyard.

The late ripening of a small crop in cool, dry and sunny conditions, has defined a “near perfect” expression of Chardonnay from the unique and distinguished Tiers 1.5M Vineyard terroir. 2022 Tiers 1.5M Chardonnay is “a very special vintage of a unique wine defined by the truly distinguished Tiers Vineyard terroir”.

Brian Croser

About Tapanappa

Tapanappa is the 21st century chapter of an adventure that pioneered the modern era of the Adelaide Hills wine region.

Tapanappa is the name that Brian Croser has given to his ongoing family-owned, fine-wine enterprise based in the Piccadilly Valley where it began more than 40 years ago as Petaluma.

After a storied history as the first and one of the finest of the Adelaide Hills wine producers, Petaluma was taken over dramatically by corporate giant Lion Nathan in 2001, although the Crosers retained ownership of their family home and their beloved Tiers Chardonnay vineyard at the foundation winery site.

Begin again

The next year, determined in their vision to continue creating great Australian wines, Brian and Ann Croser established Tapanappa in partnership with long-time friends and business collaborators, Bollinger of Champagne and the Cazes family of Lynch Bages in Bordeaux’s Pauillac appellation.The French partners stayed with Tapanappa until 2014, remaining firm friends and continuing as importers in key global markets.

In 2014, after protracted negotiations with Petaluma’s corporate owners, the Croser family regained control of the PiccadillyValley winery and cellars in time to renovate it for the 2015 vintage and to move with renewed vigour into Tapanappa’s fine wine future.

Today Tapanappa has evolved into a complete family fine wine company from vineyard to market. It is managed by Brian’s daughter Lucy and husband Xavier Bizot, while another Croser son-in-law, Sam Barlow, looks after the winery.  Tapanappa’s portfolio of wines is distributed in Australia by Terroir Selections, founded and operated by Xavier and Lucy.

Why Tapanappa

The name “Tapanappa” is inspired by the 550-million-year-old geological formation that underlies the Fleurieu Peninsula where the Croser family have a coastal property and their newest vineyard, Foggy Hill.

The word Tapanappa is derived from the local aboriginal language, implying “sticking to the path”. This is exactly the philosophy Brian Croser has employed in selecting his Distinguished Sites  matching the climate, soil and geology of a location to the right varieties and fastidiously managing the vineyard to make unique Australian “terroir” driven wines.

In the Vineayd

Since its foundation in 2002, Tapanappa has expanded its vineyards beyond the Piccadilly Valley as Brian adhered to the core philosophy that continues to drive his winemaking practice, defined by the concept of Distinguished Sites.

The “distinguished site” concept has now been applied to two more South Australia regions adding to the repertoire of  terroir-defined wines of Tapanappa’s highly respected, fine-wine portfolio.

Those three Distinguished Sites are:

The original Tiers Vineyard planted with Chardonnay in the Piccadilly Valley in 1979

Foggy Hill Vineyard planted with Pinot Noir at Parawa on the Fleurieu Peninsula in 2003

Whalebone Vineyard planted with Cabernet and associated varieties in Wrattonbully in 1974

The Croser family has invested significantly in refining the viticulture of these three distinguished vineyard 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, inspired by the traditional European formula 1.5 metres by 1.5 metres with the vines only 0.5 metres above the soil surface.

As they did with the Piccadilly Valley in 1979, the Croser family has 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.

At each of these vineyards, Brian and his team have keenly identified the components of terroir and nurtured their influence in the grape growing and winemaking process to bring to the bottle the finest expression of each site.

The Tiers Vineyard

The Tiers vineyard is in the coolest and wettest location in South Australia, the Piccadilly Valley.

It is perfectly suited to Chardonnay being a closely matched homo-clime of Burgundy and especially the southern end of the Cotes de Beaune where the great Montrachets and Mersault Chardonnays are grown.

The soil of the Tiers Vineyard is unique in the Adelaide Hills being derived from the 1.6 billion years-old basement rocks of the Barossa complex, lifted to the surface by a fault at the edge of the Tiers Vineyard. The rest of the Piccadilly Valley has soils derived from the much younger, 700 to 800 million years-old, Burra group.

The Tiers Vineyard tilts gently to the north and east in a sheltered valley surrounded by forest forming a true “clos” environment.

The aspect takes best advantage of the waning autumn sun in the northern sky, extracting the last rays of ripening energy at the cool end of the harvest.

It is planted on an intensive vine regime and managed fastidiously by hand on a vine-by-vine basis. The Tiers vines are now over 40 years old and in perfect balance with their environment at the low crop level of 5 tonnes/hectare. The vines are slowly devigorating with age as expected and the grape quality is ever increasing minutely year by year.

The Croser family planted the first vines in the Tiers Vineyard in 1979, the first vineyard planted in the Adelaide Hills region in the 20th century.

The Tiers Vineyard is in the centre of the Adelaide Hills in the Piccadilly Valley under the Eastern shadow of Mount Lofty. The Piccadilly Valley is one of the few genuine homo-climes of Burgundy in Australia. When Brian and Ann Croser took their young family to the Piccadilly Valley in 1978 to establish the Petaluma winery, they purchased the 7-hectare property they named The Tiers as their home and the site for a revolutionary Chardonnay vineyard.

The property was named The Tiers in recognition of the name the 1836 pioneers gave to the central Adelaide Hills in as seen from the Adelaide plain. The original name for the Piccadilly Valley was The Tiers Valley. 3 hectares of adjacent low-lying land was purchased for the establishment of the Petaluma winery.

Altitude 450m ASL
Latitude 35º 00’S
Dominant influences Altitude / Southern Ocean
Heat Summation 1023°C days (Mount Lofty)
Daily range 8.6°C
Humidity @3pm-56%
Sunshine Hours 1771
Growing Season Rain 337 mm
Dominant soil Red-brown clay loam, duplex soil
Geology 1.6 billion years-old Calc Silicate (Barossa Complex)
Homoclime Puligny Montrachet
Favoured Variety Chardonnay

The first planting of The Tiers Vineyard was with the Davis Chardonnay clone OF, a heat-treated version of the Davis clone 1 now known in Australia as the Gingin clone. Davis Chardonnay 1 was exported to Western Australia in 1954 by Professor Harold Olmo, Brian’s viticulture Professor at the University of California, Davis.
The second planting at The Tiers in 1980 was supposed to be OF clone but the Australian Wine Research Institute has since typed it as an unknown clone, not related to the Davis imports or any other of the clones they examined. It may well have arrived from the eastern states in the rush of Chardonnay plantings of the early 1980’s and may relate to some of the first introductions of Chardonnay to New South Wales in the early to mid 1800’s. It is a unique clone!

More on that story later.

In 1979 The Tiers Vineyard was a radical vineyard by Australian standards planted on a close spacing regime of 2.1 meters between rows and 1.5 meters between plants in the row (3175 vines/hectare), then the closest spaced vineyard on the Australian mainland. The vines are hand pruned to two canes of 8 buds and 2 replacement spurs of 2 buds, 20 buds/vine and 63,500 buds/hectare. As the vines have aged their vigour has declined and over 40 years the number of buds per hectare has dropped from 90,000 to 63,500 even as grape quality has inexorably increased.

Foliage wires hold the vine canopy vertically, a further revolutionary aspect of The Tiers vineyard design in 1979.

Traditionally the Piccadilly Valley was considered too cool and wet for grape growing and The Tiers Vineyard design was viewed by onlookers as too expensive to establish and too costly to operate for an economic return.

This scepticism was at first justified when the first flowerings of the new Tiers Vineyard failed in 1983 and 1984 because of what later proved to be unusually cold and windy conditions at flowering time in late November, in both years. Since then, failure of fruit set at flowering has been an infrequent event.

The key to unlocking the quality potential of the Tiers terroir is the 63,500 buds/hectare to achieve proper vine balance and control of vigour in the benign Piccadilly Valley environment. The close row spacing allows those buds to be dispersed along enough fruiting wire to create an open canopy and establish sufficient leaf area to fully ripen the 1.6 kilograms of fruit/vine, representing a crop level of 5 tonnes/hectare.

The Croser family commitment to the continued unique quality of the Chardonnay fruit from the Tiers Vineyard was demonstrated by the difficult decision to remove the original 1979 OF clone Chardonnay planting and to replant in 2003 with Dijon Chardonnay clones on rootstocks and even closer spacing of 4,444 vines/hectare.

These fruit from these younger vines is used to make Tapanappa Tiers 1.5m Chardonnay.

The 2022 Vintage at Tapanappa

The Tiers Vineyard was planted in 1979, the first vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley since the 19th century. The vineyard is close-spaced and vertical canopy, the first of this quality focussed design in Australia. The clone of Chardonnay in “old” Tiers is of unknown origins but probably relates to the first introduction of Chardonnay vines to Australia in the 19th century.

Like the 2021 vintage before it, the 2022 vintage in the Piccadilly Valley as “near perfect”. The 2022 vintage was marginally warmer, 1176C-days, versus the long-term average of 1098C-days.

We have now had three successive cooler vintages, (indeed 4 as I observe the evolving 2023 vintage), after the near unrelenting warmth of the previous decade of vintages.

The Chardonnay crop was very modest in the Tiers old block at 5 tonnes/hectare.

The Chardonnay grapes in the 43-year-old Tiers Vineyard ripened in still and cool air, sunny conditions, ideal autumnal weather.

Tiers Vineyard old block yielded up its exceptional quality fruit on the 6th and 7th of April, two weeks later than average.

In the Winery

The hand harvested Chardonnay grapes from the Tiers Vineyard 1.5M block, were chilled in trays in the cold-room to 2C.

The cold grapes were tipped into our gentle air-bag presses and the whole fruit pressed juice was pumped to tank before being gravitated to French oak barriques (one third new) for fermentation. The fermentation lasted two months in the cool autumn conditions. The wine was barrel aged on full lees until December of 2022 when it was clear racked from barrique and bottled.

In-bottle analysis :

pH 2.98

Total Acid 8.0 g/L

SO2 128ppm

Volatile Acid 0.37 gpl

Alcohol 13.5 %


“Tiers Chardonnay is a unique expression of a noble variety and a distinguished site vineyard.”

Where in the World is Tapanappa?

95+ Points

I looked at this over the course of 48 hours, by accident rather than by design, and I much preferred it with a bit of air in it. It’s driven by limey acidity and while its quality is clear from the outset, it really comes into its own once its pear flavours are allowed to reach full voice, and its sweet-spicy oak settles in, and its tinned peach characters reach an equal pitch to the lime-like notes. It’s then a glorious chardonnay, flavoursome and refreshing, long and sophisticated, full of run and yet measured and controlled at the same time.

Campbell Mattison, TWF

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Tapanappa Wines, Spring Gully Road, Piccadilly SA, Australia

Picadilly Valley
Adelaide Hills
South Australia