Vintage Cellars

Meet the maker: Ella Hoban, sparkling winemaker from Croser

Just as the party season is starting to pop, we meet one of the talented winemakers behind one of Australia’s go-to sparkling wines.


Australian sparkling wine enthusiasts will be pleased Croser winemaker Ella Hoban’s childhood ambitions to be prime minister were shelved in favour of creating incredible bottles of sparkling. Croser is a household name that has fuelled multiple toasts across the country, from special moments to everyday occasions, and we meet the person behind the bubbles.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

“I wanted to be a heart surgeon or Australia’s first female prime minister.”

How did wine come into your life?

“I grew up in a family of publicans and wine was always part of family events. I remember we’d go to my uncle’s on Wednesday nights and play tennis – we’d all be eating and the parents would be sharing wines together.”

What did they drink?

“My grandmother only drank two things: Veuve Clicquot and Petaluma Riesling – we called it Patti-luma Riesling because her name was Patricia. My grandparents owned a pub and in those days, great Australian wines were available on allocation to their pub, and they ended up with an impressive cellar. Since they died, we’ve opened a bottle from their cellar every Christmas Day.”

So how did you end up in winemaking and not politics?

“I was on a gap year, about to go to Europe before I started an art-science double-degree. I was wondering, ‘What on earth am I going to do with my life?’ I was having a glass of wine, flicking through a careers book and saw a viticulture and oenology degree and thought ‘that sounds like a good time’ – and I got lucky from picking something that just felt right.”

Why sparkling?

“I’ve made white wine and sparkling throughout my career, but looking back I can see that I was always destined to pursue sparkling. I love that it’s quite a complex process. A table wine has one fermentation, whereas once we get sparkling into a bottle, you have a second round of fermentation. For me, there’s something really special about how sparkling wines change depending on how long you leave them on lees [the process of letting sparkling wines mature with yeast from secondary fermentation] and I love to drink sparkling wines because of that.”

What have been your most special sparkling wine memories?

“My brother had Croser Blanc de Blancs at his engagement party and I was at a wedding recently where Croser Non Vintage was the sparkling wine – it’s so cool when people want to use something you’ve created to celebrate a special event.”

How has the way Australians drink sparkling changed?

“I’ve been really excited to see people in more recent times choose to celebrate everyday moments with sparkling wines. It’s not just for engagements and weddings and promotions – I think it’s to do with being in a post-COVID world where people want to celebrate the everyday moments of connection with family and friends. It helps that products like Croser Non Vintage are really accessible.”

Now try these buys

Get to know the Croser range of great-tasting sparkling wines made in the Adelaide Hills.


Croser NV: Bright, crisp and refreshing, this bottle boasts the classic Adelaide Hills’ strawberries-and-cream flavour. Enjoy with cheese platters and canapes.


Croser Vintage Sparkling: Wild strawberry with buttery nectarine, citrus and biscotti hints, this elegant, fine-structured bottle is a perfect pour with natural oysters.


Croser Blanc de Blancs: “Bright, fresh grapefruit mix with subtle cashew and pastry flavours, to create an elegant, textured sparkling that perfectly matches a cheese board or roast chicken.


Products featured are available from 11/10/23 to 14/11/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.