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David Bruer’s extraordinary legacy

By Monday 9 October 2023October 14th, 20232 Comments

Highly respected winemaker David Bruer – founder of Temple Bruer Wines in Langhorne Creek – has died at the age of 77.

David was highly regarded in the Australian and international wine industry for his work with organic wine.

His son, Michael, described him as “the most extraordinary” individual.

“He was caring, considerate, gentle… just one of the most extraordinary people I ever met,” Michael said.

“Dad maintained high standards… it was all about quality.

“If the grape quality wasn’t there, it didn’t go into a bottle.

“If Dad had a bee in his bonnet, he wouldn’t let go.

“I think he has left an extraordinary legacy and we will continue to honour that.”

Temple Bruer Wines 2022 Preservative Free Shiraz Malbec won two trophies at the Riverland Wine Show two weeks ago.

“Dad always called the Riverland the engine room of the wine industry,” he said.

“He was always determined to lift it up as a wine region – and the wine that won that trophy was all Riverland fruit.”

Michael said David was diagnosed with bowel cancer in December last year.

Friends Patrick and Judith Iland have submitted the following tribute…

Dave was the Wine Chemistry Lecturer at Roseworthy Agricultural College/Roseworthy College of Advanced Education in the 1970/80s.

It was the time of Peter Dry, Richard Smart, Andrew Ewart, Bob Baker, Bryce Rankine, Andrew Yap, Jim Northey, John Sitters, Peter Shields and myself.

It was a time of change when the Agricultural College was transforming to a College of Advanced Education.

Dave along with the others developed the new course programs for the viticulture, winemaking and wine marketing courses.

Over the years Dave played a significant role in the operation of the Wine/Viticulture group – developing course programs, in management and advisory groups,  and through his teaching and research.

In the mid 1980s Dave resigned from Roseworthy to set up, with his wife Barbara, their wine enterprise Temple Bruer Wines at Langhorne Creek.

Temple Bruer Wines has become one of Australia’s prominent organic wine producers.

Dave was not only an important part of the Roseworthy story, but also of my life story.

I started at Roseworthy in 1976 as Dave’s assistant in the wine chemistry laboratory.

Together we developed the laboratory analysis program for the wine chemistry course.

When Dave left, I was lucky to be appointed as the Lecturer in Wine Chemistry.

I would not have obtained this position without Dave’s support.

He encouraged me to do my Masters Degree (through The University of Adelaide) which I did part time during my early days at Roseworthy.

He supported me through, not only allowing me time to conduct my research, but through his guidance on many aspects of the study.

He was a mentor and a friend.

Dave had a thoughtful scientific mind.

My early days as the Lecturer in Wine Chemistry, I relied heavily on Dave’s lecture notes.

The foundation of the concepts of wine chemistry permeated through my future career and still appear in the analysis books that Judith and I publish.

When Dave left to set up Temple Bruer Wines, we stayed in contact.

When I retired from the University of Adelaide University I spent more time with Dave – visiting and helping him with vineyard tasks.

His vineyard enterprises had now expanded  from Langhorne Creek to Eden Valley and the Riverland.

I would drive to the Riverland with him and discuss matters of viticulture.

He was passionate about organic viticulture and the environment – topics that occupied a lot of our discussions.

He was regarded as one of the experts on organic viticulture.

Again, I learnt much from Dave.

Judith and I will remember Dave and Barbara for their friendship and support that Dave gave us in his teaching and research career and in introducing us into the enjoyment of wine.

He fought a strong and positive battle with his issues with cancer, but in the end the cancer was just too aggressive.

Judith and I spent time with him during his last days.

It is with a sad heart that we write this.

Photo: David Bruer with his son, Michael.


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