A considered perspective

From an early age Pascal Marchand recognised and affirmed the spiritual connection between man and vineyard, the importance of winegrowing to society and culture. In Burgundy and Western Australia the landscapes are radically different but the approach is the same; to utilise sensitive, responsive and thoughtful technique to interpret both vintage and terroir.

Reflection of terroir

Pascal began to work and learn in the vineyards of Burgundy in the 1980’s. He was mentored by experienced and legendary winemakers, including Henri Jayer and Michel Lafarge. He learned how to take the risks required to become a great winemaker, how to interpret the characteristics of a vintage and adapt winemaking practices accordingly. He was encouraged and supported by his youthful peers from some of the great historic Domaines, and together they helped to recover the fortunes of Burgundy from the excesses of overcropped vineyards and synthetic viticulture and refocus their energy towards a natural approach rooted in sustainable, organic viticulture and non-interventionist practices in the cellar.

Now refined, this philosophy translates to the Great Southern region in Western Australia, a unique terroir unencumbered by history and highly receptive to the aspiration to produce profound wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

In the Vineyards

“So many things have changed. First of all, there was a big move toward more natural vine growing, even the push to organic and biodynamic. Instead of relying on technology, we worked the soils to nourish the plant and to give the plant a better sense of its origin, the imprint of terroir.” Pascal Marchand

The landscape of a vineyard is like a volcano, with so much power and potential buried beneath the surface layer. Variegated geology and distinct soil formations pervade both the highly organised patchwork of villages and vineyards in Burgundy and the sparse subregions of the Great Southern. Promoting vine health by nurturing the soil and careful management of pruning and canopy development to obtain a balanced crop are key aspects of our viticultural practice. A gift from the old world to the new has been the introduction of French Pinot Noir clones to our Mount Barrow Vineyard in Mount Barker, providing the strong foundation to craft wines with nuance and complexity.

In the cellars

“Burgundian inspiration and techniques with Australian fruit, beautiful.” Pascal Marchand

The Journey of Pascal Marchand from an inexperienced outsider to an established winemaker in Burgundy and beyond is not a common one. The ability to apply lessons learned from revered legends, and to respect tradition without following it slavishly have nurtured a winemaking approach which is intuitive, sensitive, flexible and pragmatic and which translates seamlessly from the old world to the new.

The honest interpretation of terroir requires careful consideration of the individual qualities and needs of each parcel of fruit taken into the winery, which reflect both the accumulated knowledge of a vineyard and the unique conditions that prevail each growing season. Our winemaking applies the advantages of modern technology within a framework of established traditional methods. Key elements include:

  • Rigorous selection and sorting of fruit in the vineyard and the cellar
  • Judicious use of whole bunches in the press and the fermenter
  • Nurturing the indigenous yeast population and applying its beneficial influence to fermentation
  • A “quiet’ and considered elevage in carefully selected French Oak

All Marchand & Burch wines are bottled under screwcap to ensure they evolve in the bottle with elegance and integrity