Forging connections wherever he goes
Burgundy vigneron Pascal Marchand is a legend amongst wine folk, and interviewing him is exciting and terrifying; for a wine geek, it’s the equivalent of a 12-year-old girl being asked to interview Justin Bieber.
Marchand gained his chops after moving to Burgundy in 1983 and getting schooled in Beaune. The following year, the Québec-raised gent was thrust into a winemaking role at Domaine des Comte Armand and, almost instantly, his Pommard Clos des Epeneaux found a place among some of the most coveted bottles of the region.
That’s what they call a quick study.
The genesis of his fame was his move to Domaine de la Vougeraie in 1999, which found him playing in the winery’s various backyards (Musigny, Gevrey-Chambertin and Puligny-Montrachet, to name a few), eventually converting them to biodynamic farming practices and catapulting them to worldwide renown.
In 2006, with the world now well aware of his legend, Marchand started sharing the love even more. Working as a consulting winemaker, he spends most of his time at wineries the world over, from Chile to California and, closer to home, at Ontario’s Le Clos Jordanne.
In Australia, he not only consulted, but partnered with his friend and neighbour in Burgundy, Jeff Burch, to create Marchand & Burch, a much-lauded intercontinental winery doing more biodynamic work with pinot noir and chardonnay in both Western Australia and Burgundy. Friends and colleagues back home in Québec can easily keep tabs on his antipodean project, as the wines are imported by Réserve et Sélection and listed by the SAQ.
He finds himself mostly at home in Burgundy these days, making wine under his new eponymous label, “Pascal Marchand,” which can be found throughout the LCBO in Ontario and in Québec’s SAQ stores.
And although he’s a renowned “flying winemaker,” consulting with wineries around the world, that status has changed — at least for now, he says. “I am very happy where I am, here at home,” Marchand says. “Burgundy excites me and gives me much pleasure; it’s good for me to focus on this pleasure. I’m very lucky to be here.”
Six Degrees Connection:
Photo by Armelle Hudelot
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