It was during dinner at the Rôtisserie du Chambertin in the village of Gevrey that we first saw the power of the Ozgundian renaissance. The restaurant is a self-conscious celebration of classical Burgundian food, a place dedicated to reviving dishes like pâté en croûte and service from the dessert trolley, and it was packed with locals and wine business insiders. As the room buzzed with deals being made, in strode Mark Haisma. A tall Australian, tanned and bearded, we already knew and liked his wines, but had not appreciated his impact on the village of Gevrey. He had, said our local guest, considerably improved the standard of the local rugby.
Mark is one of the small band of Australian winemakers living the dream in Burgundy. Of his peers, he is the most thoroughly incorporated into Burgundian life: he is the Prince of the Ozgundians. In this masterclass he will be presenting:
2014 St Romain Les Jarrons Blanc
2014 Volnay `Les Grands Poisots`
2014 Pommard 1er Cru Arvelets
2013 Nuits-St Georges `La Charmotte`
2013 Gevrey-Chambertin `La Croix des Champs`
2013 Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru Chaffots
Plus a couple of back vintage surprises straight from Mark's own cellar.
It was in Australia that Mark first cut his teeth in the wine world. For a decade he was the winemaker at iconic Yarra Valley estate Yarra Yering, working with Dr Bailey Carrodus. Carrodus was one of the defining figures of twentieth-century Australian winemaking, a research botanist and oenological autodidact who was a pioneer of the Yarra Valley. As a mentor he instilled in Mark the importance of recognising—and working with—beauty in the natural world, something he credits with allowing him to make distinctly “Burgundian” wine as an outsider in his adopted home.
Like his fellow Australians in Burgundy, Mark works as what is known as a micro-negocient. He sources grapes from growers, searching for people who meet his aspirations for quality and sustainability in their viticulture, and then vinifies it himself with scrupulous attention to detail. The wines are pure and silky, with a lovely savoury character.