Burn Cottage Vineyard
Burn Cottage Vineyard is a farm and winery in the Central Otago region of New Zealand. While it was only founded in 2002, it is already turning heads and producing some of the best wines in the Southern Hemisphere.
Before it became a winery, the property on which Burn Cottage Vineyard now stands was an area for grazing sheep and had been for as long as anyone could remember. There are no neighboring vineyards, but other established wineries in the area already had their eye on the property before it was bought by Marquis and Dianne Sauvage.
The Sauvage family bought the property that currently makes up Burn Cottage Vineyard after husband and wife Marquis and Dianne discovered it while on a trip through the Central Otago region. They had thought long and hard about opening a winery in New Zealand and had fallen in love with the area in a matter of moments, having their heart set on it almost instantly. Being that they already owned the Koehler Ruprecht estate in the Pfalz region of Germany, they knew the ins and outs of the wine world and wine production, so when the property of Burn Cottage Vineyard came up for auction, they bought it and turned it into the much loved winery that it is today.
Using the knowledge their considerable expertise, the Sauvages know that it will still take years to develop the winery to its full potential, but are willing to put in the work required. So far, they haven’t been doing too badly, with the wines coming out of Burn Cottage Vineyard already being hailed as some of the best in New Zealand.
Burn Cottage Vineyard is located on a 24-hectare farm, 10 of which are dedicated solely to the vineyard. Blocks are separated according to the soil and differences in exposure. The Sauvages main aim here is diversity and they believe that the more diversity each block has, the more complex the wines will be.
Currently, 94% of the wines produced here are made from Pinot Noir grapes, with the remaining 6% being made up of Riesling and Gruner-Veltliner.
At Burn Cottage Vineyard, they try to intervene in the winemaking process as little as possible, leaving much of the process to nature and the terroir. They are also working to minimise their sulfur usage and avoid additives whenever they can. They do not use any cultured yeasts, bacteria or nutrient products and filters.
Another aspect of their natural approach is avoiding racking the wines when possible, instead working with their wines in accordance with lunar and celestial rhythms. The whole estate is farmed biodynamically, which means that the land is cared for in accordance with the seasons, weather and the phases of the moon.
The farm is seen as one productive whole and cared for accordingly. Highland Cows graze in the pasture, there is an apiary and olive trees have been planted with a view of producing olive oil in the future. Because the farm works together as one productive whole, it helps the bees pollinate the flowers and allows the cows to graze the pastures, which in turn provides manure for Burn Cottage Vineyard’s composting system. The Sauvage’s vision of an integrated farming system has done them well so far and their vision has the potential to take them a lot further in to future.