Burn Cottage Tasting with Marquis Sauvage

Remarkable site that the fruit is grown on here. Verdant, buzzy with Bambi-like scenes of animals and flowers and insects and stuff. Biodynamic farming loads of care, a selected place to grow great grapes. Good ingredients. Clever winemaker, Claire Mullholland, and in the mix the wonderful consultant in Ted Lemon from Littorai, California. MIKE BENNIE

Marquis Sauvage is the hard-rocking owner and visionary behind Burn Cottage. Hailing from Kansas, Marquis and Dianne Sauvage have successfully operated and owned several wine distribution firms in the United States as well as being owners of the celebrated Koheler Ruprecht estate in Pflaz, Germany. Clearly a couple with a keen eye to spot great potential, they were so taken by New Zealand and its wines during a casual visit in 2001, they couldn't pass up an opportunity to establish a winery in Otago.

The site, originally grazing land, sits in a protected amphitheatre, much coveted in the region for its shelter from both the northerly and southerly winds. As Marquis likes to say, "he had visited enough great vineyards around the world and this one had the right look". After purchasing the property at auction in 2002 the Sauvages brough on Ted Lemon of Littorai fame to consult on establishing the vineyards, wine-making and of course bio-dynamics.

While Ted has only recently left as consultant, head winemaker, Claire Mullholland (Amisfield and Martinborough Vineyards) continues too engage a philosophy which has overseen a string of very successful Pinot vintages. Since the winery's inception she has been one of the driving forces at this special site. Together with the Sauvages and Ted, they have turned Burn Cottage into one of Otago's great success stories.