On the blogby Alfred
October 1 2019

Pascal Marchand, winemaker

by Pasquale Charland

Pascal Marchand is this hearty and passionate Quebec-born man with a wonderful and inspiring personality that managed to make his dream a reality. As an aspiring poet, he ends his literature studies in the 1980’s and decides, like many other of his generation, to leave his home province to participate in harvests. He chose Burgundy and, rapidly, he fell in love with the region; he never returned from his trip.

He will learn in many different domains before he is hired, in his early twenties, as a winemaker by the Compte Armand, for the prestigious domain of Les Clos des Épenaux, in the Pommard appellation.After many years of hard work, he manages to bring back the domain back to its former glory and that achievement was what he needed to create his own domain in 2006.

He was not seen positively by his fellow winemaker colleagues and many of them did not expect a long lifespan for his biodynamic domain that was, for many, a completely crazy project. Through his perseverance, hard work, patience and his passion for wine in his region that feels like home to him, he succeeded by being earning his spot as one of the greats of Burgundy by producing very high quality wines… biodynamically!

Since 2010, he is partnered with Moray Tawse and together, they own the Maison Marchand-Tawse based in one of the most difficult regions of France to master. With his success, he has earned the respect of all, but the path to success has not been exempt of various obstacles…

The life of a winemaker is not easy and filled with risks. Pascal, an autodidact, learned all about this in 2016 when the filmmaker David Eng decides to contact him to create a movie that could transpose his extraordinary story to the big screen. He met him with a film project that was quickly changed according to the exceptional meteorological events that happened in 2016 (freezing temperatures, hail and torrential rains – pretty much everything that could have happened did!).

The director, David Eng, wanted to make a movie that could be watched by the wine experts and novices alike, in order to cater to the large crowd of people interested in learning more about the wine world. This was fantastically achieved, with a movie that evokes the horrendous weather of the 2016 vintage in which we can observe the incredible work of the team to produce wines in this heartwarming story that showcases all of the difficulties that accompany a decision to elaborate wines biodynamically.

Even through all of this and the upcoming challenges, Pascal does not see himself anywhere else; neither does he plan on returning to Quebec permanently. What about his career as a poet? He still plans on writing someday… but he didn’t mention when.

If you did not see this movie titled Grand Cru released in 2016, it is a must see! While you wait, here are a few photos of his domain.

AlfredThe sommeliers community in your pocket.

Begin your Alfred journey today: Sign Up