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Burn Cottage

Burn Cottage is a 24 hectare estate in Central Otago on the South Island of New Zealand. It has been owned by Marquis Sauvage and his wife Dianne since 2002. They also own the renowned Koehler Ruprecht estate in the Pfalz region of Germany, as well as several fine wine importing and wholesaling companies in the USA. When Burns Cottage was bought at auction, it was a sheep paddock, although the land was perfect for grape-growing, there were no vines on the property. The Sauvages contacted Ted Lemon, the owner and wine maker of California's Littorai Wines for help with their project. Ted was a proponent of biodynamic principles and proposed that Burns Cottage be fully biodynamically farmed from its inception, something that no one was doing in Central Otago at that time. So the Sauvages turned to one of the world's foremost authorities on biodynamics, New Zealander Peter Proctor. The first vines were planted in 2003, and now Burn Cottage have 10 hectares of land under vine planted with many different clones of Pinot Noir on a variety of rootstocks. There are also small amounts of Riesling and Gruner Veltliner. They take a minimal intervention approach to winemaking, allowing their different blocks to reveal their personalities through the wines. The grapes are hand-picked and they avoid the use of cultured yeasts and racking when possible, and wine work is done according to lunar and celestial rhythms. Each vineyard block is fermented separately in a combination of open wooden and stainless steel fermenters, and they only use 20 to 30% new oak, preferring oak to support the wine and not be overtly noticeable. About 11 months in barrel they taste and select the wines that will be bottled unfined and unfiltered as either Burn Cottage, Moonlight Rave or Valli Vineyard.