About Mark

mark haisma winemakingMark Haisma does not make predictable wine. He does not aim for consistency, or familiarity, or safety when he makes wine. You will never be able to pick up a bottle of par Mark Haisma and know before you open it exactly what you're going to get. Mark Haisma makes wine because he loves it. He loves the crack of frost on the vines in the winter, the curl of a new shoot as the weather starts to warm and the feeling of the soft grapes in his hands when he picks. He is obsessive about vine quality, vicious about interventionist winemaking and a pain to be with during vintage. The wines he makes are the expression of a moment when the many facets of the terroir in which he works meet his own idiosyncrasies. To taste the wine is to see the man and his deep respect for the traditions within which he works. 

Bearing a deep seated dislike of winemaking techniques which seek to ignore the nature of the fruit produced in the vineyard, his natural winemaking style chimes with that of the traditional Burgundian vigneron. He has no interest in drinking or producing wines which are loaded up with wood, having been pulped and shredded by a chain of machines on their way from vineyard to bottle. A wine science degree was of no use to him with its emphasis on irrigation formulae, fertiliser application schedules and mass market production techniques so instead he trained under the legendary Dr. Bailey Carrodus at Yarra Yering in Australia's Yarra Valley, a man famous for tipping down the drain entire vintages which did not meet his exacting standards.  
Mark believes that making great wine is always about taking a risk, and that while many people do go about winemaking in a clinical way focussed on numbers and facts, the way he makes wine is concerned with transporting the drinker to another place. He is obsessed with every part of the winemaking process - the picking, the sorting, the vat selection, the ferment and how to handle it, when to press, what casks to use - but combines his control freakery with an instinctive understanding of the song of the grapes as they move from vineyard to winery to barrel.
Mark may not be conventional, or predictable, or even that easy to get on with sometimes, but what he does is make wine with a passion and commitment  that can be smelled when you open the bottle. His wines will always be beautifully crafted, will always be a true expression of their terroir and will always represent the marriage of a man and the land that no supermarket distribution deal may put asunder. Amen.

 1. Bruno Clavelier 'Transcending Terroir', from "Terroir and the Winegrower" by Jacky Rigaux