Meet Joachim Skaasen, a native Norweigan who studied at college in Vermont, and today makes wine in Meursault. Living in London and uninspired by his post-college career, he sought solace at a local wine shop, where he discovered the wines of Burgundy producer Maison Harbour.
On a romantic trip to Burgundy, he and his wife, Olivia, a native San Franciscan, visited owner and winemaker Nicholas Barbour, a New England transplant. Joachim asked so many questions that Nick eventually invited him back for the 2017 harvest.
During harvest, Nick encouraged Joachim to check out the local winemaking school in Beaune, the CFPPA (the same school that just about every French winemaker in Offshore’s portfolio attended!). Joachim applied, was accepted, and enrolled, and then convinced Olivia to move out of London to the hamlet of Meursault (that’s true love!).
Savigny les Beaune, and interned alongside Christian Knott (the lesser half of Domaine Dandelion!).
He and Olivia moved into a proper house in Meursault with a cellar on the Place du Murger. He found a manual, vertical basket press, bought two fermentation tanks from the Burgundian foudrerie Marc Grenier, and picked up some used barrels from Nick.
The program required Joachim to complete an internship en alternance; he discovered Chandon de Briailles in
2019 was Joachim’s first vintage in his Meursault cellar. He makes 1-3 barrels each of three wines from three organic vineyard sites - “Les Bas Liards” in Savigny-les-Beaune, “Les Vaux” in Meursault, and a Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc.
All of his wines ferment with native yeast, and he doesn’t add sulphur (except if he feels that he needs to in an extreme circumstance).
His ultimate goal is to own, farm, and make wine from his own slice of heaven in Meursault. Until then, he farms someone else’s slice of heaven - Corton Marechaudes, Corton Bressandes, and Ile de Vergelesses Blanc - as a tâcheron for Chandon de Briailles.