In just over a decade, Thomas Bachelder has made a name for himself as a producer of world class, terroir-based, organic Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the cool climate regions of Burgundy, Oregon and Niagara.
With their two young daughters in tow, Thomas and his wife Mary Delaney have been following their passion to produce terroir revealing wines from these two most noble Burgundian grapes since they met in 1988. The Delaney-Bachelder partnership has held strong since, and the BACHELDER “Three Terroirs” series now makes nearly 15 different Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
Québécois by birth, Thomas’ family hails from the dairy farming belt east of Montréal (l’Éstrie), where the Bachelder family owned two farms. Although born in the city, this early and continued contact with the agricultural life profoundly shaped Thomas’ character.
Initially an aspiring young wine journalist and home winemaker, he ceded to his winemaking passion three years after his marriage, and went off with his young bride to study in Beaune, Bourgogne. There, the idea went, he would become a vigneron and learn to make Pinot Noir. Meanwhile, during his quest, he had an Epiphany in a Chassagne-Montrachet cellar that would make him a lifetime disciple of the noble Chardonnay grape, as well.
Life and work experience at Domaine de la Créa (Beaune); Domaine Marius Delarche (Pernand-Vergelesses/Aloxe-Corton); Ponzi Vineyards (Oregon); Château Génot-Boulanger (Meursault) all formed him.
Subsequent start-ups in Oregon at Lemelson Vineyards, and the Jordan Bench-based Burgundy/ Niagara joint-venture, Le Clos Jordanne, enabled him to discover and honour precious new world terroirs that he believes are just as vital, just as fragile and just as important as their old-world counterpoints. As well, at Le Clos Jordanne for the first seven vintages, Thomas was instrumental in obtaining the coveted ‘Écocert’ Organic certification for all four estate vineyards.
Apart from Bachelder, Thomas is a consultant for several clients in Canada, in Chile (‘RST’ – Echeverria), and most notably in tandem with Domaine Queylus, where he has been on board since 2010.