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Ornellaia and Masseto, legends of world wine, bid farewell to winemaker Axel Heinz

Heinz: “it was an honor, thanks to Geddes and Frescobaldi”. Lamberto Frescobaldi: “a strong team remains in the estates. For Axel, doors always open”

A winemaker changing wineries, an important fact nonetheless, is hardly ever news, even in the wine world. But a few extra lines can be spent when the winery, and the wine through which it recounts an idea and a territory, is one of those that represent one of the brightest gems on the Italian scene, and whose wines are among the most established, quoted and desired worldwide. Such is the case with Ornellaia and Masseto, Bolgheri pearls born at the dawn of the 1980s from the genius of Lodovico Antinori - who created Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, later passed for Mondavi and in 2005 under the total aegis of the Frescobaldi group, and then more recently, divided by Masseto - and made great by the managerial genius of Giovanni Geddes, who, after a long collaboration that began in 2005 itself, bids farewell to winemaker and director Axel Heinz, who, with the summer of 2023 (at the end of June, ed.), a note explains, will see his Bolgheri experience come to an end, “and his horizon returns to look to France”.
“It has been a great honor for me to contribute during these years to the successes of Ornellaia and Masseto, and I would like to thank Giovanni Geddes and the Frescobaldi family for this precious journey. I have had the opportunity to direct an incredible heritage of vineyards and two avant-garde wineries”, said Axel Heinz, “that have allowed us to bottle the fruits of a terroir capable of expressing Mediterranean elegance at the highest level. The time has come to return to France. Bolgheri, Ornellaia and Masseto will remain in my heart and Italy, after all these years has become my third homeland, after Germany where I was born and France where I have lived most of my life”.
!Axel Heinz has decided to follow new professional challenges in France”, comments CEO Giovanni Geddes”, after more than 17 years of collaboration with Ornellaia and Masseto. These years have been of enormous development and success, also thanks to the great professionalism and technical, communicative and human skills of Axel, whom I thank as of now for the results achieved. The excellence of Ornellaia and Masseto comes from the benevolence of Nature and the passion and experience of a great team”. The president of Marchesi Frescobaldi, Lamberto Frescobaldi also joined in the thanks, stressing that “at Ornellaia and Masseto the strong team that has been at Axel Heinz's side for so many fruitful years will remain”. A team that, in all likelihood, from what WineNews learns, will, however, be further strengthened when the right figure will be found to replace Axel Heinz.
But if some “gossips”, all internal to the wine world, had already in recent days tried to insinuate rumors of a break between Axel Heinz and the property, dispelling the chatter are the words, to WineNews, of Lamberto Frescobaldi himself: “the doors of our companies for Axel Heinz will remain forever open”. While the myth of Ornellaia and Masseto goes on.
In the meantime, according to what the US magazine “Wine Spectator” exclusively reports, Axel Heinz has been called to the court of Chateau Lascombes, one of the most interesting names in Bordeaux, at Margaux, acquired at the end of 2022 by American entrepreneurs Gaylon Lawrence and Carlton McCoy.

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