German-born Axel Heinz is leaving Tenute Ornellaia ***** and Masseto this summer after 17 years as winemaker. During his tenure, both became some of Italy's most sought-after wines and achieved top ratings from international wine critics on several occasions. Together with Sassicaia, they have been continuously listed in the Liv-ex Power 100 ranking of the most important wines on the global secondary market since 2010.
Heinz studied at the University of Bordeaux and worked in St Emilion before taking over the management of the two famous Bolgheri estates. He separated Masseto from Ornellaia and established it as an independent winery. At Ornellaia he introduced several white wines, at Masseto the second wine Massetino.
The chairman of Ornellaia, Giovanni Geddes da Filicaia, describes the Heinz era as "decisive years for the success and development of our wineries. It is thanks to Axel's professional qualities as director and winemaker, but also to his personal qualities, that Ornellaia and Masseto are so successful thanks to the blessing of nature and the enormous passion and experience of a great team", he said.
Axel Heinz thanked Giovanni Geddes and the Frescobaldi family, which owns both wineries. He said it had been an honour to contribute to the success of the two wineries, but now it was time to return to France. He will take over the management of Margaux-Château Lascombes *** in Bordeaux. In an interview with Wine Spectator, he said: "In life, there are moments when you feel you have to make important steps. For personal, family and professional reasons, it was time to return home. I'm half Bordelaise, so it was time to make the move."
(al / sources: drinksbusiness, Wine Specator)