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Anne Claude Leflaive wins Winemakers’ Winemaker Award 2014

Today, the Institute of Masters of Wine and international publication The Drinks Business announced Anne Claude Leflaive as the recipient of the 2014 Winemakers’ Winemaker Award.

The award, which was inaugurated in 2011, recognises outstanding achievement in the field of winemaking, and is voted on by a panel of winemaking peers that comprises all Masters of Wine who are winemakers plus the award’s past winners: Peter Sisseck of Dominio de Pingus (2011), Peter Gago of Penfolds (2012), and Paul Draper of Ridge (2013).

In a video message accepting the award, Anne Claude Leflaive said: “I am very happy and proud to be selected for this award by my fellow winemakers and Masters of Wine. For me, it was a great surprise and a great honour. I think the respect of other winemakers around the world comes from the fact that this is a family Domaine that has been built up over three generations. We care for our wines like children – but for me the most important thing is to have good grapes and work with respect in the vineyards.”

Anne-Claude’s grandfather, Joseph Leflaive, bought 24 hectares of vines in Puligny-Montrachet in 1905 in the aftermath of the phylloxera crisis, and set to work replanting and re-establishing the blighted vineyards. Her father Vincent, who took over along with his brother Joseph in 1953, cemented a growing reputation, and put the wines of Domaine Leflaive onto the tables of the best restaurants in France.

Anne Claude herself became joint manager in 1990, prior to taking overall control of the Domaine in 1994. Three years later she made the decision to convert to biodynamic winemaking, building a reputation and passion for sustainability and ecological balance in the vineyard.

In presenting the award, Jean-Michel Valette MW, chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine said:

“We are delighted to honour Anne Claude Leflaive, a winemaker who combines a deep respect for family and tradition with the courage and conviction to embrace wholesale change. Her care and respect for her craft have won the admiration of her peers; the love she invests in her vineyards and wines is evident in the glass.”


For enquiries about this release please contact:
Ben McKeown
Communications Manager, Institute of Masters of Wine
T: +44 (0)207 383 9131

Cult wines and legendary winemakers combine for an unforgettable tasting

Delegates at the Institute of Masters of Wine 8th International Symposium will not only get to taste five legendary wines at one incredible tasting, but also to meet the inspirational figures behind the wines.

Anne-Claude Leflaive (Domaine Leflaive), Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja (Tenuta dell’Ornellaia), Bill Harlan (Harlan Estate), Stephen Henschke (Henschke), and Peter Sisseck (Pingus) will be sharing a stage for the first time to talk about their wines, before the wines themselves are served in a walk-around tasting.

The five speakers at this session, who are coming to Florence from France, Italy, Spain, the United States, and Australia, represent some of the most iconic names in current winemaking. It’s very unlikely that this tasting will ever be repeated.

This is a unique opportunity to meet five top figures in the wine world and learn about their inspirational journeys to success. Not only that, but this is also your opportunity to taste the legendary wines that they produce.

Full-price tickets for the Symposium (EUR 995.00 plus IVA, with discounts for Masters of Wine, MW students, and some press) and spouse tickets, which give access to the evening events (priced at EUR 220.00 plus IVA) are available from Alexandra Runciman:

Once in a lifetime chance to meet the Masters of Winemaking

20 Master of Wine winemakers are to serve their own wines at a walk-around tasting that will be the first of its kind.

The tasting, which will take place on 15 May 2014, during the Institute’s 8th International Symposium in Florence, will reflect the global reach of the Master of Wine family. MW Winemaking expertise from France, Germany, Austria, the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, and South Africa will be on show.

Internationally-known names in winemaking taking part include Olivier Humbrecht MW (Domaine Zind-Humbrecht), Fiona Morrison MW (L’IF, St. Emilion), Steve Smith MW (Craggy Range), and Alastair Maling MW (Villa Maria).

“This has been a fascinating tasting to organise,” said convenor Cathy van Zyl MW, who has been putting the tasting together in conjunction with Jane Hunt MW of Hunt & Coady. “The desire from MW winemakers and MW winery owners to share their wines with fellow wine professionals and lovers is high, and so we’ve been able to put close to 40 interesting and really very good wines on the table for Symposium delegates to enjoy.

“This alone should make it one of the more fascinating tastings of the weekend but, given that the MW winemakers will be present and pouring their own wines add to its allure. The opportunity to gain insight into their inspiration and wine-making approach is unprecedented. If anyone is sitting on the fence about attending the Symposium, this tasting should sway them!”

Alastair Maling MW, who was born and raised in Hawkes Bay, is the General Manager, Winemaking and Viticulture at Villa Maria, New Zealand. Alastair says: “Getting the chance to take our wines to the MW Symposium is an opportunity many would kill for. We’re not showing the wines one would expect from New Zealand – instead I am showing a Chardonnay and a Cabernet/Merlot blend – but both are great examples of what New Zealand can do, and in particular will show a sense of place or terroir which I’m hoping will surprise a few.”

Olivier Humbrecht MW completed a degree in oenology in Toulouse in 1987 and became the first French Master of Wine in 1989. In the same year he assumed responsibility for winemaking at his family business in Alsace, Domaine Zind Humbrecht. Of the tasting, Olivier said “This will be a completely unique event. To gather so many MW winemakers from around the world at the same place is quite something. The selection of wines will be at the same high level as the general organization of the Symposium, and of the beauty of the venue. I can’t wait!”

The tasting, which closes the first afternoon of the Symposium, will be followed by dinner at the fabulous Palazzo Corsini, overlooking the River Arno.

Tickets for the Symposium are priced at EUR 995.00 plus IVA, with discounts for Masters of Wine, Institute students, and some press.