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Champagne Bollinger welcomes 2019 Madame Bollinger Medal winner Christine Marsiglio MW

Champagne Bollinger welcomes 2019 Madame Bollinger Medal winner Christine Marsiglio MW

On 4 April, Champagne Bollinger was delighted to welcome the 2019 IMW Madame Bollinger Medal winner, Christine Marsiglio MW, to the House in Aÿ in Champagne. The visit was hosted by Etienne Bizot, president of the Bollinger Family Group (SJB) and chairman of the Madame Bollinger Foundation, and Andrew Hawes, managing director of Mentzendorff and secretary of the Foundation.

Not open to visits from the general public, the trip to the House of Bollinger has historically been an important part of the Medal winner’s prize. They and their family are invited behind the scenes of the great Champagne House to discover the vineyards, history and production methods behind the iconic Bollinger cuvées. Following the visit, a lunch was hosted to honour Christine’s achievements, accompanied by a tasting of several rare cuvées and the official presentation by Etienne Bizot of the Madame Bollinger Medal.

Christine is a Canadian residing in London and, in addition to being awarded the Madame Bollinger Medal for excellence in tasting and outstanding achievement in the MW practical exams in 2019, she was also awarded the Taransaud Tonnellerie Award for her excellent knowledge in the production and handling of wine theory paper. Christine is the head wine educator and resident Master of Wine at Folly Enterprises, the group behind Wine Folly ( and Global Wine Database ( brands.

She has previously worked as a wine educator and programme manager at WSET School London, where she contributed to the development of materials for the newly released WSET Diploma and teaches all WSET levels. Before discovering her love of wine education, Christine was tastings executive at Decanter where she ran panel tastings and helped organise the Decanter World Wine Awards.

Christine said, “It was a great honour to be able to visit Champagne Bollinger and experience the amazing hospitality of Etienne Bizot. It was a truly exceptional day, where I learned so much. I’m very grateful that Bollinger supports the IMW in this way, always encouraging students to strive to be their best with this award. It’s a great reflection on how Bollinger continues today, in everything they do, to be the best.”

Etienne Bizot said, “It was a great pleasure to welcome Christine and her family in Champagne, and it is always an honour to meet the most talented tasters in the world of wine. The Madame Bollinger Medal remains a highly prized award, and I am very happy that the memory of Madame Bollinger can live on in this way.”

The association between the Madame Bollinger Foundation and the IMW dates back over 35 years. Created by Etienne’s father, Christian Bizot, to commemorate the memory of his aunt, Lily Bollinger, the Madame Bollinger Foundation was the original supporter of the IMW in 1987, with the first Madame Bollinger Medal awarded in 1988. The highly prized Medal is presented each year and is awarded for outstanding achievement in the MW practical exams to the candidate with the highest practical exam mark. Today, the Madame Bollinger Foundation remains one of five principal supporters of the IMW.