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Axel Heinz leaves Ornellaia to join Château Lascombes

Heinz will take up his new role at the Margaux second growth estate at the end of the summer after 18-years at Italian properties Ornellaia and Masseto.

Axel Heinz, the longtime director of Ornellaia and Masseto, is leaving Tuscany for Bordeaux to take up a new position at Château Lascombes, classified second growth in Margaux.

It was announced yesterday (23rd March), that Heinz was stepping down as estate director at Ornellaia and Masseto. His role will officially come to an end this summer.

Heinz joined the Bolgheri estate in 2005. His 18-year tenure was marked by ‘massive development and success’ said CEO Giovanni Geddes, which, he added, were due to ‘Axel’s professionalism and technical, communicative and human abilities’.

The President of Marchesi Frescobaldi, Lamberto Frescobaldi, added that a ‘strong team will remain at Ornellaia and Masseto, which has worked side-by-side with Axel for many productive years’.

Heinz added: ‘It has been an incredible honour to contribute to the success of Ornellaia and Masseto in these years and I’d like to thank Giovanni Geddes and the Frescobaldi family for this invaluable journey. I have had the chance to manage these astonishing vineyards and two innovative wineries, which have allowed us to bottle the fruits from a terroir that expresses all the elegance of the Mediterranean. Now the moment has come to return to France. Bolgheri, Ornellaia and Masseto will always remain in my heart.’

Today, 24th March, it was announced that Heinz would be joining Château Lascombes as estate director in time to oversee the 2023 harvest.

Lawrence Wine Estates acquired the property in November of last year, with promises to ‘spare no expense to ensure we bring it to its full potential’.

CEO Carlton McCoy said of the new appointment: ‘Axel is a master of his art and the work he accomplished while in charge of Ornellaia and Masseto drove the reputation of these already well-regarded estates to new heights.

‘I am delighted to work with Axel to help Château Lascombes reach its full potential and make it one of the greatest domains in the world.’

The move appears a natural fit for Heinz. Not only is he well acquainted with the soil types and grape varieties – especially Merlot – that Bolgheri and Bordeaux share, but his mother was from the region; he grew up there, studied at the University of Bordeaux and took his first oenological roles at estates in the Médoc and Saint-Emilion.

Heinz commented: ‘I am happy and honoured to be joining Château Lascombes. After 18 years in Tuscany, it is time to come home. With Gaylon Lawrence and Carlton, I have every intention of creating the next great chapter for this historic Bordeaux domain.’

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