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Masseto and Ornellaia’s new production director announced

We now know the answer to one of the most frequently posed questions in the fine wine world over the last year – namely, who will replace Axel Heinz as Ornellaia and Masseto’s production director. 

In a statement released yesterday evening, Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of Ornellaia and Masseto reveals that, from January 2024, the multi-talented Marco Balsimelli will take on this prestigious role for these twin superstars of the Supertuscan firmament, both owned by the Frescobaldi family.

This is a fascinating choice. Balsimelli is, as yet, far from a household name. But he is a skilled technician with an incredible pedigree and considerable natural talent. He has worked alongside and learned his craft from the truly great. Born in 1983, Balsimelli studied oenology and viticulture at the University of Florence before leaving for Bordeaux, where he graduated from the prestigious Faculté d’Oenologie.

He gained considerable experience in different châteaux, including most recently at Château Gruaud Larose in Saint Julien. Since 2010, he has worked as an consultant oenologist with Eric Boissenot, whose clients include an extensive list of Bordeaux’s glitterati as well as many of the leading wineries outside of France.

Geddes da Filicaja said: “We are delighted to welcome Marco Balsimelli to Ornellaia and Masseto as part of a team of expertise and experience. Every vintage of Ornellaia and Masseto is a product of meticulous day-to-day work to which dozens of people are dedicated in defining the final excellence.”

Lamberto Frescobaldi, President of Frescobaldi, said: “Ornellaia and Masseto represent Italian pride worldwide and we like the idea that an internationally minded Italian will assist us in writing the next chapters.”

Marco Balsimelli said: “I would like to thank Giovanni Geddes and Lamberto Frescobaldi for their esteem and trust. It is an incredible honour for me to be called to be part of the team of such prestigious wineries.

“It is an exciting challenge. By taking care of the smallest details and working with top professionals, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, we will emphasize the essence of this place and continue to make an important contribution to the Ornellaia and Masseto stories.”

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