News story

September 2016

Knowledge is the foundation for every Bollinger Medal winner

During the feverish activity of the 2016 Champagne harvest, another side to Champagne Bollinger was glimpsed this September, that of fostering and promoting educational excellence within the wine industry. The Madame Bollinger Foundation, founded to honour the memory of Madame Lily Bollinger, became the first partner of the Institute of Masters of Wine in 1988, and has since awarded the Bollinger Medal for excellence in tasting and outstanding achievement in the Institute of Masters of Wine practical examinations.

The 2015 medal was awarded by the Foundation’s Chairman, and great-nephew of Madame Bollinger, Etienne Bizot, to Rebecca Gibb MW, a British journalist who is currently wine editor of international wine and luxury magazine Le Pan. Rebecca and her family visited Bollinger to enjoy a tour of the cellars and an extensive tasting with cellar master Gilles Descotes before lunch was taken Madame Bollinger’s home.

Bollinger medal winner

Awarded since 1988 to Masters of Wine including Gerard Basset MW, Essi Avellan MW and Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, the Bollinger Medal remains one of the most coveted prizes at the Institute of Masters of Wine Awards, held each year in November.


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