The Madame Bollinger Foundation Celebrates 30 Years with the Institute of Masters of Wine
In 1988, Christian Bizot founded the Madame Bollinger Foundation to recognise the contribution and values of his aunt, Madame Bollinger. The mission of the foundation; to foster the highest standards in wine education.
That same year the Foundation partnered with the Institute of Masters of Wine, and the inaugural Madame Bollinger Medal for the most outstanding performance during the practical tasting examination was presented to Michael Hill-Smith MW.
One Thursday in May, 30 years on, the recipients of this illustrious award were invited to London by Chairman Etienne Bizot, great-nephew of Madame Bollinger, to celebrate the anniversary.
Bizot commented “When my father launched the “Madame Bollinger Foundation” at Vintners Hall in 1988, the purpose was to foster quality, education and ethics in all matters relating to wine at an international level. The Institute of Masters of Wine is without question the leading reference in this field, and 30 years on, the Madame Bollinger Foundation remains loyal to its support to the Institute. Within these last 30 years, the Institute has continued to open its doors and is now gathering Masters of Wine from all over the world. I am therefore very pleased to celebrate with our award winners this anniversary in honour of my Great-Aunt Madame Bollinger.”
This special reunion brought together 17 of 29 Masters of Wine who have been awarded the Madame Bollinger medal with proud winners flying in from around the globe to attend the event at Mark’s Club in London (Toni Paterson MW made a 17,000km journey all the way from Australia especially for the occasion, a long way to come for lunch)!
Being awarded the Madame Bollinger medal has been a source of great pride for all, Mark Pardoe MW summed it up perfectly: “Everyone in this room would agree that the Madame Bollinger Medal is the medal you want to achieve, and without the support of Etienne and his family through the Madame Bollinger Foundation we would not be here. The pride and camaraderie of the MW community has manifested in this room today, and we thank you for bringing us all together for this extraordinary celebration.”
An occasion as unique as this called for equally distinguished wines, and the Bollinger family cellar provided magnums of the rare Bollinger La Cote aux Enfants 2009, a 100% Grand Cru pinot noir from Aÿ, of which only 150 bottles were produced. However, perhaps the highlight for many was the blind tasted Bollinger R.D. 1976 en magnum.
Madame Bollinger Medal Winners
1988 – Michael Hill Smith MW, 1989 – Mark Pardoe MW, 1990 – Joanna Locke MW, 1991 – Alun Griffiths MW, 1992 – Jonathan Pedley MW, 1993 – Andrew Caillard MW, 1994 – John Hoskins MW, 1995 – Peter Marks MW, 1996 – Matthew Stubbs MW, 1997 – Anne Tupker MW, 1998 – Gerard Basset MW, 1999 – John Atkinson MW, 2001 – Linda Jotham MW, 2002 – Konstantinos Lazarakis MW, 2003 – Toni Paterson MW, 2004 – Simon Larkin MW, 2005 – Susan Hulme MW, 2006 – Essi Avellan MW, 2007 – Ulf Sjodin MW, 2008 – Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, 2009 – Isabelle Legeron MW, 2010 – Alex Hunt MW, 2011 – Samantha Caporn MW, 2012 – Andreas Wickhoff MW, 2013 – Anne McHale MW, 2014 – Louise Sydbeck MW, 2015 – Rebecca Gibb MW, 2016 – Mary Margaret McCamic MW & 2017 – Jeremy Cukierman MW