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Jean-Claude Berrouet wins Winemakers’ Winemaker Award

Published:  20 March, 2018

The Institute of Masters of Wine has awarded Jean-Claude Berrouet, former winemaker at Château Petrus, the 2018 Winemakers’ Winemaker accolade.

The honour, which has been given annually since 2011, recognises outstanding achievement in the field of winemaking, with the winner chosen by Master of Wine (MW) winemakers and previous winners.

To be recognised by the Institute of Masters of Wine and MWs “known across the world for their expertise was a wonderful tribute”, said Berrouet.

“I take great satisfaction from my philosophy of producing classic, traditional wines which have played a major part in the story of the wine regions themselves,” he said, adding “without my wines I am nothing which is why I am so grateful they too are being recognised”.

Born into the world of wine (Château Samion in Lalande-de-Pomerol is the family estate), Berrouet joined Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix in 1964, working at Château Magdelaine, where he remained for the next 44 years.

Renowned for his handling of Merlotin particular, Berrouet was also called in to help launch the Moueix family’s Californian venture, Dominus, in 1982, helping to produce its first vintage in 1983.

In addition to his success in winemaking, Berrouet had been recognised as this year’s winner because he had acted as an inspiration and mentor to many of the MW winemakers and previous winners of the award, said the the Institute of Masters of Wine.

“They have benefited from his expertise through apprenticeships or working the harvest with him, before going to forge their own careers in winemaking.”

Although Berrouet officially retired in 2007, he has not stopped making wine. He manages Samion and Montagne-St-Emilion estate Vieux Château St-André with one of his sons and has also been consulting at various properties around the world.

Berrouet joins Peter Sisseck (2011), Peter Gago (2012), Paul Draper (2013), Anne-Claude Leflaive (2014), Egon Muller (2015), Alvaro Palacios (2016) and Eben Sadie (2017) as winners of the Winemakers' Winemaker Award.