Oddly Enough

Lloyd's insures winemaker's nose

A woman pours wine into a glass at the International Trade Fair Wines and Spirits 'ProWein 2007' in Duesseldorf March 19, 2007. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

LONDON (Reuters) - The Lloyd’s of London insurance market has insured the nose of a leading wine maker and taster for 5 million euros (3.9 million pounds), covering the Bordeaux producer against the loss of his nose and sense of smell.

Lloyd’s is famous for creating policies for giant corporations but also for insuring celebrity limbs, from Fred Astaire’s legs to the hands of Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards.

It said on Tuesday that Ilja Gort, the Dutch owner of Chateau de la Garde in Bordeaux, producer of Tulipe Wines, said his nose could distinguish millions of different scents and was essential to guarantee the quality of his wines.

“The nose and sense of smell of a winemaker are as important as the fingers of a chef,” Jonathan Thomas, lead underwriter at Watkins Syndicate who co-insured the policy.

Lloyds worked with Allianz Nederland and British reinsurance broker Benfield to create the policy, co-insured by Watkins.

Gort’s will not be the first nose insured by Lloyd’s, which famously insured U.S. comedian Jimmy Durante’s trademark. It also insures the taste buds of restaurateur Egon Ronay.

Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques