08 Nov 12
The Institute of Masters of Wine held its Annual Reception and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday evening at Vintners’ Hall in the City of London.
The largest annual gathering of Masters of Wine came together from all over the world to celebrate a successful year in the life of the Institute, and to honour new Masters of Wine Catriona Felstead MW, Annette Scarfe MW, and Andreas Wickhoff MW.
Jean-Michel Valette MW, Chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine, said:
“For me, this has always been the most special day in the Institute’s calendar. It’s a great joy to come together to welcome new members, reward excellence, and celebrate our stalwarts. It’s particularly appropriate that all of the day’s celebrations took place this year in Vintners’ Hall, which is in a sense the spiritual home of the Institute.”
The awards, each of which is sponsored by a supporter of the Institute, are given in recognition of excellence in a particular area of the Master of Wine exam.
The Villa Maria Award is awarded to the new Master of Wine who showed outstanding knowledge and understanding of viticulture in their exams. Philip Tuck MW of Hatch Mansfield, representing Villa Maria, presented the award to Andreas Wickhoff MW.
The Errazuriz Award is for performance in the Business of Wine examination. Philip Tuck MW presented the award on behalf of Eduardo Chadwick of Viña Errázuriz to Andreas Wickhoff MW.
The Robert Mondavi Winery Award is presented for outstanding performance across all of the Theory papers. Mark de Vere MW, of Constellation Wines, presented the award to Catriona Felstead MW.
The Bollinger Medal is awarded as recognition of outstanding tasting ability. Etienne Bizot of the Mme Bollinger Foundation presented the award to Andreas Wickhoff MW.
The Noval Award, sponsored by Quinta da Noval, part of AXA Millésimes, is awarded for the best Dissertation by a new Master of Wine. Christian Seely, Managing Director of AXA Millésimes, presented the award to Annette Scarfe MW for her dissertation on Ribera del Duero.
The Institute of Masters of Wine Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, is awarded to a candidate who was outstanding in all parts of the exam. Willi Klinger, head of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, presented the award to Andreas Wickhoff MW.
Three Masters of Wine who celebrate their 50th Anniversary this year as members were also recognised for their long service to the Institute and the broader wine trade. Ian Bamford MW, John Brownsdon MW, and David Peppercorn MW all passed their exams and joined the Institute in 1962.
The day of celebrations began with the Annual Claret Tasting, one of the world’s largest annual retrospective tastings of classed growth Bordeaux wines.
This tasting, which is a traditional highlight of the Institute’s calendar, assembled well over a hundred wines from the 2008 vintage. All the wines shown were from Grands Crus Classés properties of the Médoc, including the First Growths, or their right bank equivalents from St. Émilion and Pomerol. A selection of Grands Crus Classés wines from Sauternes and Barsac were also available.
The Master Vintner Michael Cox joined guests for a Champagne reception prior to the Awards Ceremony, and noted in a speech of welcome in the Livery Hall that his grandfather, also a Vintner, had been instrumental in setting up the Institute in 1953.
Following the awards ceremony and reception, the day’s events culminated in a dinner in the Vintners’ Livery Hall, which was attended by the Master Vintner, the Chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine, supporters of the Institute, Masters of Wine and their guests, and Institute staff.
(The picture above shows Willi Klinger of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, Annette Scarfe MW, Andreas Wickhoff MW, Catriona Felstead MW, and Jean-Michel Valette MW, Chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine.)