February 2017 Newsletter


Jane Masters MW (4).pngThe New Year got off to a good start for the Institute as the team moved into our new home on the south bank in London. Our first 'big' test will be the European Course Days for Stage 1 students this month. I hope you have an opportunity to see it for yourself soon and I look forward to seeing many Masters of Wine at our official opening party on 25 April 2017. I would like to thank our office team, in particular Marianne Crocker, for all their extra work and patience working initially in less than ideal conditions – several days with no heating and a stream of workmen.

The residential Seminar season continues and finishes in Bordeaux this month. Last week, San Francisco was a truly wonderful experience with 115 students from Asia, Europe, North and South America, 28 Masters of Wine and huge support from Robert Mondavi Winery, Jackson Family Wines and Napa Valley Vintners who each hosted tastings and dinners. Thank you all! My special thanks to the main organisers Amy Christine MW and Adam Lapierre MW who dedicated so much of their time working with Nancy Johnson and DC Flynt MW who put together an amazing and instructive Burgundy tasting.

Finally, my congratulations to our Vice Chairman Adrian Garforth MW on his recent appointment as CEO of Yealands in New Zealand. This is great news for the Institute and Council. More than ever our elected Council reflects and represents our international membership of Masters of Wine around the world with Adrian, Jane Skilton MW and Cathy Van Zyl MW from the Southern Hemisphere, Lisa Granik MW and Jean-Michel Valette MW from North America, and Pedro Ballesteros MW, Steve Charters MW, Justin Howard-Sneyd MW, Phil Tuck MW and myself based in Europe.

Jane Masters MW



Institute of Masters of Wine Auction

Auction 2017.pngOn 16 November 2017 the Institute will hold a unique event to help secure the future of the Institute, and to represent the very best the wine world has to offer. At an Auction and Dinner hosted by Bonhams in London, the event will bring together a dazzling array of winemakers and wine lovers from across the globe. Invited guests will have the unparalleled opportunity to bid for Super Lots, exclusive experiences from the world of wine. In addition to the Super Lots there will be an online auction leading up to the event, with numerous wine-themed Lots, all curated and led by Masters of Wine. Guests will also experience a superb dinner with tastings of exquisite fine wines and an opportunity to mix with the best of the best in the international wine trade.

We are inviting Masters of Wine, Supporters and other friends from the global wine industry to participate. There are many ways to be involved, including:

• Contributing items to the Super Lots and online Lots
• Donating wines to be consumed on the night
• Offering cash donations
• Helping with introductions
• Curating the Super Lots and online Lots

If you think you can help please get in touch with Penny Richards. For more information see, www.mastersofwine.org/auction


ProWein 2017 - MW VIP package and Winemakers’ Winemaker Award

prowein.pngWe are delighted to report that the organisers of ProWein which runs from 19-21 March 2017, are generously offering MWs the following package:

• A free ticket to ProWein 2017
• Use of the International VIP Lounge

If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please write to events@mastersofwine.org and we will send you your VIP code to access the above benefits.

Also at ProWein this year, in collaboration with the Drinks Business, we will be announcing the 2017 Winemakers’ Winemaker Award. This will be held in the Kurt Schoop International Lounge on the evening of Monday 20 March, from 1815. You will receive your invitation shortly from the Drinks Business. Previous winners of this prestigious award include Peter Sisseck of Pingus, Peter Gago of Penfold’s, Paul Draper of Ridge, Anne-Claude Leflaive, Egon Müller and last year Àlvaro Palacios of Priorat. We look forward to seeing you at this very special evening.


Annual Bordeaux Tasting 2012 Vintage, 30 April 2017, Sydney Opera House, Australia

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Showcasing wines from the 2012 Vintage of the Grands Crus Classes, properties of the Medoc, including First Growths and their right bank equivalents.

With many Chateaux releasing less wine en primeur year on year, this annual walk around tasting gains commercial relevance in interesting times for Bordeaux Grand Cru Classe market. This year is of particular significance because the 2012s have shown increasingly well in bottle and their pricing looks highly attractive when placed in the context of the recent campaign for the 2015s. As ever, this event will provide a valuable opportunity to try most of Bordeaux's classed growths side by side.

Tickets are $105 for MWs and MW students and $135 for all other guests. Tickets can be purchased here. For any questions, please contact Emily Robinson


Amarone and Beyond - Dried Grapes Seminar, 8 March 2017, London

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This seminar explores the specialised technique of red wine made from dried grapes, presented by world experts and featuring a tasting of their rare wines. The seminar focuses on the technical elements of the appassimento process – learning about the biochemistry and physiology of dried grapes – changes in VA and phenolic compounds and how this impacts vinification techniques. We are honored to have Mr. Andrea Dal Cin, Masi Head Oenologist and Mark Shannon from A Mano in Puglia as speakers. The seminar will be supplemented by a tasting of Masi’s wines from the Veneto and in Tumangata Argentina and A Mano’s wines from Primitivo and the rare Susumaniello.

Taking place at the Institute of Masters of Wine, 6 Riverlight Quay, London, SW11 8EA from 1830 to 2100, tickets are priced at £30 for MWs, £45 for MW students and £65 for guests. To book please email Chloe Thompson or call 0207 383 9136.

Lifting the Lid on Fermentation, 23 March 2017, London

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Presented by Institute Supporter Lallemand, this masterclass in wine fermentation and microbiology will review the basics about wine fermentation and microbiology with Anthony Silvano and Dr Anne Ortiz-Julien. Learn about the role micro-organisms play in winemaking, and how boosting their performance can effect significant improvements to the quality and site expression of wine, with Sam Harrop MW and Dirceu Vianna Junior MW.

Taste and discuss with experts and discover the latest innovations and research in this critical area. This will take place at the Institute of Masters of Wine, 6 Riverlight Quay, London, SW11 8EA from 1030 to 1330 (lunch will be served afterwards), tickets are priced at £20 for MWs and £25 for MW students. To book please email Chloe Thompson or call 0207 383 9136.


IMW International Symposium, Living Wine, June 2018

SymposiumThe Institute’s next Symposium will take place from 14 to 17 June 2018 in Logroño, the centre of the Rioja region of Spain. Entitled ‘Living Wine’, our 9th International Symposium aims to examine the world of wine from numerous and new angles, to get us talking about our relationship with wine and how we regard it in our lives. Over 400 attendees will enjoy a fascinating, fun, action-packed long weekend which will include many of the top personalities in the wine world, both as speakers and delegates.The Living Wine Symposium will be a thought-provoking, network-enabling, taste bud- salivating and wine knowledge-enhancing few days which will leave you enriched and delighted. Filled with magical moments, from the geeky to the indulgent, with some surprises along the way, this promises to be the most exciting and enthralling Symposium yet.

Details of our confirmed speakers and sessions will be published over the coming weeks and months. Tickets are now available for Masters of Wine to purchase early at the discounted rate of 795 Euros. Tickets will go on general sale in March 2017 at the full price of 995 Euros. MW students will be able to purchase their tickets from mid-February, at the student discounted rate of 895 Euros. Find out more and buy tickets (MWs only)


American Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting Review

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At a packed house in Pall Mall, our annual American Cabernet tasting came to London last month, a replica of its sister tasting from San Francisco. Here, Richard Bampfield MW reviews the tasting: "Most European wine professionals seldom taste the premium Cabernet Sauvignons from North America, largely because demand the other side of the Atlantic is so strong - and therefore there is little need to export the wines. So the Institute’s annual American Cabernet tasting represents a rare opportunity to taste and compare these high class and highly sought after wines.

Most of the wines this year came from the 2013 vintage, a particularly strong vintage for West Coast Cabernet. And the breadth of regions shown offered an unparalleled chance to compare Okanagan and Niagara, Paso Robles and Santa Cruz, Napa and Sonoma, Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder, Oakville and Rutherford, Alexander Valley and Dry Creek, Columbia and Walla Walla...even Texas and Virginia! Manna from heaven for MW students who, happily, attended en masse.

As expected, there were certain wines that conformed to the Californian stereotype (at least as seen from a British perspective) and whose weight on the palate matched the weight of the bottle. However, many tasters commented on the seam of freshness that seemed to run through the vintage and also the firm structure of so many of the wines. This is clearly an outstanding vintage, with the structure matched by exuberant, generous fruit. An exciting tasting, which this year attracted the highest attendance yet - many thanks to the American MWs for making it possible."


Study Programme

Study Programme update

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We are now at the culmination of the fourth residential Seminar of the academic year in Odney. With one more Seminar to go (Bordeaux), we will have hosted over 300 students supported by over 70 Masters of Wine - it’s been a hugely vibrant and engaging set of Seminars; thanks to all those involved. Course Days, which in the UK will take place in the Institute’s new headquarters, will start again in the coming weeks and we look forward to welcoming students to the new facility. In addition, Course Days will take place in Sydney, Hong Kong, Dusseldorf, Napa and New York, reflecting the truly global spread of students and Study Programme activities.

A number of MW student trips are also coming up – one to Porto and the Douro Valley and another to Bordeaux. The latter, hosted by the Conseil Des Grands Crus Classé en 1855, is for 35 Stage 1 students and is in its 20th year.

Information Sessions and Masterclasses

infosession.pngEvery year and around the world we hold Masterclasses and Information Sessions to raise awareness of our Study Programme and to provide information to prospective students. Masterclasses offer a two day introduction to the Study Programme, with MW-led tastings and theory sessions. Information sessions are around an hour in length and provide an overview of the Study Programme and an opportunity to ask any questions about the Institute and the MW Study Programme. The following dates have been confirmed for both Information Sessions and Masterclasses over the next few months. If you know of anyone who is keen to know more about the Institute or is interested becoming a Master of Wine, please do pass on the details.

  • Information Session in Bordeaux, 14 February, 1600
  • Information Session in Beaune, 21 February, 1700
  • Information Session in Paris, 22 February, 1700
  • Sicily Masterclass for prospective MW students, 3 to 5 March
  • Napa Masterclass for prospective MW students, 14 to 15 March
  • Information Sessions at ProWein, Dusseldorf, 19 to 21 March
  • Hong Kong Masterclass for prospective MW students, 24 to 26 April
  • London Masterclass for prospective MW students, 20 to 21 May
  • Adelaide Masterclass for prospective MW students, 20 to 21 May
  • Spain Masterclass for prospective MW students, 26 to 28 May

More information, including how to book for each, can be found on the website here.


The Family of Twelve Scholarship 

Family of TwelveWe were pleased to announce in January that The Family of Twelve Scholarship has been awarded to Stage 2 MW student Christine Marsiglio. As the scholar, Christine has won a trip to New Zealand to travel the country visiting all twelve Family wineries. Christine will not only experience the diversity of New Zealand wine but will also spend time with the principals and winemakers at their wineries this summer.

Judy Finn, Chair of New Zealand’s Family of Twelve said, “The scholarship offers Christine the unique opportunity to experience the personalities and values of all twelve Family wineries. She’ll spend time with winery principals along with our viti and vini people exploring the great diversity of New Zealand’s wine regions and styles. Christine’s essay consideration of sustainability and globalisation resonated well, as did her highlighting of climate-change as a key challenge for wine producers. We are very excited to be hosting Christine and hope the experience will be mutually beneficial with her learning from us while she contributes to our Family learnings”. You can read the full press release on the website here, which includes a link to Christine’s essay. 


Save the date: Alto Adige MW Trip, 21-24 September 2017

Adige.pngFollowing the success of last year’s trip, Alto Adige/Südtirol, a Supporter of the Institute, will once again be hosting an MW trip from 21 to 24 September 2017 to coincide with the ‘Alto Adige Wine Summit’. Further details of the trip and how to register will follow soon.


Amy Christine MW - End of the year wrap-up and new wines!

Amy Christine MW.pngAmy Christine MW and her husband Peter Hunken share an end of year wrap-up, and bring news of new wines, from their winery Black Sheep Finds. "As we head into the last few weeks of 2016 we want to look back at some of the highlights of this past year. Most significantly we harvested the first grapes from our new vineyard planting in Sta. Rita Hills. We picked our vineyard over a three week period in late August and early September under cool and ideal conditions. We were able to harvest enough fruit to make a few barrels of each Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay and the early indications are that the wines are quite special and delicious! We expect to release these wines towards the end of 2017.

We are also excited to announce the release of the 2013 Holus Bolus Syrah. This wine was recently named the #6 wine of the year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine on their Top 100 Wines list and received 95 points and an Editor's Choice rating." Find out more.


Adrian Garforth MW - New CEO for Yealands Wine Group

Adrian Garforth MW.pngCongratulations to our Vice Chairman Adrian Garforth MW, who was recently appointed Chief Executive Officer at Yealands Wine Group.  Adrian will replace Jason Judkins as the CEO, who had led the company for the previous nine years. Peter Yealands, founder of the company, said “It was always going to be a challenge replacing someone of Jason’s calibre, however Adrian brings with him a wealth of international business development experience in addition to his globally recognised wine qualifications”.

Adrian has previously worked with Yealands in Europe on a consultancy basis, in addition to working in global wine importation and distribution, consulting to UK restaurants and developing wine education programmes. Adrian said “I am delighted to be working alongside Peter and his team – the scale of their achievements in their short existence is extremely impressive and their philosophy of producing world class wines sustainably is clearly gaining cut through in the market. I am looking forward to the challenge of expanding the distribution network further”. Adrian will be based in the Yealands Auckland Commercial Office, but will spend a large portion of his time internationally and across the company’s Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough wineries. Read more here.


Richard Kelley MW - Platter's 2017 Wine Guide offer

Richard Kelley MW.pngAs something of a service to the industry (and the fact that the previous official importer of the Guides went out of business last year), Richard Kelley MW has shipped some 2017 Platter’s Guides, The Definitive Guide to the South African Wine Industry, to the UK. If any UK based Members are looking for a copy, please contact Richard directly. Single copies of the guide can be posted, at a cost of £20 (the guide is £16 plus £4 packaging and postage). The published retail price in South Africa is ZAR 255.00 (about £16). Invoices will be generated by Dreyfus Ashby. Please contact Richard to order your copy


Jasper Morris MW - Retirement from Berry Bros & Rudd’s

Jasper Morris MW.pngJasper Morris MW will be retiring from his role as Burgundy Director at Berry Bros. & Rudd (BBR) later this year. BBR’s Chief Executive, Dan Jago, commented: "There comes a time… thus it is with a heavy heart that we announce the news of Jasper’s retirement from Berry Bros. & Rudd this summer. His contribution to Berry Bros. & Rudd and FMV has been invaluable. Jasper has been an inspiration to many of the younger members of the company – Adam Bruntlett in particular, who for the first time took the lead buying role for the 2015 Burgundy vintage after four years of working closely with Jasper. He will be sorely missed by the business and we wish him every success.”

Jasper added: “I loved my first 20 years as an independent wine merchant but selling our business to Berry Bros. & Rudd in 2003 was probably the best decision I made. I have thoroughly enjoyed my years working for Berry’s and I am very fortunate to be finishing on the high note of the fabulous 2015 vintage.” Last year Jasper became the new senior consultant for Christie’s at the Hospices de Beaune auction after Anthony Hanson MW stepped down from the role and he apparently intends to write a revised edition of ‘Inside Burgundy". Read more here


Philip Reedman MW - Expectation or Sensorial Reality? An Empirical Investigation of the Biodynamic Calendar for Wine Drinkers

Phil Reedman MW.pngPhilip Reedman MW has collaborated with an international team of researchers, led by Dr Wendy Parr, to investigate the proposition that wines taste different in systematic ways on days determined by the lunar cycle. The research, Expectation or Sensorial Reality? An Empirical Investigation of the Biodynamic Calendar for Wine Drinkers, was funded by the Cresswell Jackson Wine Competition Trust of New Zealand and is published in the peer-reviewed Plos One open access journal, available here.



Rhys Pender MW - Is starting a winery way harder than it looks?

Rhys Pender MW.pngRhys Pender MW shares with Vancouver Magazine his experience when he decided to start a winery. "I couldn’t not get into making wine. With all the study I had done toward my Master of Wine and having worked in vineyards and wineries, I had learned and knew every reason why we (my wife and I) shouldn’t have gone into making wine—but it was inevitable. There’s something about doing the entire process, from planting the vines through to bottling the wine, that’s somehow magical. We both felt the same way: we just had to do it. It’s the most absolute link possible to making something. You plant the vine, farm it for years, harvest its fruit and then turn it into wine. Then you get to taste it, having participated in every single step of the process". Read the full article here


Pinot Noir New Zealand 2017

Pinot Noir 2017.pngA selection of global wine influencers will descend to New Zealand’s capital this month for the most significant wine event, Pinot Noir NZ 2017. Held every four years, with the Sauvignon Blanc NZ event taking place in intervening years, the three-day event attracts a wealth of winemakers, influencers and journalists to Wellington to debate and celebrate the success and future of one of New Zealand's biggest exports. The sold out event includes a line-up of speakers from Japan, the United States, Australia and the UK, including Ken Ohashi MW and Jancis Robinson MW and four New Zealand Masters of Wine; Michael Brajkovich MW, Emma Jenkins MW and Jane Skilton MW, along with New Zealand’s newest Master of Wine, Stephen Wong MW. Pinot Noir NZ will take place on the Wellington waterfront from 31 January to 2 February, showcasing 115 wineries, with over 600 wines, to 600 industry leaders, influencers and lovers of Pinot Noir. Find out more here.


Jancis Robinson MW - Wine writing legacy preserved by UC Davis

Jancis Robinson MW.pngJancis Robinson MW has donated 40 years’ worth of personal archives, including tasting notes and private correspondences with fellow critic Robert Parker, to UC Davis in California. The extensive collection, which will shed an uncensored light on many of Robinson’s recollections and opinions on wine throughout her illustrious career, will be made public from April of this year. Among the papers currently being archived are tasting notes dating back to 1976, 275 notebooks recording Robinson’s travels around the world of wine, all of Robinson’s published work since her first (fashion) article written in 1965, and personal memos between Robinson, fellow wine critic Robert Parker and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Jancis said, “I feel extremely honoured that all my papers, notebooks, tasting notes and professional photographs have found a home in a part of the world that has been so important to me and my life’s work in wine.” Read the full article here.


Austrian Tasting, 6 February 2017, London

Austrian Wine.pngInstitute Principal Supporter The Austrian Wine Marketing Board and the Austrian Trade Commission are delighted to invite MWs and MW students to a special Austrian Wine event. On Monday 6 February 2017 at the Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall from 1030 to 1700 guests can taste Austria’s best wines from more than 100 wineries, including the special tasting: “Great Austrian red wine vintages”. To find out more and to register for the event, see here




Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year - Errazuriz Wine Category

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The Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year awards celebrate the very best in food photography and film from around the world. Open for entries until 5 February 2017 from amateurs and professionals, the awards include a category from Institute Supporter, Errazuriz. The Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year Category is for images of all things vinous. Entrants can submit any images into the following three sub-categories:

  • Produce: refers to the wine itself. This could be a glass of wine on a table in the sunshine or sherry pouring from a bottle in the winter.
  • People: refers to the people involved in making the wine, so this could be the owner of a grand wine estate in Chile, or a wine-maker with just a few acres of vines in Macon. Images can be portraits, or they can be action shots.
  • Places: is for any place associated with the craft of making wine; the vineyards, the cellars or the winery itself for example.

The winner of Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year will win £1000 and an Errazuriz Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve Commemorative Magnum (150cl), signed by Eduardo Chadwick. To view the previous Errazuriz Photographer of the Year gallery and to enter, see here.


Swiss Wine, London Walkaround Tasting, 27 February 2017

Swiss Wine (1).pngFor the second year in a row, Institute Supporter Swiss Wine will be hosting a London tasting where 12 Swiss winemakers from six regions will present their wines. The walkaround tasting will be held at 67 Pall Mall in the St James Room, from 1100 to 1700 on 27 February 2017. For more information and to register, see here.





Symington Family Estates renew support for the Institute

Symington Family Estates (1).pngWe are delighted to confirm that Symington Family Estates has renewed its contract as a Supporter of the Institute. Symington Family Estates, a leading producer of premium quality Ports, have supported the Institute in various ways for over 20 years. The first Institute Masterclass was hosted by the Symington family in 2012 and they have since hosted an annual student trip to Porto, giving MW students unrivalled access to see and taste the wines of the region. The 2016 Institute’s Supporter Summit was held at Symingtons, enabling a gathering of the Institute’s Council and Supporters to discuss the future direction of the Institute.

Paul Symington, Chairman, said, "We have great respect for what the Institute does to encourage excellence in wine, and we have been very impressed by the way they have become truly international in their outlook and in their makeup. So we are very pleased to continue our longstanding support." Read the full press release here.


Trademark Protection

We are delighted to let you know in the last few months we have had some good news about the legal trademark protection of the Institute. The ‘Institute of Masters of Wine’ is now registered as a European Union trademark, and is now protected in this geography until July 2026. This has been a long time coming, but it’s great news as we can use this mark as a foundation to further protect our mark in a wider area. We have also just found out our application to add China to the International Registration for ‘MW’ has (surprisingly quickly) been accepted by the International Trade Marks Bureau.

The application details will now be passed to the Chinese Trademark Office, so that the application can be examined in accordance with local laws. If the Chinese Office does not issue a specific refusal within 18 months, the mark will be deemed protected. We continue to do all we can to strengthen our legal position in many geographies, and still have much work to do.

Copyright 2017 The Institute of Masters of Wine