February title picture

(Jane Masters MW, Caro Maurer MW, Cathy van Zyl MW, Yiannis Karakasis MW, Anne McHale MW, Ulf Sjodin MW, Rod Smith MW, Phil Reedman MW and Richard Hemming MW (with the lingering arm of Pepi Schuller MW!)

  Study Programme News

Stage One European Seminar- Class of 2016

On 17 January, 36 students from ten countries made the annual pilgrimage to Rust, Austria for the Stage One European Seminar.

Under clear blue skies and January sun, the week commenced with an introduction to the program by Penny Richards and Cathy Van Zyl MW followed by four 3-wine tastings, each led by a different MW, and finished with an introduction to theory. And so it began; mornings filled with blind tastings followed by feedback, with theory sessions in the afternoons and plenty of MW’s on hand to either open bottles and guide the tasting or theory sessions. Days were broken up with lectures and tastings on various topics such as oxygen management, Bordeaux, Naoussa, Fortified wines, and “What I wish I had known when I started”.

Field trips included visits to local Rust wineries, Schloss Esterhazy, pruning and tasting in the Kamptal, a vineyard visit in the Wachau and tastings in the Kremstal and Thermoregion.

The week ended with a light snowfall and the traditional celebratory dinner paired with wines selected by the students. On Sunday, everyone waved good-bye to Rust and headed to Vienna for the final tasting at the glorious Palais Coburg. The bus rolled one last time for the airport and everyone headed home, forever bound together by their time spent in Rust. Students left Vienna armed with all the skills and information they will need to be successful in their June exam due in large measure to the time devoted by seminar organisers Caro Maurer MW and Pepi Schuller MW, the staff at the Wine Academy and IMW, as well as the following MW’s:

Cathy Van Zyl, Martin Hudson, Phil Reedman, Annette Scarfe, Rod Smith, Ulf Sjödin, Anne McHale, Demetri Walters, Michelle Cherutti-Kowal, Yiannis Karakasis, Richard Hemmings. 

Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW

Education News

Reh Kendermann scholarship result 

Reh Kendermann

The Institute of Masters of Wine is delighted to announce that the 2015 Reh Kendermann student bursary has been won jointly by Diego Bonnel of Lyon, France, and Stacy Dalton, of Chicago, USA. 

Reh Kendermann GmbH Weinkellerei, which is the leading producer of German branded wines, has been awarding a bursary for students on the Institute of Masters of Wine Study Programme for over twelve years. This bursary, which is awarded following the submission of MW-style essays, gives two students the opportunity to travel to Germany and learn about the dynamism and innovation in contemporary German winemaking. 

The Institute has long had links with Germany and its wine trade, which have been deepening in recent years: three new German Masters of Wine were welcomed into the Institute in November 2015, bringing the total to eight.  There are currently more than a dozen German students in the MW Study Programme. 

Alison Flemming MW, Export Sales Director at Reh Kendermann, said: 

“As a cool climate country in wine-making terms, Germany can, and does, produce a huge range of outstanding and award-winning wines and styles, and not just with Germany's trump card of Riesling. Germany's new generation of winemakers is educated, well-travelled and open to experimentation.  It is not just the big names who are doing new and exciting things, but also a whole host of smaller, family estates and one-man bands.  The Reh Kendermann scholarship gives the opportunity to non-nationals to come and experience these dynamic changes for themselves.” 

Stacy Dalton, who is an MW Study Programme Stage 1 student, said: "Reh Kendermann has an incredible portfolio of wines. They also have very creative packaging aimed at a new generation of drinkers as well as environmentally friendly options such as Bag-in-Box. Germany has some of the most elegant and terroir driven wines in the world. I am thrilled to get to experience Germany through these wines as they truly convey the uniqueness of a place and the qualities that make it special." 

Diego Bonnel, who is now in Stage 2 of the Study Programme, said: "I was very happy and also moved to win the bursary not only from a study point of view, but also from a personal perspective. Part of my family is German and I used to visit my grandmother in Wiesbaden, which is the entry door for the Rheingau region, so I have always been tasting German wines."

Derouet Jameson Awards

 Derout Jameson

The Institute of Masters of Wine is delighted to announce that the Derouet-Jameson Memorial Foundation Awards for 2015/16, which provide financial support for promising potential MW students, have been won by Beth Pearce and Andrea Schmidt.

The Derouet-Jameson Memorial Foundation, which is one of the largest charitable sponsors of Wine Trade education in the country, will provide their application and first year study fees for the course starting in January 2017.

Alastair Peebles MW, Hon. Sec to the Trustees of the Derouet-Jameson Memorial Foundation, said: “We were impressed with the quality of the candidates this year, and wish them every success in their continuing wine education through the Institute of Masters of Wine. The Derouet and Jameson funds have been instrumental over the years in guiding and assisting many talented and successful people in their careers in the wine trade. We are sure that Beth and Andrea will prove to be worthy winners in the finest traditions of these awards.”

Beth Pearce, who has a degree in Politics and History, is a store manager for Majestic Wine in Bristol. Beth, who has worked for a number of Majestic Wine and other outlets since 2010, has a record of sales target-beating success. She also achieved a Distinction in two units of her WSET Diploma. 

Andrea Schmidt, from Reading, Berkshire, is Training Officer for Oddbins Ltd. Andrea, who won the Martell Cordon Bleu Scholarship during her WSET Diploma course, is responsible for designing and delivering training courses and examinations for Oddbins staff, from induction to branch management level. 

Both candidates were put forward by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust as amongst their top eligible Diploma candidates, being UK based and without financial support from their employer. 

Event News

 Claret report and video

Please click the link to see the video for the Claret Tasting 2011 Vintage. The password to view the video is IMW. The IMW, as is tradition every year asked for attendees to complete a questionnaire after the Claret tasting. Many thanks to those who took the time to complete it. We have compiled all the responses and created the attached report. The Chateaux who kindly donated their wines for this flagship tasting are now able to see which wines were most successful. 

Special thanks go to David Allen MW, John Hoskins MW, Andy Howard MW, Peter Mitchell MW Anthony Moss MW, Hugo Rose MW, Greg Sherwood MW, Derek Smedley MW, Junior Vianna MW, for contributing to the report with their tasting notes on each appellation.

Claret report  

Chateau Climens Tasting 

8 February. There are still tickets available for this First Growths Vertical tasting. 

This will be a seminar session with Berenice Lurton from Ch. Climens to be held at 67 Pall Mall, London. Château Climens can trace its history back to the 16th century and was bought by Lucien Lurton in 1971. It has been owned and managed by Bérénice Lurton since 1992. The ‘Climens Style’ expresses the quintessence of Barsac with its balance and freshness, but also has the power and magnificence of the great Sauternes. Climens may be defined primarily by its depth and conferred by its unique terroir. 

Please get in touch with Camilla Fitzgerald to buy a ticket (cfitzgerald@mastersofwine.org) 

American Cabernet Tasting 

This tasting has been confirmed for the 22nd March 2016 from 6:30pm to 9pm. Not only will this tasting be showcasing more than 100 American Cabernet Sauvignon’s, but the Institute will also be hosting it in a new venue! 

Please join us in this unique opportunity to taste a variety of different wines in a free-pouring walk around tasting.

Anne Tupker MW writes: Following the hugely successful American Cabernet Sauvignon tasting that was held earlier this year in San Francisco, the Institute of Masters of Wine is thrilled to be able to replicate this tasting in London.

It will be a walk around tasting of 105 wines from the outstanding 2012 vintage, including the best Cabernet-based wines from California, Washington, Colorado, Texas and Virginia.’

To reserve a ticket, please get in touch with Camilla Fitzgerald. 

Australia MW Trade Dinner – The Bentley Restaurant 

Save the date in your diaries. The MW trade dinner will be taking place, for the second year in a row, in Sydney, on the 16th April 2016, the evening before the Australian Claret tasting.  More information on both will follow.

Australia trip report 

Richard Bampfield MW says: 

‘With thanks to Australia’s First Families of Wine, Wine Australia, Treasury Wine Estates (Penfolds), Jackson Family Wines (Yangarra), Jacob’s Creek, Seppeltsfield, Shaw & Smith and the winemaking communities of the Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley, McLaren Vale and the Barossa – the trip of a lifetime.’ 

‘With apologies for the delay in distributing the report, please click on the link to read it. The hosts were delighted with the scribing and as always, thrilled to read such a comprehensive account of the trip. Thank you to all MWs for writing a little something.

Australia trip report 

 Prowein 2016 

Last year more than 50 Masters of Wine took advantage of a very special offer from the organisers of ProWein, Düsseldorf. We are delighted to report that Michael Degen, Director of Messe Düsseldorf, has generously extended the same offer to all Masters of Wine again this year.

The full offer for this year’s event, which runs from 13-15 March 2016, includes:

• A free ticket to ProWein 2016
• Use of the International VIP Lounge
• Use of the free limousine service

If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please write to Camilla Fitzgerald who will pass your e-mail address to the ProWein organisers. They in turn will send you a VIB code to access the above benefits.

We will also be awarding the IMW/Drinks Business Winemakers’ Winemaker Award in the Kurt Schoop International Lounge on the evening of Monday 14 March, from 1900. You will receive an invitation shortly. Previous winners of this prestigious award include Peter Sisseck of Pingus, Peter Gago of Penfold’s, Paul Draper of Ridge, Anne-Claude Leflaive, and (last year) Egon Müller.


Members' News

                                                Brian Wheaton MW RIP 

                                                       Brian Wheaton MW 4.jpg

Brian became an MW in 1967, the only person to pass that year. He was never happier than talking about wine, teaching people about it, and sharing a bottle with friends.  One thing he could not bear was a ‘Wine Snob’. He didn’t mind what people drank, as long as they enjoyed it. 

Passing the MW encouraged Brian to change jobs, he left Hall and Bramley to go and work as a Buying Director for Mackay and Co in Guernsey. We spent 5 years there, during which time Brian took Massel’s Oenological Diploma and in 1970 was inducted into the Burgundian Order of the Chevaliers de Tastevin. 

Brian spent almost 40 years in the Wine Trade, during which time he was Executive Secretary to the Wines and Spirits Association of Great Britain, and Wine Buyer for both British Home Stores and Littlewoods of Liverpool. Finally we ended up in Nassau, capital of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Brian had great hopes of spending days sailing round the many islands, but was disappointed to find there were surprisingly few yachts there. In addition to being Wine and Spirits Buyer for Bethell Robertson, he also ran night school wine courses both for Wine Waiters from the hotels, and the general public, at the College of the Bahamas. 

On returning to the UK, Brian concentrated more on Wine Education. He lectured to Adults at the Birkenhead Six Form College for about 7 years. There were some lively evenings there: I believe they had to be moved from one classroom to another as they were making too much noise and disturbed the Maths class next door. 

Finally Brian turned to lecturing about wine on Cruise ships. We were fortunate to visit some wonderful places, vineyards in Argentina and Chile being amongst the favourites. 

He had just completed writing a children’s book and was still working on ‘The Dreaded Wine List, or how to avoid choosing the second cheapest wine on offer’ when he died. He was saddened by the fact that several courses of Chemotherapy had altered his sense of taste and smell, so he was no longer able to be a judge at the International Wine Challenge, or even enjoy a glass of his favourite wine.

(Anne Wheaton)


Jane Hunt MW wedding  

On 12 December 2015, Jane Hunt married Nicholas de St. Croix at Lewes Town Hall.  Nick and Jane have known each other since childhood but had seen little of each other until Nick came to assist the olive harvest at Jane’s house in Umbria, Italy in 2012. The rest is history!

Jane Hunt wedding


Ben Lewin Champagne book

Book out - Wines of Champagne (just in time for New Year). http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019NYRWJK


3 Minute book

Gerard Basset MW, Consultant Editor, of the book, says:

“The book was written by 8 contributors including 4 MWs (David Bird MW, Debra Meiburg MW, Stephen Skelton MW and myself). The book is made of 50 topics covering History, Viti and Vini, Grapes, Iconic Regions, The Business of Wine and Enjoying Wines and in addition there are 7 portraits of legends of the wine industry. My role was to help select the contributors, decide on the topics and portraits, read the entries and make comments and suggestions. I wrote the introduction and of course the entry on Sommelier.

The book was translated in French and strangely it seems to have more success over there (See attachment with a picture of the book advertised in the Paris Metro).”

Gerard Basset


Jancis Robinson’s new book

The 24-hour Wine Expertis the“short, full proof and essential guide” for wine drinkers wanting a short-cut to expertise, according to Penguin, the book’s publisher, who describe the author as “the world’s most trusted wine expert”.

Robinson’s 110-page paperbackguide to everything from wine terms, regions and restaurant etiquette will be on sale from 4 February with an RRP of £4.99.

“The aim of this book is to share my knowledge with you and make you a self-confident wine expert in 24 hours”, Robinson says in her introduction. 

Incidentally, the new brief guide to wine comes just months after the publication of the latest edition of the huge 912-page Oxford Companion to Wine, which was compiled by Robinson and Julia Harding MW.

Jancis Robertson book


Members' benefits page on website 

If you have recently published a book and would like your fellow members to benefit from a discount, do please contact Camilla Fitzgerald (cfitzgerald@mastersofwine.org) to discuss putting this on the website. Alternatively, if you would like to simply advertise the book and have it on the member’s section of our website, do please get in touch’.


Masters of Wine in the press

http://www.kansascity.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/chow-town/article52725045.html - Doug Frost MW mourns the loss of a special winery in Colorado

http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/75617780/marlborough-sauvignon-blanc-celebration-long-overdue - Sam Harrop MW talks about hosting the second day of the inaugural International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in Marlborough, New Zealand

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3387296/Are-flutes-losing-fizz-Wine-makers-say-Champagne-tastes-best-TULIP-glass.html – Anne Krebiehl MW comments on the rising trend for Champagne drinkers to ditch the flutes

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/international-cool-climate-wine-symposium-heads-to-brighton-a6804471.html - The Independent (UK) picks up on this year’s International Cool Climate Wine Symposium in Brighton, and quotes Justin Howard-Sneyd MW on why England’s time has come 

http://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/1304569/chateau-margaux-gets-a-norman-foster-makeover-when-winemaking - Richard Bampfield MW comments on Norman Foster’s Nouveau Chai at Château Margaux


Membership benefits 

Riedel discount code 

Riedel Glassware, one of the Major Supporters of the Institute, are offering a 20% discount to allMW’s and MW students for use in 2016.

For 2016, the IMW 20% discount code on www.riedel.co.uk is RIE2016IMW

Meiburg Wine Media offer

MeiburgWine Media – Business & Educational Resources: Happy Chinese New Year Offers!

To celebrate theYear of the Monkey,HongKong-basedMeiburgWine Media (founded by DebraMeiburg MW), is offering 50% off its Grape Cues series (chic and challenging study cards focused on regions, grape varieties, countries and more), as well as 30% off its book seriesDebra Meiburg’s Guide to the Asian Wine Trade. This series features six different volumes (HongKong 2012 & 2014, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing and the new-to-market, Taiwan). A full guide to each market, all books offer a market report, interviews with key players, logistical information and a full, detaileddirectory of wine importers, logistics companies and related businesses such as wine media, marketing and PR companies, plus much more. They offer the ideal introduction and working guide to Asia’s high potential wine markets. 

See more at www.debramasterofwine.comand use coupon code: IMW-CNY upon checkout.

Supporters' News

Hildon Water - Supporter

The Institute sends its condolences to the family and staff at one of Supporters, at Hildon Limited. The founder and CEO of Hildon, Mr Christian Heppe passed away peacefully last weekend.  Mr Heppe was the driving force behind the Company for 26 years and will be deeply missed.  Hildon Ltd will continue to trade as normal ensuring his legacy and his vision live on. 

Copyright 2017 The Institute of Masters of Wine