June 2017 Newsletter



Masters of Wine on the recent trip to Washington State and Oregon - a review of the trip will follow in next month's newsletter (photo by Konstantin Baum MW)


Study Programme

 Applications Now Open 

Applications open (1).pngApplications for the 2017-18 academic year are now open until 17 July 2017. All applicants are required to complete an online application form, Theory and Tasting examination and have a reference from a Master of Wine or another senior figure from the wine trade. To join the Study Programme an individual must have at least three years’ experience in the wine trade and must hold a wine qualification, which is at least WSET Diploma level. Last year around 50% of those who applied received an offer of a place on the Study Programme. Further details and the application form can be found here

If you know of any potential MW students, please do encourage them to apply. You can share this link which has all the application details: www.mastersofwine.org/apply 


Information Sessions and Masterclasses

A series of Information Sessions and introductory Masterclasses have been held over the last few months, to introduce the Institute and the Study Programme to prospective MW students. Masterclasses were recently held in Adelaide, hosted by Penfolds; in London, hosted at the Institute’s new offices; and in Spain in Haro, La Rioja. Masterclasses are two-day sessions, led by MWs who introduce the Study Programme to aspiring MW students. Around 100 individuals have attended a Masterclass in 2017 and it is anticipated that a good number from this group will apply to join the Study Programme this year. In 2016 around 40% of those joining the Study Programme had attended a Masterclass.

Our Information Sessions have been held at various locations and again aim to introduce the Institute and the Study Programme in a concise one hour session. A well-attended session was held at the London Wine Fair on 24 May 2017 and further Information Sessions are planned for Vinexpo, 19 June 2017 and Texsom, 12 August 2017. We would be delighted to hear from MWs who are attending either Vinexpo or Texsom and are available to participate in these sessions. Please contact Olly Chapman for more details. 


2017 Stage 1 Assessment 

The Stage 1 Assessment (S1A) will be held on 5 June 2017, and this year we have 97 students sitting from around the globe. 62% of students have opted to use computers for both parts of the S1A, an increase from last year. Around 54% of students will be sitting in London, with the remaining students at the Sydney and San Francisco Exam Centres. 40% of students this year do not have English as a first language, and the Theory paper is being submitted by students in five different languages; yet another reflection of the diversity of MW students. 


2017 Examinations 

This year’s MW Examinations will begin on 6 June 2017, with 153 candidates sitting (100 in London, 34 in San Francisco and 19 in Sydney). The Institute has sourced and shipped over 850 bottles of wine to the Exam Centres in preparation for this large number of candidates. With growing numbers of students sitting the Exam in London, we have moved the Exam Centre to the larger Royal National Hotel in Russell Square where we hope candidates will enjoy the extra space. The use of computers to take the Exams remains a popular choice for candidates, with 83% using computers for the Theory papers and 70% for Practical papers. The choice to write Theory papers in others languages for our students for whom English is not their first language is also popular, with 18% of candidates having their papers translated. 


2017-2018 Academic Year

With the current academic year drawing to a close, planning is well underway for next year's Study Programme activities, which include:

  • Study Programme Seminars taking place in six different locations
  • Course Days held in Sydney, Hong Kong, London, New York and Napa
  • Over 3,500 bottles of wine being procured for students to taste across the Seminars and Course Days
  • The marking by MWs of over 1,500 assignments submitted throughout the year with constructive and timely feedback being provided to students

As we head towards the new academic year, MWs will be approached in the coming weeks for availability to participate in the various activities, all of which help to make the student experience valid, helpful and vibrant.


IMW/Drinks Business Lifetime Achievement Award 2017, 19 June 2017, Vinexpo

lifetime.pngThe IMW/Drinks Business Lifetime Achievement Award presentation will take place on Monday 19 June 2017 from 1145–1400 at Vinexpo, Bordeaux. Full details can be found on your personal MW invitation already sent to you. The award acknowledges the substantial contribution of an individual to the global wine community, and recognises vision, determination and innovation. The award has previously been presented to Robert Mondavi in 2005, Marchese Piero Antinori in 2007, Jean-Michel Cazes in 2011, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild in 2013 and Hugh Johnson OBE in 2015. All recipients were considered to have materially contributed, not only to their own success, but to the greater world of wine. As this event is by invitation only, you must RSVP directly to Sheila Crisp at the Drinks Businesssheila.crisp@thedrinksbusiness.com


MWs Present: The Greatest Rieslings from Around the World, 20 June 2017, Vinexpo 

Also at Vinexpo this year, Masters of Wine will champion their opinion on Riesling from across the globe over the course of three flights. Moderated by Debra Meiburg MW, the event features Gerard Basset MW for Alsace, Markus del Monego MW for Germany, Roman Horvath MW for Austria, Justin Howard-Sneyd MW for Australia and Matthew Deller MW for North America. The event will take place from 1000 to 1130 in Room #1, Hall 3 and is free to attend. To reserve a place, contact Paul Marchais at Vinexpo, pmarchais@vinexpo.com


Masters of Wine Endowment Auction

Auction 2017.pngThe Institute continues, with excitement, to plan the Masters of Wine Endowment Auction to be held on (and online before) 16 November 2017. The Super Lots will be finalised this month, the Online Lots are currently being curated and tables for the Dinner and Auction are already being sold. If you are able to contribute something to the Online Lots we would like to hear from you. Please do let either Penny Richards or Chloe Thompson know if you can help. Any wine offered would need to be in London by 15 September 2017, logistical details will be provided. We really would like to have you on board for this fabulous project which will help shape the future of your Institute. A very heartfelt thank you in advance from all the Auction Committee (Laura Evans MWRichard Harvey MWJustin Howard–Sneyd MWJane Masters MWPatrick McGrath MWFiona Morrison MW and Penny Richards). Find out more here.


Tickets on Sale - Living Wine, International Symposium, 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. Living Wine, will be the 9th International Symposium and will examine the world of wine from numerous and new angles. 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. Details of the confirmed speakers and sessions will be published over the coming weeks. Anyone can buy a ticketsee here for prices and to buy. Details of special rates for accommodation during the Symposium can be found here.


Symposium Launch Event, 5 September 2017, London

To celebrate the countdown to the Symposium, the Institute will be holding a London launch event on Tuesday 5 September 2017, 1830-2000 at our headquarters, 6 Riverlight Quay, Vauxhall, SW11 8EA (this is the evening before the Institute's AGM in London). Along with a drinks reception and Spanish tapas treats, we will be inviting you to get up on your ‘wine box’ and voice a three-minute monologue on some of your great likes, loves and dare we say loathes of the wine industry! The topics can be as far ranging as you would like. To give us a taste of Living Wine, we will include some of the topics we will be addressing at the Symposium in 2018. If you would like to attend, please email Chloe Thompson.


Bid to host the 10th International Symposium 2022 - Deadline 30 June 2017

Symposium (1).pngWe are now on the search for the host city and co-sponsors of the Tenth Symposium in 2022. It might seem like fabulously advanced planning, but the winning bidder will be asked to host the final lunch in Logroño, and we would like to include that in our preparations. We have a bid document which can be easily shared with any organisations which might be interested in helping us with one of the best regarded and most fun wine events globally. The document can be viewed and downloaded here. We would be delighted to speak to anyone who would like more information. If you would like further details, please contact Penny Richards. The deadline for Host submissions is 30 June 2017.


MW Get-Together, 12 August 2017, TEXSOM

We know you love the casual get-together that has been arranged in London during the IWC and Decanter judging 'season' in the last few years, and so we have arranged another informal MW reception for you, this time in the US at TEXSOM. It will be from 1600-1830 on Saturday 12 August 2017 in the Bay Suite (room 257), on the second floor of the Four Seasons Resort and Club, Las Colinas, Texas. There will be Bollinger there for you, and some nibbles, but like in London we ask you to bring a bottle of something interesting to share with your fellow MWs. Please let Chloe Thompson know if you plan to attend. 


MW 21 Club Lunch, 2 October 2017 – Save the Date

This year the annual 21 Club lunch will be held on Monday 2 October 2017. It will take place at the Oxford and Cambridge Club, Pall Mall, London. We hope for a good showing of the class of 1996, who are now eligible to attend this event, reserved to those who have been Masters of Wine for 21 years or more. A personal invitation will be sent shortly with further details. 


Drinks Business Awards 2017

DBAwards.pngThe Drinks Business Awards took place at the London Wine Fair on 23 May 2017. The awards are a chance for outstanding companies and individuals to win high profile recognition in front of some of the industry’s most influential representatives. Congratulations to all who were recognised in the awards, including our Members and Supporters in the following categories (MWs linked to the awards are highlighted):

Drinks Event of the Year
Winner (trade): Wine Australia for The Artisans of Australian Wine (Laura Jewell MWEmma Symington MW - pictured with team)

Best Design and Packaging for Wine
Commended: Off-Piste wines for El Domador del Fuego Rioja Reserva gift box (Clem Yates MW)

Best Trade Campaign
Winner: Pol Roger for A Duty to Delight (James Simpson MW)

On-trade Supplier of the Year
Winner: Liberty Wines (David Gleave MWJennifer Docherty MW)
Runner-up: Berkmann Wine Cellars (Alex Hunt MW)

Drinks Retailer of the Year
Shortlisted: Waitrose (Pierpaolo Petrassi MW, Xenia Irwin MW, Becky Hull MW and Institute Principal Supporter)

Retail Buying Team of the Year
Winner: Waitrose (Pierpaolo Petrassi MWXenia Irwin MWBecky Hull MW and Institute Principal Supporter)

Retail Buyer of the Year
Winner: Speciality Drinks (Dawn Davies MW)


Sam Caporn MW launches wine infographic

SamCapornMW.pngSam Caporn MW has relaunched her website to showcase her new infographic, The Wine Flavour Tree, a new aid to help consumers identify flavour profiles found in wine. The tree includes 40 different flavours, divided into 10 different branches (five for white wines and five for reds.) Each branch has four different flavours and is given a name that can be found and identified in a key at the bottom of the image. This key then offers grape varieties associated with the flavour profile described. The flavours get progressively stronger further up the tree, representing the progression from lighter to fuller bodied, richer wines. Speaking to the Drinks Business, Sam said that 'the Tree is really a bit of everything. I use it a lot doing private and corporate tastings as we can taste around the tree' however, she adds, 'crucially people also don’t need me there at all, they could go to a store armed with the infographic and make selections themselves.' Find out more here


Trends in Sparkling Wine Masterclass, jointly hosted by Justin Howard-Sneyd MW 

JHSMW.pngAs part of Decanter's Great Sparkling Exploration Trade Tasting 2017, Justin Howard-Sneyd MW (Owner, The Hive Wine Consulting) and Ronan Sayburn MS (WSET and The Wine Academy) are hosting a complimentary seminar to discover the latest global trends emerging from the UK’s largest growing category. The event takes place on Thursday 8 June 2017 from 1330 at Church House, London. Places are strictly reserved for wine trade and wine press only, you can register and find out more here




Patrick McGrath MW and Stephen Skelton MW - Taittinger becomes the first champagne house to plant vines in the UK

PatrickMcGrathMWandStephenSkeltonMW.pngChampagne Taittinger have entered into a joint venture with UK wine agents Hatch Mansfield and bought up land in Chilham, Kent, to plant 40 hectares of vines over the next three years. The first English Sparkling wine from Domaine Évremond is expected to be released for drinking in 2023, after three years of ageing in the bottle. Patrick McGrath MW, managing director of Hatch Mansfield said, 'Ultimately we will be aiming to produce 300,000 bottles per year of premium English Sparking Wine, but this will not be for six years or more as the vines will take time to reach the stage where they are producing the quantity of quality fruit required. It will be a gradual process.' Stephen Skelton MW, one of the UK's leading viticulture consultants, worked with the Domaine Évremond team in the capacity of viticultural advisor, helping to secure the ideal plot for vineyard development. Speaking to Decanter Stephen said, ‘2017 will see the largest number of vines ever planted in a single year in the UK.’ A record-breaking one million vines are expected to be planted, covering approximately 625 acres - the equivalent of London's Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined. Read more here.


Institute Events Space – Available to the wine trade

Office Space.pngThe first few months at the Institute's new HQ in Vauxhall has seen a flurry of activity. As well as our own programme of events and Course Days, we have been excited to welcome many MWs and members of the wine trade who have used the events space to host their own tastings and meetings. Our events space caters for up to 44 seated and 80 people standing. There is a sliding wall partition that allows the room to be divided into two. There is also a wine preparation room with fridge space. We are keen to welcome the wine trade and we are not currently charging for room hire during working hours (Mon-Fri, 0900-1730). For out-of-hours events we do ask for a contribution to allow for an authorised helper to be on-site. The Institute is based at 6 Riverlight Quay, SW11 8EA. To enquire about availability, or if you would like to know more, please email Chloe Thompson


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Sherrymaster by Tio Pepe - five places for Masters of Wine, September 2017

SherryMaster.pngInstitute Supporter González Byass is kindly offering MWs five places on their Sherrymaster by Tio Pepe course, to be held in Jerez between 12 to 14 September 2017. Sherrymaster is an intensive programme in Jerez, where guests will spend two days with the winemaker and Master blender Antonio Flores, getting in-depth knowledge of the region and wines. You will visit vineyards, see the historic archives with documents dating from 1835, sample directly from the barrel, enjoy local food and taste with Antonio Flores. You will need to arrive in Jerez on 12 September 2017 and will be treated to a tapas dinner in the city centre. You will be free to leave after lunch on 14 September 2017. If you are interested in attending, please email Chloe Thompson by Friday 16 June 2017. González Byass will make the final selection and we will let you know whether you have been successful by Friday 23 June 2017.  


MW Pinot Noir experts wanted for Riedel workshop


Institute Supporter Riedel would like to hear from MWs who have an expertise or keen interest in Pinot Noir, to be part of a workshop at the Institute's headquarters on 19 June 2017, from 1015 to 1230. The objective of the workshop is to look at various styles of Pinot glass, and test them against two different styles of Pinot Noir to establish if there are any differences and if any particular glass styles come out more favourably for the different Pinot styles. If you have an expertise or keen interest in this style and would like to participate in the event please contact Matt Knight at Riedel, m.knight@riedel.com for further details. 


Exclusive MW Masterclass, Jackson Family Wines – Wednesday 28 June 2017, London

JFW.pngJackson Family Wines, a Supporter of the Institute, exclusively invites Masters of Wine and MW students to a panel tasting with Oregon Winemakers on Wednesday 28 June 2017, 1300 to 1500 at 67 Pall Mall, London. Wines featured include Gran Moraine, Penner-Ash, Siduri, Willakenzie and Zena Crown Vineyard. As this event is by invitation only and space is limited, please RSVP directly to Lori Buchanan at Jackson Family Wines, Lori.Buchanan@jfwmail.com



Winestate Magazine Digital Version Complimentary Copy

Winestate Magazine are kindly offering all Members and students a complimentary digital copy of the latest magazine. This is the same issue as the printed version that was released recently in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, and digitally via Zinio and the Hospitality Directory, as well as through major international airlines. Read your complimentary copy here.

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Quinta do Noval declares 2015 vintage

Quinta Do Noval.pngPort house Quinta do Noval has declared a 2015 vintage, the latest in a string of declarations in the region. Christian Seely, managing director of Quinta do Noval (part of Institute Principal Supporter AXA Millésimes), commented on the estate’s unique approach to declarations, 'Noval follows its own path in its approach to Vintage Port. If we believe that we have wines of the quality and personality to join the ranks of the Quinta do Noval Ports of previous years, we will bottle it and declare it, even if this means declaring several years in a row, and even if it means, as is often the case, bottling only a few hundred cases of Quinta do Noval Vintage Port, representing a tiny percentage of the total production of the Quinta, in some years less than 3% of our production.' The wine is described as having, 'great aromatic intensity and purity of fruit. The nose has wild spicy black pepper notes, with great freshness and balance on the palate. There is an underlying strong tannic backbone.' Read more here

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The Benevolent - Taittinger Collection 

Taittinger.pngA very rare collection of Taittinger Champagne bottles has been donated to The Benevolent – The Drinks Industry Charity and there is an opportunity to win this priceless collection by purchasing a ticket for the ‘Grand Draw’. The Taittinger collection comprises 13 exclusive bottles of limited edition Taittinger vintage champagne that together forms a collection spanning 35 years. The collection, the brainchild of Claude Taittinger, released its first edition in 1983, and features the work of internationally renowned artists such as French surrealist Andre Masson and American pop artists Robert Rauschenberg and Roy Lichtenstein. Tickets cost £20 each and the ‘Grand Draw’ will take place at the International Wine Challenge Awards Dinner on Thursday 6 July 2017 at the Hilton Hotel in London. Anyone can purchase a ticket by emailing Jo Riordan at The Benevolent, jo.riordan@thebenevolent.org.uk. The proceeds will go towards the charitable operations of The Benevolent. Find out more here


Wine In Moderation - The Born Digital Wine Awards 2017

Born Digital (1).png

The Born Digital Wine Awards are open for submission from 1 June 2017, accepting material in seven different languages. The awards, by Wine in Moderation - the international movement for a sustainable wine culture - recognise quality journalism and wine-based online content. The awards fall into five categories with a special Responsibility Award and cover not only written media but also photographic and video material. They aim to reward outstanding content with international recognition and financial prizes. Submissions will be accepted in a number of languages including English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and German. For the first time since the creation of the awards, entrants will also be able to submit material in Greek. Participants may submit up to three entries that have been published between 1 June 2016 and 31 May 2017. Entries must have been published online, be qualitative, innovative and adhere to the Wine in Moderation ethic of promoting responsible communication of wine. Submissions will open on 1 June 2017 and close on 30 June 2017 and can be entered here.   

Copyright 2017 The Institute of Masters of Wine