The Vintners' Company
The Vintners' Company with its first Charter in 1363 is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London and was instrumental in the creation of the Masters of Wine Examination in 1953.
With its origins steeped in the history of the City of London and the import, regulation and sale of wine, the Company continues to maintain strong links with the UK wine trade with Vintners' Hall known as the trade's spiritual home. Through its trade, social, charitable and educational interests, the Company continues to play an important role in the 21st Century.
Although the social and economic traditions that gave birth to the Vintners' Company have long since been overtaken by the development of industry and commerce, the Company continues to flourish. The Company has succeeded in forging a new and valuable role for itself as an integral part of the wine trade in 21st Century Britain, while at the same time proudly upholding the traditions that made it great in medieval London.
The 20th Century was marked by a steady progress towards the Company's renewed interest in and support for its trade, culminating in the granting of a new Charter on 20th August, 1973. This Charter authorised the Company to set up the Wine Standards Board to which the Government had delegated certain responsibilities for enforcing the EU Wine Laws. The Wine Standards Board transferred to the Food Standards Agency in 2006 and the Company's association with it ceased. In 2006 the Company began an association with the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.
Naturally, the Company's interest in its trade does not end there. Having been instrumental in setting up both the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and the Institute of Masters of Wine, the Company devotes a proportion of its resources to furthering wine education.
In 2007, the Company provided funds for the Vintners' Room as part of the Wine Studies Centre at Plumpton College in East Sussex, which now has its own Wine Studies Degree.
Over and above these educational projects, the Company also plays its part in donating sizeable sums to a wide range of London based charities, especially those concerned with drug and alcohol abuse.
Vintners' Hall also plays host not only to the Company's social occasions but also to a number of charitable fund-raising events, other Livery Company dinners and Institute events including tastings, master classes and its annual reception and awards ceremony, where new Masters of Wine are inducted to its membership.
To learn more about the Vintners' Company, visit its website.