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2010 Champagne Trinity Scholarship Winner Announced

A Singapore-based student in the Institute of Masters of Wine education programme has been announced as the winner of the prestigious Champagne Trinity Scholarship for 2010.

Tan Ying Hsien has been awarded the scholarship for his original essay addressing the question of “how to manage a champagne brand through a recession”.

The Institute, with the support of the Champagne houses of Bollinger, Louis Roederer and Pol Roger, offers the scholarship annually to a first-year student participating in its international education programme.

The scholarship consists of two consecutive trips to the Champagne region, one during vintage and another during the blending of the vins clairs in the spring. It provides a unique opportunity for a student to gain an insight into Champagne through visits to the three renowned, family-owned houses.

The Institute is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting professional excellence and the highest educational standards in the global wine trade. It was founded in London in 1955 and today it is a truly international organisation with a membership of 279 individual Masters of Wine based in 22 countries.

Since 1992 the Institute’s education programme for wine trade professionals has been delivered on three continents: Europe, Australasia and North America. More than 240 students from 24 countries are currently studying in the programme which leads to the Masters of Wine examination. On successful completion of the examination, which tests both practical and theoretical understanding of all aspects of the art, science and business of wine, students must finally write a 10,000 word original dissertation. Only then are they eligible to join the Institute, abide by its Code of Conduct and use the title Master of Wine or its abbreviated form MW, which is recognised as the highest achievement in the wine industry.

On behalf of the sponsoring Champagne houses, Andrew Hawes, Managing Director of wine shipper Mentzendorff & Co., which represents Bollinger in the UK, said: “It gives us the greatest pleasure to award the 2010 Champagne Trinity Scholarship to Tan Ying Hsien, who submitted a poignant and well written essay. We very much look forward to welcoming him to Champagne in September for the harvest and again in the Spring for the vins clairs tasting.”

Tan Ying Hsien was born in Singapore and is currently a first year student on the Institute of Masters of Wine education programme. He is a lawyer by training and spent most of his professional career providing legal and compliance advice in-house to major international banks. He started tasting and studying wine in 1983 while pursuing university studies in the United Kingdom. He has visited all the classic wine regions of France as well as some of the wine regions of Italy, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Australia, the USA and the Russian Tsar’s former cellars. He was on the tasting panel of Wine & Dine Singapore for a number of years and has served as a judge in International Wine Challenges held in Singapore. He also co-hosted the wine segment of the Wine & Dine TV series broadcast on Channel News Asia. He currently tastes for the The Local Nose, gives wine talks and is engaged in wine education. He is a member of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, Commanderie de Bordeaux and Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.

Mr. Tan said: “I am delighted to have been awarded the scholarship. In my passion for wine, champagne ranks at the top of my list of wines to be passionate about. It will be a great privilege and honour to be able to visit the houses of Bollinger, Louis Roederer and Pol Roger to see at first hand the art and craft of fine champagne making.

“Champagne is a unique product associated with high quality, style and elegance – an image that has been cultivated and preserved for hundreds of years. The scholarship will provide a marvellous opportunity to see how these great champagne houses have achieved this consistently over time. I am very grateful to the Institute of Masters of Wine and the three sponsoring champagne houses for providing this opportunity,” said Mr Tan.

Siobhan Turner, Executive Director of the Institute said: “This valuable scholarship provides a wonderful learning opportunity for our students. Tan Ying Hsien’s success this year will allow him to see the work of the three distinguished Champagne houses through personal visits, which will assist him enormously in his studies with the goal of becoming a Master of Wine.”

Opus One Becomes an Institute Supporter

The Institute of Masters of Wine is delighted to announce a new support arrangement with Opus One.

Starting in June 2010, Opus One will host the annual Masters of Wine examination in North America for students in the Institute’s international education programme. Opus One will also stage a reception for students at the end of the four-day examination.

The Institute is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting professional excellence and the highest educational standards in the global wine trade. It was founded in London in 1955 and today it is a truly international organisation with a membership of 279 individual Masters of Wine based in 22 countries.

Since 1992 the Institute’s education programme for wine trade professionals has been delivered on three continents: Europe, Australasia and North America. More than 240 students from 24 countries are currently studying in the programme which leads to the Masters of Wine examination. The examination is held concurrently in the United Kingdom, Australia and North America over four days every year, usually during June. On successful completion of the examination, which tests both practical and theoretical understanding of all aspects of the art, science and business of wine, students must finally write a 10,000 word original dissertation. Only then are they eligible to join the Institute, abide by its Code of Conduct and use the title Master of Wine or its abbreviated form MW, which is recognised as the highest achievement in the wine industry.

The 2010 Masters of Wine examination will take place concurrently from 1 to 4 June in three locations: Opus One in California, USA, London in the United Kingdom and Sydney, Australia.

Opus One is the story of a shared dream of two great men of wine: Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild and renowned Napa Valley vintner Robert Mondavi. Having met for the first time in Hawaii in 1970, the partners eventually agreed to launch a wine together in the Napa Valley. The joint venture they named Opus One produced its first vintage in 1979 and opened as a winery in 1991.

Situated in the Oakville appellation of Napa Valley, Opus One’s vineyards comprise 169 acres and are planted to the traditional grape varieties of Bordeaux: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Producing about 250,000 bottles each year, Opus One remains dedicated to uncompromised quality and to expressing the vision and passionate spirit of its founders, for generations to come.

David Pearson, CEO of Opus One, said: “It’s a great pleasure to support the Institute of Masters of Wine and contribute to the kind of international partnership upon which Opus One was based. We salute the Institute’s ability to renew itself by attracting remarkable new talent and by holding a keen vision of stewardship across the world of wine.”

Siobhan Turner, Executive Director of the Institute said: “We are delighted to welcome Opus One as an official supporter of the Institute. Since its foundation, the Institute’s mission to promote educational and professional excellence has enjoyed the valuable support of leading companies and organisations from the wine community. Opus One’s support will provide first class facilities for our annual examination in North America and is an important development in our evolving relationship with the international wine industry.”