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2010 AXA Millésimes Scholarship

For the second year running, students in the Institute of Masters of Wine international education programme will have a unique opportunity to spend time with the winemaking teams at AXA Millésimes’ portfolio of châteaux, domaines and estates in Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Languedoc, Portugal and Hungary.

In 2009, Institute students from the United States, Ireland, Germany, Australia and the UK were the recipients of the inaugural Scholarship.

AXA Millésimes, a long standing Principal Supporter, contributes annually to the Institute’s education and events programmes around the world – currently involving more than 240 students from 25 countries. The education programme encourages a cross-disciplinary approach to understanding and communicating about wine and prepares candidates for the rigorous Masters of Wine Examination.

The 2010 scholarship, open to students at any stage of their studies towards achieving the title Master of Wine, will include:

  • Two to three days at AXA Millésimes’ Bordeaux properties with, according to the season, tours of the châteaux estates, work in the vineyards and cellars, tastings and blending with the individual winemakers.
  • Two days at either Mas Belles Eaux in the Languedoc or Domaine de l’Arlot in Burgundy.
  • An optional visit to either Quinta do Noval in the Douro or Disznók? in Tokaj.

Selection will be by essay, written in either French or English and not exceeding 1,000 words, addressing the following topic:

“Imagine that you are a producer of a great vin liquoreux, such as Sauternes or Tokaji. These are among the loveliest wines in the world and yet their commercialisation is a significant challenge. Why do you think this is so and what strategy would you adopt, both in terms of production and marketing, in order to ensure their future success?”

The deadline for essay submissions from Institute students is mid-June and the 2010 scholars will be announced in July, ready for their visits in autumn 2010.

Christian Seely, Managing Director of AXA Millésimes, explains: “As last year, the idea behind the scholarship is to give the winners some practical experience of daily life in a vineyard. We hope that the question will stimulate some lively essays. I am a great lover of vins liquoreux, and believe they are much undervalued. However, there are no right or wrong answers: we are looking for original insight, passionate argument and coherence of thought.”

Dr. Josef Schuller MW, Chairman of the Institute, said: “This scholarship, generously provided by our principal supporter AXA Millésimes, provides students in our education programme with a truly unique opportunity to experience at firsthand the work of winemakers at leading properties in some of the world’s most renowned wine producing regions. This opportunity is of enormous value to students as they pursue their goal of becoming Masters of Wine because the insights they will gain will enhance their knowledge of many different wines.

“The Institute is very grateful to Christian Seely and his team at AXA Millésimes for their continuing commitment to our goal of promoting educational and professional excellence in the wine community.”

2010 Lallemand Bursary Winner Announced

The Institute of Masters of Wine and Lallemand are delighted to announce Annette Hanami as the winner of the inaugural Lallemand Bursary.

The bursary is open to students studying in the Institute’s education programme and provides a funded visit to Lallemand’s annual technical meeting in Verona, Italy, in April.

Lallemand is a corporate supporter of the Institute and a leading producer of wine yeast, bacteria and their nutrients, and a distributor of oenological enzymes. It is a privately owned Canadian corporation present in most of the wine producing countries. Its Oenology Division, based in Toulouse, France, has a major focus on research and development, both in-house and in collaboration with renowned research institutes.

Annette, a student with the Institute in North America, secured the bursary with her 1,000-word essay addressing the topic of what solutions a winemaker can use to counteract hot climate red varietals producing high potential alcohol.

Annette is a freelance wine educator and writer based in the Napa Valley, USA. She gives consumer seminars and trains restaurant, hotel, retail and distributor staff around the country on international wines. She holds the Diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and the Certified Wine Professional credential from the Culinary Institute of America. She is individually accredited by the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux as an International Bordeaux Educator and by InterRhone as a Master-level Rhone Instructor. Annette is a Spanish Brand Ambassador and Spanish Wine Educator certified by the Academia del Vino de Espana. Annette was previously a career banker in New York City and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from the University of Southern California.

Ann Dumont, Communications Manager for Lallemand’s Oenology Division said: “The essay written by Annette Hanami was one of the better summaries we have seen on this topic. The essay was well researched and showed that balanced high alcohol wines are possible. Lallemand is proud to participate in the support of the Institute and its students.”

Annette said: “I am truly honoured to receive this generous bursary and grateful for the invitation to attend Lallemand’s annual technical conference in Verona. I would especially like to thank Lallemand for its generous support of the Institute’s education programme. Its contributions of time, expertise and resources are greatly appreciated by all the students.”

Siobhan Turner, Executive Director of the Institute said: “We are grateful to our supporter Lallemand for providing this bursary which gives the recipient a superb opportunity to gain detailed technical insight. I am sure that this will prove to be a valuable experience for Annette and will assist her greatly in her studies with the Institute.”

The Institute of Masters of Wine is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the highest educational and professional 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 different countries. More than 240 students from 25 countries are currently studying in the Institute’s education programme, which leads to the Masters of Wine Examination.

Südtirol/Alto Adige Wines Becomes an Institute Supporter

The Institute of Masters of Wine is delighted to announce that Südtirol/Alto Adige Wines has entered into a formal support agreement with it for the next three years.

Südtirol/Alto Adige Wines will contribute to the Institute’s international education programme and will provide an outstanding continuous professional development opportunity for the Institute’s members through an annual visit to the region for up to 10 Masters of Wine who are active student mentors.

The Institute is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the highest educational and professional 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 different countries. More than 240 students from 24 countries are currently studying in its education programme which leads to the Masters of Wine Examination.

The addition of Südtirol/Alto Adige Wines brings the number of current Institute supporters around the world to 22, each of whom helps to fund a specific area of activity which is usually aligned with their own corporate objectives. The Institute’s principal supporters are AXA Millésimes and the Austrian Wine Marketing Board.

Südtirol/Alto Adige is Italy’s northernmost province, located in the heart of the Southern Alps. It is well known for its mineral and crisp white wines and fruity and elegant reds. They are shaped by the climatic interaction between hot days and particularly fresh nights and reflect the limpidity and freshness of the unique landscape.

The Südtirol/Alto Adige Wine Marketing Board was formed in 1975 by a group of winemaking companies to promote and strengthen the image of the wines from the area. Today more than 100 wineries are members, representing over 90% of the local production. The Export Organisation Südtirol/Alto Adige (EOS) carries out the generic promotional activities on behalf of the Consortium of Südtirol/Alto Adige wines.

Armin Dissertori, President of the Consortium Südtirol/Alto Adige Wines said: “We are thrilled to be working with the Institute and supporting an organisation that has done so much for the wine sector. The specialists trained by the Institute deserve every support as they fulfil its mission of promoting educational and professional excellence in the international wine community.”

Dr. Josef Schuller MW, Chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine, said: “I am delighted to welcome Südtirol/Alto Adige Wines to our supporter community. Their region is one of stunning beauty which is matched by the outstanding quality of its wines. This support agreement will provide an exceptional professional development opportunity for MWs who are mentors in the Institute’s education programme and will assist them greatly in their work with our students, who aspire to achieving the title Master of Wine.”

2009 Alfredo Vidaurre/Montes Winery Scholarship Winner Announced

The Institute of Masters of Wine and Montes Winery S.A. are delighted to announce London-based Jennifer Docherty as the winner of the third annual Alfredo Vidaurre/Montes Winery Scholarship.

Open to candidates around the world at any stage of their Institute studies, the scholarship consists of a US $10,000 travel bursary to visit Chile to further the recipient’s knowledge about its terroir, growing conditions, and winemaking.

A native of Vancouver, Canada, and a former fashion designer, Jennifer is a second-year student in the Institute’s education programme and works for Bibendum Wine. She secured the scholarship with her 1,000-word essay addressing the topic of “How should Chilean wines be positioned over the next five years?” which took into account both commercial and environmental challenges.

Commenting on her success, Jennifer said: “I am delighted to be awarded this magnificent opportunity to see at firsthand Chile’s favoured growing conditions and sustainable practices. I am truly grateful to Montes for offering me this once in a lifetime adventure.”

Aurelio Montes, Founding Partner and Chief Winemaker of Montes Winery, said: “Jennifer’s essay identified the true value of Chilean wines in that they offer reliability, value, and high quality across all price points. It also pointedly observed that, in order to build long term sales, Chile needs to drive awareness of its super premium wines on a deeper level by educating consumers about its environmental superiority for growing grapes.”

Siobhan Turner, Executive Director of the Institute, said: “We are honoured to work alongside Montes to deliver and promote wine education at the highest level. The Alfredo Vidaurre/Montes Winery Scholarship offers the winning student an exceptional opportunity to visit and increase their knowledge of Chile and its wines. Jennifer has proved herself to be a talented student in her studies with us and we are delighted that she will have the opportunity to benefit from this very generous scholarship.”

Jennifer follows in the footsteps of Mark Janes, who was the recipient of the 2008 scholarship. Upon his return from Chile, Mark said: “I left Chile immensely optimistic about the wine industry there. In fact, I believe no other place in the world has the potential Chile does in producing wines in the premium price range in a fruit-driven, yet fresh and not overdone style with a wide range of varietals and expressions of place.”

Montes is a totally Chilean-owned, boutique winery, created in 1988 with the unique mission of producing exclusively premium wines. Montes pioneered the Chilean ultra-premium wine category, first with Montes Alpha “M”, a groundbreaking wine that set new quality standards for Chile. Next came Montes Folly, the first Syrah produced in Colchagua, and most recently Montes Purple Angel, its first Carmenère-based wine.

The Institute of Masters of Wine is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the highest educational and professional 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 different countries. More than 240 students from 24 countries are currently studying in its education programme, which leads to the Masters of Wine Examination.