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Napa Valley Vintners becomes Major Institute Supporter

The Institute of Masters of Wine is delighted to announce that the Napa Valley Vintners has entered into a formal supporter agreement to contribute to its worldwide wine education activities.

The trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley wine region in California has generously contributed to Institute events in North America and elsewhere for a number of years. It has now formalised this partnership and become a major supporter of the Institute, which promotes the highest standards of education in wine and is the membership organisation for Masters of Wine

Under the agreement, the Napa Valley Vintners will provide up to 15 places for students of the Institute to attend the biennial Master Napa Valley Programme and contribute to the Institute’s international education and events programmes by providing speakers and staging tastings. This will include a reception and tasting for students attending the annual residential seminar in North America, which currently takes place in the Napa Valley.

Today there are 289 Masters of Wine in the world, based in 23 different countries. Almost 280 students from 28 different countries are currently studying in the Institute’s education programme which prepares candidates for the annual Masters of Wine examination.

Napa Valley Vintners Executive Director Linda Reiff said: “We are delighted to take our partnership with this prestigious group to the next level. The Napa Valley Vintners value the leadership of the Institute’s education programme and partner with these wine professionals in our educational outreach, both domestically and internationally. We look forward to an even more comprehensive relationship going forward.”

Lynne Sherriff MW, Chairman of the Institute said: “We have worked with the Napa Valley Vintners successfully over the years and we are delighted that they have now formalised their relationship with the Institute. Both organisations recognise the value of wine education and the sharing of knowledge and experience internationally. I look forward to building upon what is already a very effective and well-established partnership.”

The Institute is privileged to work with a distinguished group of individuals, businesses and organisations which share its values and recognise the importance of promoting the highest standards of educational achievement and professional conduct within the wine community.

In particular, the international community of corporate supporters plays a vital role in assisting the delivery of the Institute’s worldwide education, examination and events programmes. Each supporter helps to fund a specific area of activity, which is usually aligned with their own corporate objectives.

The principal supporters of the Institute are AXA Millésimes and the Austrian Wine Marketing Board and its major supporters include the Madame Bollinger Foundation, Constellation Europe, Vins et Vignobles Dourthe, The Esterházy Foundation, Ets. J-P Moueix, Istituto Grandi Marchi, Maison Louis Jadot, San Pellegrino, Taransaud Tonnellerie, Villa Maria Group, Viña Errázuriz, The Vintners’ Company, Waitrose & Wines of Hungary. Supporters of the Institute include Berry Bros. & Rudd, Lallemand, Opus One, Schloss Vollrads, Südtirol/Alto Adige Wines and Symington Family Estates.

Award Winners Announced at Institute’s Annual Reception

The 11 new Masters of Wine of 2010 were formally welcomed into the membership of the Institute at its annual reception and awards ceremony at Vintners’ Hall in London last night (Wednesday, 3 November 2010).

Outstanding achievement in the Masters of Wine Examination was also recognised with the announcement of the Institute’s 2010 awards.

The Master of the Vintners’ Company, Martin Mason presented the new Masters of Wine with their certificates:

  • David Allen MW (UK)
  • Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW (Belgium)
  • Sebastian Bredal MW (Norway)
  • Ned Goodwin MW (Japan)
  • Alex Hunt MW (UK)
  • Melanie Jones MW (UK)
  • Justin Knock MW (UK)
  • Kate McIntyre MW (Australia)
  • Rhys Pender MW (Canada)
  • Jean Reilly MW (USA)
  • Peter Richards MW (UK)

Five of the new Masters of Wine also received individual awards for outstanding performance in aspects of the examination.

Peter Richards MW received the Institute’s Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, for his overall performance in the examination. Peter was also the recipient of the Villa Maria Award for excellence in the viticulture paper and the Robert Mondavi Winery Award for overall excellence in the theory part of the examination.

The Madame Bollinger Award for excellence in the practical/tasting part of the exam was awarded to Alex Hunt MW.

The Noval Award for excellence in the dissertation went to Jean Reilly MW for her dissertation which examined US Sommelier attitudes towards German Riesling.

Rhys Pender MW received the inaugural Taransaud Tonnellerie Award for excellence in the production of wine paper, dealing with the maturation and handling of wine.

The Viña Errázuriz Award for excellence in the business of wine paper was awarded to Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, the Institute’s Chairman Lynne Sherriff MW said: “The international community of Masters of Wine is delighted to welcome these 11 new members. They have displayed exceptional knowledge, ability and dedication to reach this point. As MWs we share a passion for the art, science and business of wine and I am sure that the new MWs will be excellent ambassadors for wine at large and for the Institute as they pursue their own careers in the years ahead.

“We are also pleased to be able, with the generous assistance of our supporters, to recognise outstanding individual achievements in aspects of the examination through our annual awards.”

There are now 289 Masters of Wine based in 23 different countries around the world. Almost 280 students from 28 countries are currently enrolled in the Institute’s education programme which prepares candidates for the annual Masters of Wine examination.