Investment in study programme wines from Masters of Wine Endowment Auction fund

16 Nov 18

A year ago today the Masters of Wine Endowment Auction raised over £1 million from a live auction of super lots.

Held at Bonhams international auction house in London, the evening embodied the best in the wine world with a line-up of amazing dinner wines and extraordinarily rare auction lots. Attended by key wine collectors and connoisseurs from across the world, bidders competed for 18 super lots, once-in-a-lifetime experiences from the great wine regions of the world, at the dinner and live auction.

A spontaneous additional super lot of a private dinner featuring the gala dinner wines was added on the night from Institute of Masters of Wine Supporter Berry Bros. & Rudd, which took the grand total to an incredible £1,007,500. In addition to the super lots, there were over 100 lots available online, also hosted by Bonhams, which raised £121,370.

The money raised at the auction is for the Endowment Fund, held by the Masters of Wine Endowment Company. The company was established by the IMW 10 years ago, primarily to manage investments to enable the IMW to extend its range of activities in the global wine world, enhance the support it gives to Members worldwide and encourage the Masters of Wine of the future.

The Masters of Wine Endowment Company is currently engaged in investing the funds raised from the auction. One of the decisions taken is the immediate provision of funds to be used to purchase classic wines to aid students on the MW study programme.

With 360 students from 45 countries, not all students have access to a helpful spread of wines, and the IMW aims to give students all opportunities possible to help them on their MW student journey. The Masters of Wine Endowment Company also plans to release further funds in the next few years, to enhance this purchase, and plan for successive generations of students.

Penny Richards, IMW Executive Director said, "The fabulously successful auction really is an event that keeps on giving. The generosity of so many people means we can continue to serve our students and Masters of Wine for years to come."

The auction was initiated and instigated by three Masters of Wine, Richard Harvey MW (International Wine Director at Bonhams), Patrick McGrath MW and Fiona Morrison MW (Directors of the Masters of Wine Endowment Company). 

Photos available on request


For more information contact:
Sarah Kirkpatrick
Head of Marketing, Communications and Membership
Institute of Masters of Wine
+44 (0)207 383 9131

Notes to Editors:

About the Institute of Masters of Wine

The Institute of Masters of Wine is a membership organisation with an unsurpassed international reputation. The Masters of Wine (MWs) hold the most respected title in the world of wine. The IMW promotes excellence, interaction and learning across all sectors of the global wine community. MWs have proved their understanding of all aspects of wine by passing the MW examination, recognised worldwide for its rigour and high standards. In addition to passing the examination, MWs are required to sign a code of conduct before they are entitled to use the initials MW. The code of conduct requires MWs to act with honesty and integrity, and use every opportunity to share their understanding of wine with others. There are currently 380 Masters of Wine today, working in 30 countries. The membership encompasses winemakers, buyers, journalists, shippers, business owners, consultants, academics, and wine educators. There are 360 students in the 2018-2019 MW study programme, from 45 countries.


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For an overview of past activities, read our Annual Review 2017-2018