2 April 2019
  The IMW & the MW study programme

Angelo Gaja honoured with the 2019 Winemakers' Winemaker Award

GajaAngelo Gaja was named the 2019 recipient of the Winemakers’ Winemaker award at a ceremony during ProWein in March. Over 150 distinguished members of the wine trade gathered to celebrate his achievement. Given annually by the IMW and the drinks business since 2011, the award recognises outstanding achievement in the field of winemaking and is chosen by a panel of winemaking peers that comprise all Masters of Wine who are winemakers, and the award’s past winners. On receiving his award, Angelo Gaja said, “At the beginning of my career I looked at the Masters of Wine as a rare specialist club with an immense and unreachable culture. When we welcomed a group of MWs to Barbaresco in 1975, we offered them what we regarded as our best vintages. They spoke highly only about 1961 vintage – their opinions about the other vintages were severe. At first, I felt disheartened, but later I realised they were right. It was a useful lesson from which we took inspiration to regain clarity in our wines. Over the years, every time I’ve had a chance to meet an MW, I've always learned something new.” Read the full press release here.


Rufus Olins - the new IMW Executive Director

RufusRufus Olins will join the IMW team as the new Executive Director on 29 April 2019. Rufus started his career as a journalist and editor working for The Sunday Times. He became Managing Director of Lord Heseltine’s Haymarket Brand Media in 2003, then CEO at the World Advertising Research Centre, an international data business for the marketers and academics. After heading up Newsworks, the membership body for the UK’s national newspaper brands, he joined the Co-op Group as Chief Membership Officer at a critical time for the business. On his new appointment Rufus said, "I’m very excited to be joining the Institute of Masters of Wine and building on the excellent work of Penny Richards and the team. I cannot think of a more important time to join such a multi-faceted industry encompassing geography, science, history, climate, fashion, economics and the sheer pleasure of drinking wine." Read the full press release here.


Apply for MW study programme coordinator roles

Education CommitteeFollowing an email to all MWs on behalf of Debra Meiburg MW, Chair of the IMW Education Committee, a reminder that you have until 26 April 2019 to express your interest in the following MW study programme coordinator roles:

  • Stage 2 Odney (UK) Practical Only Seminar Coordinator
  • Stage 2 North America Seminar Coordinator
  • Stage 2 North America Practical Only Seminar Coordinator
  • Stage 2 Theory Only Seminar Coordinator (Germany)
  • Course Day Coordinator

Full details on the roles are available on the Members' area of the website here, where you will find the application form. You will need to outline why you believe your experience - both professionally and with the MW study programme - would be a good fit for the role(s). It would also be helpful to include details on your existing commitments and how you would be able to devote the relevant time required to fulfil the role in question. Find out more here.


Application and registration dates

ApplicationsThe date to apply for the MW study programme is being brought forward this year. Applications will open on 6 May 2019 and will remain open until 7 June 2019. Applicants will then have from 10 to 28 June 2019 to complete the online practical and theory examinations. The Admissions Committee will decide who will be admitted to the programme in August, with applicants being informed of their outcome in early September. For any queries regarding this year’s application process, please contact Angus Brook, abrook@mastersofwine.org. Registration for the 2019 stage 1 assessment and MW examination will open w/c 1 April 2019 for all students. During the registration process, students need to indicate at which exam centre they will sit the assessment/exam, whether they will use a computer to type their answers and in which language they with write their theory papers. The stage 1 assessment/exam week begins on Sunday 2 June 2019.  


MW student Tao Platón wins the 2019 Lallemand bursary

Tao LallemandMaster of Wine student Tao Platón has won the 2019 Lallemand bursary. IMW supporter Lallemand – a leading producer of wine yeast, bacteria and their nutrients, and a distributor of oenological enzymes – established the bursary in 2010. It was open to stage 1 and stage 2 students in the IMW’s study programme. Students were asked to write a 1,000-word essay on the following topic set by Lallemand: How can the use of wine bacteria for malolactic fermentation shape the style and improve the quality of a wine? Tao is a stage 1 MW student and will receive £1,500 towards the cost of his MW student journey. Tao is the head winemaker at Peninsual Vinicultores. Prior to joining the company three years ago, he spent time making wine and learning different winemaking techniques in Bordeaux, the Spanish Duero, New Zealand and Burgundy. He graduated in oenology from the University of Valladolid and his passion is to contribute to a more authentic and sustainable world of wine. The announcement of the bursary winner comes as Lallemand has renewed its support to the IMW for another three years. Read the full press release here.

Upcoming events

Annual Bordeaux tasting (2014 vintage), Sydney

Bordeaux tasting SydneyDate: Sunday 7 April, 2019
Time: 1630-1900
Location: DeVine Food and Wine, 32 Market Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

This event mirrors the long-established annual Claret tasting in London and annual Bordeaux tasting in the USA. The tasting will showcase wines from the Grands Crus Classés of the Médoc and their equivalents from the Right Bank and Graves (including Sauternes). As is customary, the vintage to be tasted is five years prior to the year of the event: 2014. While the 2014 vintage was not a vintage without challenges for Bordeaux, it is arguably the finest vintage since the notable back-to-back vintages of 2009 and 2010. Tickets are $135 AUD for general admission and $105 for MWs and MW students. The tasting is sold out - to be added to the waiting list please email sbradshaw@mastersofwine.org. 


MW get together, London

MW get togetherDate: 2 May 2019
Time: 1830-2100
Location: IMW HQ, 6 Riverlight Quay, London

Once again we are taking advantage of Members being in London for judging duties, and have planned an MW get together for you on Thursday 2 May, at the IMW headquarters. There will be Bollinger and finger food, and we’d also love you to bring a bottle of something interesting to share with your fellow MWs. The get together is the night before the Burgundy tasting, which also takes place at the IMW headquarters (see details below). To RSVP for the get together on 2 May, please use this form.


Burgundy tasting (2016 vintage), London


Date: 3 May 2019
Time: 1000-1300
Location: IMW HQ, 6 Riverlight Quay, London

Focusing on the 2016 vintage, the Burgundy tasting will showcase wines from Chablis to Beaujolais, highlighting 1er Cru and Grand Cru wines produced from domaine-grown fruit in the Côte d’Or. The 2016 vintage was one of the region’s most challenging yet qualitative. It was a vintage that was heavily marked by damaging frost that swept across the region on 26 April, making it the worst in the Côte d’Or since 1981. Unlike most years where frost tends to bite mostly on the lower placed vineyards, in 2016 many of the buds in well-placed 1er Cru and Grand Cru sites were burnt by the sun the following morning. Damage was cited as far north as Marsannay and as south as Chassagne-Montrachet, Saint Aubin and Rully. This tasting is sold out - to be added to the waiting list please email beaton@mastersofwine.org.


Lifetime Achievement Award


Date: 13 May 2019
Time: 1145-1400
Location: Hall 1, Room 3, Vinexpo, Bordeaux

We would love for you to join us at the IMW/the drinks business Lifetime Achievement Award presentation lunch at Vinexpo. The event will take place on Monday 13 May 2019 from 1145 to 1400. Your official invitation has been emailed, and is available on the Members' area here (which also includes a free MW entry pass to Vinexpo). The award acknowledges the substantial contribution of an individual to the global wine community, and recognises vision, determination and innovation. Previous winners of this award include Robert Mondavi, Marchese Piero Antinori, Jean-Michel Cazes, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Hugh Johnson OBE and Miguel A. Torres. We hope to see you there!

Members news, opportunities & offers

MW trips - places available!

Chile MW tripA few places have become available on the following MW trips:

Full details on all MW trips can be found on the website here. If you would like any further information or interested in taking any of the trip places, please contact Belinda Eaton, beaton@mastersofwine.org

The full report for the recent MW trip to New Zealand is being finalised, for now you can read shorter reviews by Rod Smith MW on the IMW blog and Richard Bampfield MW via BYWine blog.

Chief Executive Officer role - Riedel 

IMW Major Supporter Riedel are looking for a new CEO for Riedel Crystal of America, and are interested in hearing from Masters of Wine. To see the job description, please log into the Member benefits area of the website here.

London Wine Fair 2019

London Wine Fair has introduced a daily charge for visitors who are not currently buyers in the on- or off-trade for the first time this year. However, recognising the importance of Masters of Wine to the trade, LWF are offering a complimentary ticket to MWs, no matter what your current industry role is. To access this offer, log into the Member benefits section here.

Lallemand seminar video

If you missed the recent IMW/Lallemand seminar, a video is available for Masters of Wine (and students) to watch - log into the Members benefits area of the website here to accessRod Smith MW has also written a review of the seminar, which you can read on the IMW blog here.

Hong Kong's four female MWs

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Jennifer Docherty MW, Sarah Heller MW and Debra Meiburg MW are featured in an article by the South China Morning Post on being the four Masters of Wine based in Hong Kong. Read the article here.  


Her Royal Vineness

Jancis Robinson MW is featured in an article 'Her Royal Vineness', by Mark Andrew MW’s magazine, Noble Rot. Read the article here


'At last!' by Harriet Tindal MW

Harriet Tindal MW has shared her journey to becoming an MW in a recent blog post. Harriet was announced as one of the six new Masters of Wine in February this year. Read Harriet's post here.

IMW website - Member profiles

The new IMW website will launch in June 2019, after the MW exams. We will be in touch with you later this month with details of how to update your profile for the new website, which will include the long-awaited MW search capability.


González Byass' Sherry Master course - five places for MWs

Sherry MasterIMW Supporter González Byass is once again offering five places to Masters of Wine on their acclaimed Sherry Master course in Jerez this September. You will need to make your way to Jerez by Tuesday 10 September 2019, to meet at 1930. The course will then finish on Thursday 12 September at 1530 following lunch. There is an airport in Jerez itself, however if you are travelling from Seville or Gibraltar airports it is roughly one hour by car and Malaga airport is around two hours. All expenses (excluding travel to and from Jerez) will be covered by González Byass once you’ve arrived. You can view the programme on the Members’ area of the website here, including an online form which needs to be completed by Tuesday 30 April 2019. Places will be drawn using a lottery system (the same way as MW trips).

Familia Torres and Jackson Family Wines join efforts to decarbonize the industry

Jackson Family Familia TorresIMW Supporters Familia Torres and Major Supporters Jackson Family Wines recently announced their intention to create a working group of wineries - from all over the world - to join efforts towards CO2 emissions reduction. The goal is to galvanise action within the global wine community to mitigate and reverse the impacts of climate change by decarbonising the industry. Wineries will share the commitment of achieving 80% reduction of total carbon emissions by 2045. Both family-owned wineries are looking to create a space for collaboration that encourages the sharing of best practices that reduce climate impact in vineyard and winery operations. Katie Jackson, second-generation proprietor and senior vice president of corporate responsibility at Jackson Family Wines, stated about the initiative: “Our common goal is to move beyond conversations around the urgency of climate change by collaborating on scalable solutions to reduce our global industry’s carbon footprint.” Miguel A. Torres, president at Familia Torres and member of the fourth generation, continued: “We are just at the beginning with our initiative, but we hope it will be a trigger, a boost for other wineries to join and accelerate or to start the implementation of carbon-emissions-reduction-programs.” Familia Torres and the Jackson Family - two leading wine families dedicated to crafting high quality wines from renowned wine regions across the globe - share a multigenerational vision rooted in environmental stewardship and responsible practices. Both wineries have reduced more than 25% of their total carbon emissions per bottle since they started auditing their respective carbon footprints.

Marcia Waters MW and Gerard Basset MW

Marcia Waters MW
19 January 1960 - 13 March 2019

MarciaIt was with great sadness to learn that Marcia Waters MW died on 13 March 2019 after a long illness. She was 59.

The IMW team, and many fellow Members, last saw Marcia at the annual awards ceremony in November 2018, where she was given a standing ovation, as she was to become the first female Master Vintner this year.

Marcia became an MW in 1990 and was heavily involved with the IMW, including being on Council, IMW Chairman in 1999 and Education and Examination Board (EEB) Chairman from 2009 to 2015.

After a few years in the independent sector, Marcia won the Vintners' Scholarship in 1985 and those weeks of travel gave her the confidence to aspire to become an MW.

Marcia was a buyer for Victoria Wine when they were the country's largest retailer, and later moved to Tesco as buying controller. Whilst at Tesco in South Africa she changed roles to work for a producer and became general manager of Anglo American Farms UK were she enjoyed selling Boschendal and Vergelegen wines.

When Marcia’s daughter was born she decided international travel had lost its appeal and started a job at her local National Trust property, which happened to be run by the Rothschild family. Here Marcia gathered several years' experience of working with top end Bordeaux producers and running many wine tastings and education events.

Latterly Marcia ran her own business doing what she loved - connecting again with vineyard owners and winemakers, and selling wines she enjoyed.

On being an MW Marcia said "We all have different, and often strong opinions on all thing vinous, but the passion is always energising when a group of MWs get together!” 

A thanksgiving service for her life was held on 28 March 2019.

If you would like to make a donation in memory of Marcia, this will be given to Brodey Cancer Centre and The Hare Preservation Trust. Donations can be sent to Surman & Horwood Funeral Services, The Gree, Crowell, Chinnor, Oxfordshire OX39 4RR.

Gerard Basset MW memorial plans announced

GerardThe Basset family has announced that a service of thanksgiving for the life of Gerard Basset OBE, MS, MW, MBA, MSc (OIV) will be held at 1100 on Friday 14 June 2019 at Winchester Cathedral. Gerard died on 16 January 2019 following a brave battle against cancer of the oesophagus. The family has close personal ties to the city of Winchester, not least because it is home to the original Hotel du Vin. Masters of Wine are warmly invited to attend. Following the service, a reception will be held at The Guildhall, Winchester. It would be appreciated if those intending to attend email inmemoriam@culturalcomms.co.uk by 30 May 2019, to give an indication of numbers.


Copyright 2019 The Institute of Masters of Wine