August 2017 Newsletter


Masters of Wine Endowment Auction 

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Our spectacular Auction and Dinner will take place on 16 November 2017 at the international auction house Bonhams in London. This once in a lifetime event will enable guests to bid for a number of Super Lots - extraordinary exclusive experiences from the great wine regions in the world - whilst enjoying a superb dinner with exquisite fine wines. Up to 100 online Lots will also be available from 1 November 2017.

Tables are being sought by the world’s elite, who will be able to bid for the Super Lots and enjoy the rare and exceptional dinner wines (see below). Tables are priced at £10,000 (incl VAT) - expressions of interest for tables should be sent to Penny Richards


Super Lots

Champagne (1).pngThe Super Lots will feature the most original wine packages, offering incredible experiences for wine enthusiasts. These include trips to the world’s most desired wine destinations, stays at acclaimed and exclusive Estates linked to rare bottles of wine and private dining and tastings with the most eminent winemakers and owners across the globe.

For example the Bordeaux Right Bank Super Lot includes an exclusive stay at Le Pin and Cheval Blanc plus visits and meals at the five greats of the Right Bank; Le Pin, Petrus, Lafleur, Cheval Blanc and Ausone. The successful bidder and guests will also receive a Double Magnum of Le Pin 2010, a Double Magnum of Château Ausone 2005, two Magnums of Château Lafleur 2005 and Château Cheval Blanc 2005 and a Magnum of Petrus 2005.

Donated by Air New Zealand, the New Zealand Super Lot offers a bespoke 10-day tour of a selection of NZ vineyards, whose wines have been selected for Air NZ's Fine Wine Selection. The tour will include two return business class fares, air and car travel in New Zealand, accommodation and meals. A special wooden case selection of 48 rare bottles will also be shipped to the successful bidder.

The Champagne Bollinger Super Lot, donated by The Madame Bollinger Foundation will see up to eight guests travel to Bollinger, stay in luxury accommodation and be treated to a dinner at Les Crayeres, Reims. It also includes a private lunch at Madame Bollinger’s House (pictured), a private tour of the cellars and vineyards and a bottle of 1914 Vintage Bollinger.

The other Super Lot locations include Australia, Bordeaux (left bank), Burgundy, Chile, Germany, Italy, Napa Valley, Port/Douro Valley and South Africa. Full details of each Super Lot will be available in September.


Dinner Wines

In addition to giving guests the opportunity to bid for the Super Lots, our dinner will showcase rare and exceptional wines:

  • Bollinger La Grande Année 2007
  • Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Spätlese 2007
  • Louis Jadot Chevalier Montrachet Les Demoiselles Grand Cru 2013 Domaine des Heritiers Louis Jadot
  • Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2013
  • Ridge Montebello 1995
  • Pingus 2008
  • Magnums of Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
  • Magnums of Château Mouton Rothschild Premier Grand Cru Classé Pauillac 1996
  • Château d’Yquem 2005
  • Graham's 1970 Vintage Port

For more Auction information see:



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Symposium Launch Event, 5 September 2017, London

Symposium launch.pngTo launch the Institute's 9th International Symposium, Members are invited to participate in an evening of 'vinologues' by MWs and other opinionati. The event takes place on Tuesday 5 September 2017, 1830-2000 at our headquarters, 6 Riverlight Quay, Vauxhall, SW11 8EA (the evening before the Institute's AGM in London). Along with a Cava reception, wines from Symposium Sponsors FCV and Spanish tapas treats, we will be getting a taster of the ‘Living Wine’ 2018 Symposium topics through a series of lively three-minute monologues. Capacity is limited so if you would like to attend - and if you would like to get up on the wine box to have your say - please complete this form by Friday 25 August 2017. The Symposium programme topics can be found here


VDP.GROSSE GEWÄCHSE Tasting: The New Releases, Wednesday 6 September 2017, London

VDP.pngThe Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (VDP) is bringing the finest German Rieslings to London. On Wednesday 6 September 2017 the Institute will hold an exclusive tasting of the newly released vintages of VDP.GROSSE GEWÄCHSE. Anne Krebiehl MW will be selecting up to 60 of the best Riesling GGs from classic Riesling regions for this walkaround tasting. Attendees will be amongst the first people worldwide to try the wines; white GGs are only released on 1 September of the year following the harvest. The tasting will take place at Vintners' Hall, London (68 Upper Thames St, EC4V 3BG), from 0930-1230. For Institute Members, this is prior to the Institute's AGM. Anyone can attend by purchasing a ticket, prices are £30 for MWs, £40 for MW students and £50 for all other guests (all inclusive of VAT). Book your place here.


Annual General Meeting, 6 September 2017, London

Standing for Council 

Newsletter AGM (2).pngThe Institute’s Annual General Meeting (and that of the IMW North America), will take place on Wednesday 6 September 2017, also at Vintners’ Hall, following the above tasting. During the meeting we will be hearing the Chairman’s Report about the last year at the Institute, reviewing the Annual Accounts, appointing the Honorary Officers, and holding an election for the Institute's Council.

There is one place free on Council this year. A great opportunity to contribute to your Institute, there is no bar to geographically distant MWs, as some of the six annual Council meetings are held on the phone, and travel expenses are paid for ones which take place in London and elsewhere. A more detailed description of the Council’s role has been sent to all Members, along with the necessary forms for completion (which must be returned by by 13 August 2017). Any Member is eligible to put themselves forward, if endorsed by two fellow Members. If you are interested in standing and have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Penny Richards or any of the Honorary Officers, Jane Masters MW (Chairman), Adrian Garforth MW (Vice-Chairman) and Laura Evans MW (Honorary Treasurer).

Institute of Masters of Wine – North America Board

The Board of IMW-NA has decided to introduce set term limits for its members, in keeping with the Institute’s Council and so is looking for additional members of the Board to allow some of the longer standing members to step down. As all Members of the Institute globally are also Members of IMW-NA, anyone is eligible to put themselves forward, though it might make more sense if they are either based in North America, or spend time there.

The Board of IMW-NA will be elected as a slate at the AGM on Wednesday 6 September 2017. The Board tends to have three meetings a year, which are conducted either in person or by conference call. There are conference call facilities for the in-person meetings if necessary. The IMW-NA Board member’s term is three years. You may stand for re-election to the Board once, thus serving a maximum of six years. An invitation has been sent to all Members with the necessary information and forms (for completion by 13 August 2017). Please do not hesitate to contact Penny Richards, Doug Frost MW (President, IMW-NA) or Tim Hanni MW (Vice President of IMW-NA) if you have any queries. 

Study Programme


Opportunities for MW Study Programme Engagement

Study Programme Engagement.pngAs we approach the start of the new academic year, the Institute is inviting Members to consider supporting the MW Study Programme. We are lucky that well over 100 Masters of Wine are already involved in some way, either as a Mentor, a marker/Examiner, as a committee member, supporting students at Seminars and Course Days or providing support to candidates preparing for their Research Paper. Here are some of the opportunities to engage with the 2017-18 Study Programme:

  • Mentoring
  • Assignment marking
  • Research Paper Advising/Examining
  • Course Day tutoring
  • Membership on the Education and Examination Board (see more details below)

Details of all the above were sent to all Members in July; for queries and to discuss further, please contact Olly Chapman, Head of Study Programme and Development. May we take this opportunity to thank all Masters of Wine who already give so much support to students and the Study Programme. Your continued engagement is greatly appreciated.  


Membership of Education and Examination Board (EEB)

The Institute’s Education and Examination Board (EEB) has three open slots for co-opted members to serve a one-year term. EEB is a sub-committee of Council and is:

  1. An oversight umbrella over both the education and examination activities of the Institute, providing the conduit for communication of Council policy and for reporting to Council of the conduct of the Education Programme and the annual Examination.
  2. Responsible for upholding the integrity and the standard of the examination, education and admissions processes, a responsibility which it executes via the Education and Examination committees and a soon to be formed Admissions Committee.
  3. Responsible for the development of Education and Examination policy at the operational level, ensuring that it aligns with Council policy resolutions. When appropriate, it recommends new policies or amendments to existing ones to Council for approval.

The term for co-opted members on EEB runs concurrently with the academic year from one year’s AGM to the next. EEB is inviting any Member who so desires to stand for membership from September 2017 to September 2018. Preference will be given to applicants currently involved in either the admissions, education or examination processes and whom the EEB feel will best contribute to the Institute's mission.

The committee meets four times a year, twice in-person in London (in November and June). Travel and accommodation, in line with the Institute’s travel policy, is covered by the Institute for these meetings. Full details on the role and remit of EEB are available in the Member Area of the website. To read it please go to Institute Governance > Committees > Education and Exam Board.

To be considered for one of the open positions, email Olly Chapman, Head of Study Programme and Development — on or before August 19, 2017 — with a brief statement on how your experience will bring benefit to EEB and why you wish to be considered for a co-opted role.


MW Study Programme Wines 2016-2017

MW Study Programme Wines 2016-2017 (1).pngThe Institute would like to thank all those who generously supplied wines to the 2016-17 MW Study Programme. The wines were featured at over 30 Course Days throughout the academic year and at five residential Seminars in Adelaide (Australia), San Francisco (USA), Rust (Austria), Bordeaux (France) and Berkshire (UK). Both the Course Days and Seminars were attended by MW students from 40 countries, and by over 80 Masters of Wine. The wines were used for tastings and mock exams which guide students’ preparation for both the Stage 1 Assessment and the MW Examination.

In June this year 150 students sat the MW Examination and over 90 students took the Stage 1 Assessment in London, San Francisco and Sydney. There are over 340 students from around the world on the Study Programme. The supply of the wines ensures the Institute can continue to offer the best possible experience to students on their journey to becoming a Master of Wine. See the wines and donors/suppliers here.  


MW Get Together - TEXSOM, 12 August 2017, Texas

Texsom.pngWe know Members love the casual get-together that we hold in London during the IWC and Decanter judging 'season', so we have arranged another informal MW reception, this time in the US at TEXSOM. It will be from 1600 to 1830 on Saturday 12 August 2017 in the Bay Suite (room 257), on the second floor of the Four Seasons Resort and Club, Las Colinas, Texas. There will be Bollinger and some nibbles, but we also ask Members to bring a bottle of something interesting to share with fellow MWs. Please let Chloe Thompson know if you plan to attend.


Have you got your ticket? - Living Wine, International Symposium, June 2018


The Institute’s next Symposium will take place from 14 to 17 June 2018 in Logroño, the centre of the Rioja region of Spain. Living Wine will be the 9th International Symposium and will examine the world of wine from numerous and new angles. Over 400 attendees will enjoy a fascinating, fun, action-packed long weekend which will include many of the top personalities in the wine world, both as speakers and delegates. The Living Wine Symposium will be a thought-provoking, network-enabling and taste bud- salivating few days which will leave you enriched and delighted. Details of the confirmed speakers and sessions are available on the website - more will be revealed over the coming weeks and months. Anyone can purchase a ticketsee here for prices and to buy.    


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Save the date for...

  • Annual Champagne Tasting, Monday 25 September 2017, San Francisco
  • American Cabernet Tasting, Monday 30 October 2017, San Francisco  



Washington and Oregon MW Trip, 29 April- 6 May 2017

Review by Konstantin Baum MW

Washington and Oregon.pngThis year’s IMW educational trip brought us to the Wild West of the United States of America. It was organised in cooperation with Washington Wine and the Oregon Wine Board and we got to see both regions in detail over the course of a week. The journey started in the winemaking town of Woodinville from where we travelled across the Cascade Mountains and into the Columbia Valley. During the five days in Washington State we had more than 14 visits, tasted countless wines and forged links with winemakers in this dynamic wine region. Aside from the impeccable organisation of the trip, we will remember the impressive pace of development in Washington State where over the course of (only) the last seven years, the number of wineries has increased by a whopping 50 percent and where investments into education and innovation will fuel further growth in the future.

When we arrived in Oregon we quickly realised that while the state is the neighbour of Washington, its wine industry is structured completely differently.The hills are greener, the wineries are smaller and tastings were dominated by Pinot Noir instead of the Bordeaux varietals. We crossed the state border in Walla Walla and drove along the Columbia River to Portland. After one night in Portland, we travelled south to the Willamette Valley from where we got to discover the diversity of Oregon’s wines. During excellent tastings, we learned more about the differences between the various AVAs, heard the stories from the region’s winemaking pioneers and ate more healthy and organic food than most of us have had in our lives. We left the trip impressed by the rapid development of the two states and the generosity of all wineries involved in the organisation of our visit. The journey through the Pacific North West was full of impressions that turned into long-lasting memories.


Gerard Basset MW MS MBA MSc OBE

Lynne Coyle MW

Peter Marks MW

Debra Meiburg MW

Kenichi Ohashi MW

Mark Pygott MW

Yiannis Karakasis MW

Young Gun of Wine - are you an Australian Winemaker?


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Wine Lister exclusive offer for MWs and MW students

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Save 33% on a subscription to Wine Lister with this exclusive offer for MWs and MW students, putting key fine wine information at your fingertips. Wine Lister is the world’s first independent wine rating system. This comprehensive fine wine information hub gathers information from multiple sources to rate wines on an holistic and objective basis. It spans quality, brand and economics, to bring users a 360° view on thousands of individual wines.

As a subscriber, you can delve into a wealth of underlying data, including prices, critics’ scores, restaurant presence, online search frequency, price performance, and trading volumes. Explore this data further with interactive wine and vintage comparison charts, in-depth regional reports, wine factsheets, and more. We have secured you an exclusive subscription discount of 33%, bringing down the cost of an annual subscription from £90 to £60. Simply follow this link to access your special price as a Master of Wine/MW student.


Winestate Magazine - Complimentary online issue for MWs and MW students

WinestateWinestate Magazine is kindly offering all Members and students a complimentary digital copy of the July/August magazine. This is the same issue as the printed version, released recently in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, and digitally via Zinio and the Hospitality Directory, as well as through major international airlines. Click here to read your complimentary copy.

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Constellation Brands proudly announces creation of TRU Estates and Vineyards

Constellation Brands.pngGuided by the heritage of brands like Robert Mondavi Winery and Ruffino Estates, and excited for the next wave of opportunity through The Prisoner Wine Company and Schrader Cellars, Constellation Brands has announced a newly established fine wine sales organisation, TRU Estates and Vineyards.

Speaking to the Institute about the initiative, Constellation Brands - an Institute Major Supporter - said, "We recognise that fine wine requires an authentic and differentiated approach to servicing our luxury wine customers and consumers. To create this independent, world-class selling team, we called on the expertise of our Academy of Wine and Masters of Wine to generate best-in-class training and education. TRU Estates and Vineyards is a reflection of who we are and what we will do. True to the land, true to a sense of place, true to our brands, and true to the people who are devoted to their craft—and it reflects the values of quality, integrity, and customer focus at the heart of Constellation Brands."


Ste. Michelle Wine Estates look back on 50 years

Institute Major SupporterSte Michelle Wine Estates.png Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Chateau Ste. Michelle. As Ted Baseler, president and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, told the drinks business, Ste. Michelle has come a long way in winemaking terms in the past half century. “Times have changed dramatically,” he said. “In our first vintage we made just 6,000 cases. Today we sell 3.5 million and are the second largest premium brand by volume in the US. We’ve come a long way.”

It’s not just Ste Michelle that has come a long way either but the whole winemaking industry of Washington state. In 1967, when Ste. Michelle was founded there were just 12 wineries in the state, today there are 1,000 backed up by an industry-backed research and development projects (towards which Ste. Michelle has contributed $3m through various fundraising programmes). Read more here.



Copyright 2018 The Institute of Masters of Wine