1 June 2018

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The countdown is on to our 9th International Symposium in Logroño! I look forward to seeing many of you there – with over 100 Masters of Wine, 75 students and over 250 international guests it will be a fantastic event.

Jane Masters MW (5).pngThere are a few tickets remaining if you haven’t yet booked. I would like to thank all of the Symposium committees for their hard work in bringing it to fruition - in particular Pedro Ballesteros MW, Sarah Jane Evans MW, Jane Hunt MW and Fiona Morrison MW.

Hopefully you have the 12 September 2018 in your diary for the Annual General Meeting at Vintners’ Hall in London. As a membership organisation, the AGM is your opportunity to review the past year, answer any questions you may have on the IMW’s activities, and to listen to each other’s ideas for the future. It will also, of course, include the more official procedures. The IMW team is currently investigating the use of technology to give all Masters of Wine the opportunity to join the meeting.

At the AGM, there will be a number of Council places coming up for election and the official paperwork for this will be sent out in July. In addition to myself who will retire as Chairman, Pedro Ballesteros MW, Jane Skilton MW and Phil Tuck MW will retire having completed two terms on Council. Lisa Granik MW and Justin Howard-Sneyd MW will both complete their first three year term. Our elected Council is responsible for developing strategy, setting policy and ensuring good governance working closely with Penny and the IMW team. Council should reflect the international nature of Masters of Wine with a diversity of skills and experience. If you would like to know more about what’s involved in being a member of Council, see here (log in required).

The AGMs of both the IMW North America and the Master of Wine Endowment Company (MWEC) will also take place on 12 September 2018 and the Trustees of the MWEC will update you on actions taken since the successful auction last November. At the end of the meetings, we would like to invite you to stay for a glass of wine and mingle with your elected Council members, IMW NA board members and MWEC Trustees. I hope you can make it!

Jane Masters MW

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Living Wine - IMW 9th International Symposium, June 2018

Symposium (2).pngThere are now fewer than 15 tickets left for the Living Wine Symposium. Held every four years, over four days, this is an unparalleled opportunity to network, taste and learn from a rich variety of international speakers, including rubbing shoulders with over 100 Masters of Wine. It's open to anyone who wishes to buy a ticket. Day one highlights include the Masters of Winemaking walkaround tasting - an extraordinary rare showcase of wines made by Masters of Wine from around the globe. To discover more highlights and buy your tickets, see here.



Master of Wine Endowment Fund

Newsletter June 2018.pngThe Master of Wine Endowment Fund has recently received another very generous donation. It has come from Eric de Rothschild, Chateau Lafite, and Christie’s Auction House in London, and we are so very grateful. We understand David Elswood of Christie’s approached Baron de Rothschild last year, to see if he would be interested in providing some wines for an auction to mark Michael Broadbent MW’s 90th birthday. Christie’s also held, with Chateau Lafite, a dinner in November 2017 as part of the same event. The sale took place in December 2017, and consisted of 22 Lots selected by Eric covering vintages from 1874–2015. The total proceeds were around £80,000. The Institute has just received more than €46,000. At Eric’s request in the catalogue Chrsitie’s stated that ‘proceeds from the sale would be donated between the Institute of Masters of Wine Endowment Fund, and for the furtherance of education in the Medoc’.

Study programme

Applications open

Study programmeApplications for the 2018-19 academic year are now open until 17 July 2018. All applicants are required to complete an online application form, theory and tasting examination and have a reference from a Master of Wine or another senior figure from the wine trade. To join the study programme an individual must have at least three years’ experience in the wine trade and must hold a wine qualification, which is at least WSET Diploma level. Last year around 50% of those who applied received an offer of a place on the study programme. To support applicants with the entry exams, two short videos have been produced, available to watch on the apply page here.

If you know of any potential MW students, please do encourage them to apply. You can share this link which has all the application details: 

Introductory programmes

Newsletter June 2018 (2).pngIn May, two introductory programmes were held to introduce the MW study programme to prospective students. MWs in Auckland and London helped to guide nearly 30 attendees through the MW tasting and theory approach. Attendees were also provided with an overview on the admission process for entry to the study programme as well as the chance to take a mock entry exam. Thanks to David Allen MW, Alison Eisermann MW, Rob MacCulloch MW and Jane Skilton MW who helped at the Auckland session held at the Villa Maria winery and to Richard Hemming MW and Caro Maurer MW who helped at the London programme which took place at the Institute headquarters. There is one more introductory programme taking place this year, at the Austrian Wine Academy in Rust, from 6 to 8 June. Caro Maurer MW, Eugene Mlynczyk MW and Pepi Schuller MW will lead the programme. This year, over 1000 people will have attended a two day introductory programme or a one hour information session about the Institute and the MW study programme.

2018 stage 1 assessment

Stage 1 assessmentThe stage 1 assessment (S1A) will be held on 4 June 2018, and this year we have 107 students sitting from around the world. 74% of students have opted to use computers for both parts of the S1A, an increase from last year. 58 students will be sitting in London, with the remaining students at the Sydney (20) and San Francisco (29) exam centres. 55% of students this year do not have English as a first language, and the theory paper is being submitted by students in eight different languages.


2018 MW examinations

2018 MW examinationsThis year’s MW examinations will begin on 5 June 2018 with 164 candidates sitting (101 in London, 39 in San Francisco and 24 in Sydney). Over 1000 bottles of wine have been shipped to the exam centres in preparation. The use of computers to take the exams continues to be a popular choice for candidates, with 89% using computers for the theory papers and 68% for practical papers. The Institute is introducing new examination software known as Surpass this year. The choice to write theory papers in others languages for students where English is not their first language is also popular, with 23% of candidates having their papers translated.



SommFoundation, David A. Carpenter Masters of Wine Scholarship

Somm.pngWe are delighted to announce Jessica H. Green as the winner of the first annual SommFoundation, David A. Carpenter Masters of Wine Scholarship. Jessica, a practical only student based in New York City, has been awarded this $5000 scholarship to help towards the costs of her studies. The mission of the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation ("SommFoundation") is to assist wine and spirits professionals to achieve the highest level of proficiency and accreditation in the food and beverage industry. Jessica is a wine educator and journalist based in New York. She teaches WSET classes at the International Wine Center, and her articles on wine are widely published. Read the full press release here 

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11 June 2018 | Rieslings from Around the World tasting | New York, NY

11 August 2018| TexSom Event, Burgundy Tasting | TX

31 August 2018 | New Masters of Wine announced

3 September 2018 | Other MW examination results

12 September 2018 | Masters of Winemaking tasting | London

12 September 2018 | IMW AGM | London

12 September 2018 | IMW North America AGM | London

12 September 2018 | Master of Wine Endowment Company AGM | London

24 September 2018 | Annual Champagne tasting | San Francisco

27 October 2018 | Cabernet from the Americas tasting | San Francisco

27 October 2018 | MW get together | San Francisco

2 November 2018 | Boulder Burgundy Festival | TBC

6 November 2018 | Annual Claret tasting | London

6 November 2018 | Annual Awards Ceremony | London  

Member opportunities

MW trip, New Zealand, February 2019

Air New ZealandThe 2019 MW trip to New Zealand will take place between 19 and 27 February 2019. It will showcase the depth and breadth of New Zealand wine, exploring the regions of Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Martinborough, Marlborough and Central Otago, incorporating tastings of wines from Gisborne, Nelson and Canterbury/Waipara. It will provide an invaluable opportunity to learn about what makes New Zealand wine unique and globally dynamic. An exciting programme of vineyard and winery visits, tastings and lectures is being put in place, all supported by the famous laid-back Kiwi hospitality - expect sunshine, beaches and seafood (though do bring a warm jacket, too – we are talking cool climate wine production, after all!).There are 40 MW places available, the cost is £900.00 (excluding return flights to NZ). For the draft itinerary, further details and to register your interest, see the website here. As on all trips, the spaces will be allocated by a lottery and an administration fee of £100.00, payable to the Institute, is required as confirmation of attendance on the trip.


MW trip, Mosel, June 2019

Mosel MW trip newsletter.pngOrganised by the Mosel Wine Promotion Board, an MW trip to Mosel, Germany is planned for 11 to 16 June 2019. There are 20 places available. As on all trips, the spaces will be allocated by a lottery and an administration fee of £100.00, payable to the Institute, is required as confirmation of your attendance on the trip. See the website here for the draft itinerary and to register your interest





MW trip, Austria, September 2018

Austrain Wine.pngInstitute Principal Supporter, Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) are offering an exclusive Master of Wine trip, to selected wine regions of Austria from 13 to 16 September 2018. The trip will take place directly after the IMW's AGM in London, so it is a great opportunity for overseas travellers to combine those two events. The theme of the programme is 'Along the Danube' and therefore the wine-growing regions visited will be: Wien, Wagram, Kamptal, Kremstal, Wachau and Carnuntum.All domestic travel (mostly by coach) and hotels (single rooms) in Austria during the official programme will be covered by AWMB. Guests will need to arrange and pay for their own travel to and from Austria. There will be a non-refundable fee of £325, which will include an admin fee and contribution to the costs of the stay. Further details and a draft itinenary can be found here. If you would like to take up one of the final spaces, email Belinda Eaton.


MW trips 2019

There are a number other trips being planned for next year, and we will let you know more about them as the itineraries are firmed up, and details confirmed. We hope the following will be amongst them:

  • Portugal - including Dao, Bairrada and Alentejo | March
  • Champagne | March/April
  • Roussillon | April / May / June
  • Lebanon | May
  • Georgia | September
  • Chile | either October or February 2020 


Women of the Vine & Spirits annual membership discount

Women of the VineWomen of the Vine & Spirits, an organisation dedicated to the empowerment and advancement of women in the alcohol beverage industry, is offering all Members a 20% discount on the annual membership fee of $150. When you join Women of the Vine & Spirits you join a powerful and growing community in the alcohol beverage industry and gain access to a wealth of opportunity and possibility. Women of the Vine & Spirits offers steadfast support for women at every position in the field with membership privileges that include: education, advocacy, training, mentorship, entrepreneurship and networking as well as tools, services and opportunities for career advancement and personal development. Access the special IMW membership discount in Members' area of the website here (login required)



Tim Atkin MW

Tim Atkin MW has produced his sixth annual guide to Argentina. With over 1,500 wines tasted and rated, it is the largest and most comprehensive yet. Based on three weeks spent visiting vineyards and wineries in February this year, including a first-ever visit to Jujuy to see the world's highest vineyard, it is an in-depth portrait of a dynamic industry that is not without its challenges right now. Find out more and buy the report here


Pedro Ballesteros MW

Congratulations to Pedro Ballesteros MW who was recently awarded the distinction of the Spanish Command Order of the Agricultural Merit.


Susie Barrie MW and Peter Richards MW

Susie Barrie MW and Peter Richards MW have released a brand new guide to English wine, to coincide with English Wine Week (26 May-3 June 2018). Published by the International Wine & Food Society (IWFS), the pocket-sized monograph covers key aspects of English wine and profiles the country’s leading producers. Find out more here


Mollie Battenhouse MW and Anne Krebiehl MW

Mollie Battenhouse MW and Anne Krebiehl MW both feature in a podcast by the Wine Enthusiast, 'Mastering Wine', which explores what it takes to become a Master of Wine or a certified sommelier. Listen to the podcast here


Sarah Jane Evans MW

Sarah Jane Evans MW has just released her second book on Spain, The Wines of Northern Spain, from Galicia to the Pyrenees and Rioja to the Basque Country - a very useful reference for anyone going to the IMW Symposium!


Rosemary George MW

Rosemary George MW has published a new book, Wines of the Languedoc. The focus is the Languedoc in the 21st century, with an emphasis on the newcomers rather than established wine growers in vineyards, from west of Carcassonne to east of Montpelier. The book is available on Amazon and direct from the publishers Infinite Ideas. Read more about the book on Rosemary's blog here

Caroline Gilby MW

Congratulations to Caroline Gilby MW who was recently awarded the title of Friend of Hungarian Winemakers for 2018. Caroline is the first foreigner to win the title, which is voted for by a group of 50 leading Hungarian winemakers.


Sonal Holland MW and Andrea Pritzker MW

Sonal Holland MW and Andrea Pritzker MW recently became official Bourgogne Wine Ambassadors; the first for India and Australia respectively. Sonal and Andrea were invited by the BIVB to spend a week in mid-May as part of their Bourgogne Wines Ambassador programme. And after a great week of visits to vineyards and producers across the region, they sat a rigorous exam to attain the accreditation.


Fernando Mora MW

Fernando Mora MW is featured in Jancis Robinson MW's FT column, in which she discusses the renaissance of Spain’s Garnacha grape. Read the article here

Drinks Business Awards 2018

Congratulations to the following MW Drinks Business award winners, who were announced at the London Wine Fair:


New cinematic documentary series ‘Wine Masters’

AWine Masters new documentary series Wine Masters tells five stories about the origin of well-known international grape varieties and their terrior told by five French leading wine producers. Tim Atkin MW and Jeannie Cho Lee MW share their knowledge in every episode with honest yet critical opinions about the regions, grape varieties, terroirs, wines and wine producers. Season 1 features Bordeaux (Boüard de Laforest), Rhône (E. Guigal), Loire (Bourgeois), Burgundy (Drouhin) and Alsace (Trimbach). You can watch the trailer here and find the full series - now in 7 languages - on iTunes, www.winemasters.tv, Vimeo on Demand, Amazon Prime and Google Play.

SupportersThe Austrian Wine Marketing Board - The Best Old World Pinot Noir outside Burgundy tasting

Vie VinumThe Austrian Wine Marketing Board is holding a tasting during VieVinum – Austria’s most important and prestigious wine fair - in Vienna. The tasting, The Best Old Word Pinot Noir outside Burgundy is taking place on 9 June 2018 from 1600 in the Schatzkammersaal, Hofburg Palace. The alpine wine growing areas of Europe such as Austria, Switzerland, Alto Adige and Germany have been producing world class Pinot Noirs for the past few decades. Following a recent tasting organised by Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW entitled The World's Greatest Pinot Noirs Today, Outside of Burgundy that focused exclusively on rare Pinots of the New World, this masterclass will examine the potential of the Pinot Noirs from German-speaking Europe. There’s already a waiting list for this event, but contact the AWMB team, if you would like to be added to the list: event@austrianwine.com. VieVinum is celebrating its 20th anniversary and takes place from 9 to 11 June 2018, see here for further information and tickets.


Madame Bollinger Foundation celebrates 30 year partnership with the IMW

BollingerIn 1988, Christian Bizot founded the Madame Bollinger Foundation to permanently recognise the contribution and values of his aunt, Madame Bollinger, who led the House from 1941 to 1973; choosing London as its base and its mission to be the fostering of the highest standards in wine education. It was in this same year the Foundation partnered with the Institute and the inaugural Madame Bollinger Medal for the most outstanding performance during the practical tasting examination was presented to Michael Hill-Smith MW. On Thursday 3 May 2018, 30 years on, the recipients of this illustrious award were invited to London by Chairman of the Madame Bollinger Foundation Etienne Bizot, son of Christian Bizot and great-nephew of Madame Bollinger, to celebrate the anniversary. This very special reunion brought together 17 from the total of 29 Masters of Wine who have been awarded the Madame Bollinger medal in the 30 years of the prize. Proud winners flew in from around the globe to attend the lunch at Mark’s Club in London. Read the full press release here

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Golf: IMW v the wine trade

IMW GolfOnce again, the golfing minority amongst the IMW membership took on the rest of the world’s wine trade. The 2018 contest took place at the Rye links course at the end of May. Richard Bampfield MW reports on the day and the winners...

In the first afternoon’s foursomes, we didn’t really fire, perhaps weighed down by the treacle tart at lunch, and ended up a couple of points down. A strategic rethink over dinner at the now famous Tuscan Kitchen, refreshed by an alarming number of bottles of iconic wines from around the world, resulted in a stronger showing the following day. However, a more spirited (or wine-fuelled) performance was insufficient to haul back the deficit so, for the first time in four years, we had to hand back the Pol Roger Cup to Chris Porter, the Wine Trade skipper. Masters of Wine playing included Tim Atkin MW, Richard Bampfield MW, John Casson MW, Barry Dick MW, Keith Isaac MW, Phil Tuck MW and James Simpson MW. And it was particularly pleasing to see Mark Lynton MW back on the course and competing after an absence of over five years.

Any golfers (or even beginners) not yet on the radar for this annual fixture, please do contact Richard Bampfield MW at bampwine@gmail.com


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