Newsletter 7 May 2019
  The IMW & the MW study programme

E. & J. Gallo Winery becomes a Major Supporter of the IMW

GalloWe were delighted to welcome E. & J. Gallo Winery to our international supporter community in April. Founded by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo in 1933 in Modesto, California, E. & J. Gallo Winery is the world's largest family-owned winery. They are the producer of award-winning wines and spirits, featured in more than 110 countries. The Gallo portfolio is comprised of more than 100 brands. Their premium offerings include Apothic, La Marca, Columbia Winery, Ecco Domani, Whitehaven, J Vineyards & Winery, Louis M. Martini, MacMurray Estate Vineyards, Orin Swift, Talbott Vineyards, Allegrini, William Hill Estate, Jermann, and Tornatore.



MW study programme applications are open!

Applications openWe are now accepting applications for the MW study programme. Applicants have until 7 June 2019 to complete the required form and supply a reference. They 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, If you know anyone that might be interested in applying, please share the below link with them:



London Wine Fair: information session and free MW entry


We will be holding an information session at London Wine Fair on Monday 20 May 2019 from 1230 to 1330. The session will provide an overview of the study programme and an opportunity for potential students to ask questions to the IMW team and Masters of Wine. If you have an hour to join the session, we would be most grateful for your time. And don't forget a complimentary ticket to LWF is available for all MWs! You can log into the website here to access this offer. If you can help at the information session, email Olly Chapman using the link below. Please encourage any potential MW students you know to attend the session! 


Famiglia Cecchi award bursary to MW student Gabriele Gorelli

CecchiFamiglia Cecchi, the Italian family-owned wine producer, has awarded stage 2 MW student Gabriele Gorelli a £1,500 bursary to aid his MW study programme journey. For a chance to win the bursary, Italian-based MW students were asked to answer an essay question set by the producer, with Gabriele writing the winning essay. Andrea Cecchi, owner and winemaker at Cecchi, said, “We are so proud to be able to support the studies of students in this very worthwhile cause. We found the standard of entries very high and each student had taken a fresh perspective on the question of how to build the profile of wines from the Chianti and Chianti Classico regions.”


Upcoming events

Lifetime Achievement Award Announcement, Vinexpo, Bordeaux


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

We would love you to join us at the IMW/the drinks business Lifetime Achievement Award presentation lunch at Vinexpo, where the 2019 recipient will be announced. 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. We hope to see you there!



Swiss Wine seminars, IMW HQ, London

Swiss WineDate: 10 May 2019
Chasselas: a Swiss terroir revealer, 1000-1200
Switzerland and its rare and defining grapes, 1400-1600
Location: IMW HQ, London 

IMW Supporter Swiss Wine will be hosting two events, Chasselas: a Swiss terroir revealer and Switzerland and its rare and defining grapes, both on Friday 10 May at the IMW HQ – with one taking place in the morning and one in the afternoon. Sommelier Michele Caimotto will showcase the subtleties of Swiss terroirs and some of Switzerland’s most rare and interesting grapes. 


MW trips

Alto Adige, Chile and Trentodoc

MW tripsA few places have become available on the following MW trips:

Trentodoc, 2-6 October 2019
Chile, 17-24 November 2019

A trip to Alto Adige is also being organised for 5 to 8 September 2019. The details of this and how to apply will be sent to you shortly. Full details on all MW trips can be found on the website here. If you would like any further information or are interested in taking any of the trip places, please contact Belinda Eaton:


Member news

KEDGE open Gerard Basset tasting room

KEDGE Business School unveiled a new tasting room last week at the Bordeaux campus, in honour of Gerard Basset MW. Gerard was a former student at Kedge and his wife Nina and son Romané were present at the official opening.



Jennifer Docherty MW joins Summergate

Drinks distributor Summergate Fine Wines & Spirits has announced the appointment of Jennifer Docherty MW as its head of brand portfolio management. Congratulations Jennifer!



Q and A with Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW

Winner of WSET's 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, Mary Ewing-Mulligan MW explains to WSET how wine education has evolved in the USA and how she has spearheaded their stateside growth.



Comitato Grandi Cru d'Italia award Adrian Garforth MW

IMW Chairman Adrian Garforth MW was recently honoured by the Comitato Grandi Cru d'Italia at a ceremony in Verona, Italy. Adrian received the award in recognition for his knowledge and contribution to wine culture on a global scale. Congrats Adrian! 



Sonal Holland MW honoured by the delWine Excellence Awards

Congratulations to Sonal Holland MW, who was recently honoured by delWine Excellence Awards as one of the ‘Top Women of Wine’ in 2019. Sonal has been honoured for this award every year since its inception in 2013. 



Chenin Blanc International Congress with Cathy van Zyl MW

At the inaugural Chenin Blanc International Congress in South Africa this July, Cathy van Zyl MW will present a session on what sensory analysis and wine judging can tell us about the taste of Chenin. 



Interpreting Wine - MW podcast series

Lawrence Francis from the Interpreting Wine podcast has been speaking to Masters of Wine in his latest series. We have heard interviews with Nick Adams MW, Richard Ballantyne MW, David Forer MW, Mick O'Connell MW and Richard Hemming MW on topics ranging from life as an MW, in-shop tastings to the MW exam. Olivier Chapman, IMW Head of Study Programme and Development will feature in the next episode - speaking about the MW study programme and how to apply - which is set to be released this week.



Derek Smedley MW - 1937 to 2019

Derek Smedley MW

We have lost another beloved Member and friend in Derek Smedley MW, who died on 15 April 2019 after a battle with cancer. He was 81. Derek became an MW in 1968 and celebrated his golden MW anniversary with us at the annual awards ceremony in November last year (pictured).

After two years in the Navy and three years at Queens’ College Cambridge reading Law, Derek joined the wine trade in 1961.

He began his wine career with John Harvey and Sons in Bristol, and after five years he moved to the wine side of Watney Mann which became IDV. During his time there he became an MW and gained a love of Bordeaux through his involvement with Château Loudenne.

In 1972 he joined Whitbreads as their wine buyer – travelling the world to expand their portfolio. In 1985 he started his own wine company but sold it in 1999 to develop the consultancy side of his life. He was very involved with the City of London, including Mansion House, the Guildhall and several Livery Companies. Derek was also consultant to many prestigious clubs, as well as tutoring wine dinners for the Oxford & Cambridge Club. He led wine tours worldwide and up until very recently still led tours for Love Wine Food.

He was very active on social media and had his own website where he would publish tasting notes and his ‘wine of the week’.

Derek was a past Co-Chairman of the International Wine Challenge, and a past Chairman of the IMW in 1978. He will be greatly missed. 

There will be a service for Derek in London later this year. We will share details with you once known.


Copyright 2019 The Institute of Masters of Wine