2 October 2019 Newsletter
  The IMW & MW study programme

IMW governance consultation

Governance.pngAs outlined at the recent AGM, we are updating the governance of the IMW. This is the first set of revisions for a decade, driven by our desire to make our regulations clear, accessible and fit for purpose. Consultation with you is a critical part of this review. All details for how to participate in the consultation process are available on the MW area of the website, and as outlined in the email from Adrian Garforth MW and Steve Charters MW on 27 September 2019. If you would like to participate you can do this by joining one of the online meetings, or by completing a feedback form, by 16 October 2019.



Olly Chapman to leave role as IMW's Head of Study Programme and Development

OllyOlly Chapman, our Head of Study Programme and Development, will be leaving the IMW at Christmas. He is to be congratulated on joining the Royal Society of Medicine in January, where he will become the Head of Educational Programmes. Since 2014 Olly has been responsible at the IMW for the smooth delivery of the study programme and the Master of Wine examination to students across 45 countries. He has played a key role in attracting high calibre potential members of the IMW and supporting them through the process of becoming Masters of Wine. As one of the team's most popular and respected colleagues, he will be much missed.

Olly said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the IMW – over the last five years I have been privileged to interact with MWs, MW students and the IMW executive team, admiring everyone’s dedication and genuine enthusiasm to help one other. I will greatly miss being part of this wonderful global wine community but look forward to keeping in contact with the friends I have made during my time at the Institute."

A comprehensive search for a new Head of Study Programme and Development has started with recruitment consultant Gatenby Sanderson. If you know of anyone who may be interested in the role or would like to find out more, please contact Rufus Olins, rolins@mastersofwine.org


Santa Rita Estates becomes a supporter of the IMW

Santa RitaWe were pleased to announce in September that Santa Rita Estates (SRE), has re-joined the IMW’s international supporter community. SRE comprises Santa Rita and Carmen from Chile, and Doña Paula from Argentina. Santa Rita enjoys success in key markets across the globe as well as being one of the best-selling brands in Chile.

Adrian Garforth MW, IMW chairman said “We are delighted to be renewing our relationship with Santa Rita Estates. In November we have a large party of MWs visiting Chile to explore and learn more about the exciting developments within the country. SRE are recognised for their pioneering work in the region, so their recommitment to support the IMW’s aims through a long term agreement is both timely and welcome.”



Constellation Brands awards 2019 stage one Master of Wine student scholarship

Constellation BrandsIMW principal supporter Constellation Brands has awarded the first of two Master of Wine (MW) student scholarships this year to Sonoma-based wine writer and educator Matthew Gaughan. Matthew achieved the highest overall score of any North American student in the stage one assessment. He will receive a $1,000 scholarship award sponsored by Constellation Brands to assist with his continued studies as he progresses to stage two. In addition, Constellation Masters of Wine Nova Cadamatre MW and Mark de Vere MW, will host him at Robert Mondavi Winery for a special tour and tasting this autumn.

Matthew said, “I am delighted to receive the student scholarship from Constellation. Studying for the MW takes a great deal of time, effort and financial investment, so to receive support from the industry is very helpful and bolsters my commitment to the programme.”


Upcoming events

Annual Claret tasting (2015 vintage)

Claret tastingDate: 5 November 2019
Time: 0930h-1400h
Location: Vintners' Hall, London
Availability: Wait list only

Tickets for the Claret tasting have sold out in record time! If you don't have a ticket, you can join the wait list, and you will be notified if any new tickets become available. The 2019 event will be showcasing the 2015 vintage of the Grands Crus Classés from the Médoc, Pessac Léognan, St Emilion and the top Pomerol estates, including most of the First Growths and their Right Bank equivalents. The annual walk-around tasting is a rare opportunity to review one vintage of Bordeaux two years after bottling and compare wines of the highest quality across all Bordeaux’s top appellations.  



Annual awards ceremony 

Date: 5 November 2019
Time: 1730h-2100h
Location: Vintners' Hall, London
Availability: 10 places remaining - MWs only

Awards.pngThere are now only 10 places available for the annual awards ceremony in November, where we will welcome the 2019 vintage of Masters of Wine and celebrate with a drinks and canapé reception. As the capacity at Vintners' Hall prevents us from being able to accommodate everyone, you are required to RSVP if you plan to attend. Once full capacity is reached, you will be added to the wait list and notified if new spaces become available.

If you are attending the Claret tasting during the day you will still need to RSVP for the awards ceremony.




VDPDate: 17 October 2019
Location: Army & Navy Club, 36-39 Pall Mall, St. James's, London 
Session 1: 1000h – 1300h
Session 2: 1430h – 1730h

On Thursday 17 October 2019 we are hosting, with the VDP, a tasting of Grosse Gewächse wines in London. The event will feature more than 100 of Germany’s finest dry wines and will follow the format pioneered in Wiesbaden where tasters can choose from their seat exactly which flights of wine they would like to be served. And it features a mouth-watering selection of Germany’s greatest wines and estates.

This is the first time the VDP have taken this format overseas and, as the IMW would very much like it to become an annual event, we are keen to make it a success. Do attend if you can - and, if you cannot, perhaps you could recommend it to a colleague. 


Details of the following two events in London will be published in the next few days: Amarone masterclass, 20 November 2019 and Dry Champagne masterclass, 5 December 2019

Member news

Richard Harvey MW - 2019 Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction

Richard Harvey MW auctionTwo of Bonhams most senior and experienced auctioneers, Global Director of Fine Wine, Richard Harvey MW and Director of Modern and Contemporary African Art, Giles Peppiatt will be on the rostrum for this year’s annual Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction. Formed in 1982, the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG), is an association of 45 of South Africa’s finest winemakers. CWG plays an important role in the development of the South African wine industry, spearheading innovation and promoting sustainable farming practices. The auction is to be held at the Spier Conference Centre, Stellenbosch on Saturday 5 October 2019. 

Richard Harvey MW, who in 2018 oversaw a record year for Bonhams Wine, Whisky and Spirits department, said: "It’s a great privilege to have been invited to act as auctioneer for this famous event. The Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction is known throughout the wine world for its quality and exclusivity, and Giles and I are looking forward to playing our part in making this a memorable day.”



Stephen Wong MW - The Family of Twelve Tutorial 2019

Family of Twelve.pngIn August, Stephen Wong MW was invited as the external moderator for the second Family of Twelve Tutorial. Stephen has written a review of the tutorial to share with you; an extract is included here and the full version is available on the IMW blog. “Hosted for the first time in 2018, when fellow Master of Wine, Emma Jenkins MW was the moderator, the FXII Tutorial was intended to be a biennial affair. Off the success of the last year’s event, the Tutorial co-ordinators – Helen Masters and Blair Walter, winemakers of Ata Rangi and Felton Road, respectively – had decided to make it an annual event.

The format reflects the IMW’s own approach to tasting and wine assessment in many ways. Firstly, the flights are blind dozens and attendees are asked to write down their notes individually, spending an average of two and a half minutes per wine. We go around the room wine by wine getting opinions and impressions on each one with one of the Family’s winemakers and myself, the moderator, guiding the discussion and providing technical input as needed”.



Decanter Retailer Awards 2019

Richard Ballantyne MWCongratulations to all the MWs and supporters who were honoured in the 2019 Decanter Retailer Awards including:


Member offer

The Future of Wine Forum – discount for MWs and MW students

Future of Wine Forum.png

The Future of Wine Forum takes place on 4 November 2019 in London at The Conduit Club. This is a one-day conference where leading winemakers, retailers and industry executives will discuss why and how sustainability matters in wine. The objective is prioritising debates and discussions, clarifying some of the confusion around what sustainability means and how to put it into practice in the wine industry. You can view the full list of speakers here, which includes Richard Bampfield MW. Tickets are £130, however MWs and MW students are being offered a £50 discount using this link (or by entering studentsmwmssomms in the promo code).



Check all current offers in the MW area of the website here

MW trips

Lebanon MW trip

MW trip.pngThe MW trip to Lebanon took place in April this year, attended by 14 MWs from nine countries. You can read a feature by Natasha Hughes MW, recently published by Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine, based on her trip experience. Natasha writes, “Alongside the archaeological evidence there’s plenty of documentation to underline the fact that wine has been an important part of life in this corner of the world for well over 5,000 years. Even under the rule of various Islamic caliphates and then the Ottomans, wine survived, a dispensation to Lebanon’s significant Christian community, who needed it in order to celebrate mass.

It wasn’t until the arrival of the French in the latter half of 19th century, though, that the scene was set for the creation of a commercial wine industry. According to Hady Kahale, a Lebanese winery consultant, “The French missionaries were the ones who really started planting vineyards. They had the excuse that they were making wines for religious reasons, but I think they were betting on the fact that the French and English troops in the region would want to buy wine.”

Nevertheless, in all ways that matter, Lebanon is really a very new winemaking country. It wasn’t until the 1970s and ’80s that Lebanon could boast half a dozen commercial wineries, all of them heavily influenced by French culture.”


Copyright 2019 The Institute of Masters of Wine