2 October 2017


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It was great to see Members at the AGM in September and I look forward to seeing even more Masters of Wine at our annual reception at Vintners' Hall on 7 November. On the night we will be welcoming 18 new Masters of Wine - 14 of whom were announced last month - and celebrating the 60th anniversaries of three Masters of Wine. We are now finalising details of our Master of Wine Endowment Auction. The online lots for the Auction are being catalogued and will go live at the end of the month, running until Sunday 19th November. The lots are a wonderful range including interesting wines and wine experiences which will be accessible to a wide number of people. Thank you to everyone who has helped pull this together – you are too numerous to name you individually – but it really is incredible...thank you!

Feedback on the 18 Super Lots, to be auctioned at the gala dinner at Bonhams, has been fantastic and we hope to raise a significant sum on 16 November. The Super Lots can be viewed here, both individually and by downloading the full brochure. There are also some remaining spaces so if you know anyone that might be interested in attending and bidding please do pass on the brochure details, or contact Sarah Kirkpatrick for any further information.

Jane Masters MW, Chairman


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New MWs newsletter (2).pngIt gives the Institute of Masters of Wine great pleasure to announce 14 new Masters of Wine. Based in five different countries, the new Members of the Institute are, Nova Cadamatre MW (USA), Julie Chéné Nyheim MW (Norway), Alistair Cooper MW (UK), Philip Harden MW (UK), Ashley Hausman Vaughters MW(USA), Sarah Heller MW (Hong Kong), Tim Jackson MW (UK), Andreas Kubach MW (Spain), Fernando Mora MW (Spain), Aina Mee Myhre MW (Norway), Billo Naravane MW (USA), Catherine Petrie MW (UK), Nigel Sneyd MW (USA) and Morgan Twain-Peterson MW (USA). There are now 369 Masters of Wine living in 29 countries. 
Read the 4 September 2017 press release here



Study Programme

2017-2018 Registrations 

Registrations for the 2017-18 academic session have now closed. The total student population for the upcoming academic year is broadly in line with the previous year with around 340 students across all three stages of the Study Programme. Stage 1 and stage 2 students will each attend a seminar in one of six locations, including for the first time, Neustadt in Germany (for the Theory Only group).

Thank you to all Members who provided a reference to accompany applications for the Study Programme. The Institute offered around 60% of applicants a place on the Study Programme, with the reference performing an important part of the Admission Panel’s review process. This year, additional review mechanisms were introduced which included each application being considered independently by two Masters of Wine before being put forward for consideration by the Admissions Panel. This ensured that each applicant was thoroughly and carefully reviewed.

In the 2017-18 academic session, over 160 MWs will be involved in supporting students in some way. This could include leading a course day or a session at a seminar, marking assignments and/or exams, being a mentor or RP advisor or being on one of the Study Programme committees or working groups. Thank you in advance to all those providing such valuable support to MW students. As a reminder, two documents have been produced to support those preparing to sit the theory and practical exams. These are available in the Members area of the website here and should be a useful resource for mentors and others providing support and feedback to students this year.


Admissions Committee - call for Members

Last year, the Education and Exam Board (EEB) undertook a detailed review of the admissions process for entry onto the Study Programme. One of the recommendations – which was endorsed by Council – was to create a separate Admissions Committee to focus on designing, implementing and monitoring the quality of our admissions processes. The Institute is now looking to establish that committee and are soliciting volunteers for the four at-large members including three representatives from the three Study Programme regions (Europe, North America, Australasia) and a Chair. Experience in exam or education would be helpful but is not required for the three regional representatives. Candidates for the Chair, however, should have significant education and/or exam experience. While the operating rhythm of the committee is yet to be established, Members should expect to devote 20-30 hours of their time in August and an equivalent amount of time in total for the other 11 months of the year. Meetings will be electronic, so no travel is required. Expressions of interest should be sent to Olly Chapman, no later than 16 October 2017. This should include a brief description of your involvement in the Institute and a short (150 word max) statement outlining your motivation and acknowledging your ability to devote the required time. Please also let Olly know if you’d like to be considered for the Chair.


Outreach activities in New Zealand in November

A number of Institute activities are planned in November in New Zealand. For the first time, Introductory Sessions (90 minute briefing sessions) will be held in three locations in the same week, aimed at raising the profile of the Institute and providing information to those interested in the MW Study Programme and the Institute more broadly. An MW dinner is being held in Auckland on 14 November and meetings have been arranged with Institute Supporters and other industry bodies to explore how the Institute can continue to develop its presence in the region. Please extend the invite to join an Introductory Sessions to anyone you know who has an interest in the Institute and the MW Study Programme:

  • Auckland – 14 November
    1630 – 1800, Yealands, 139 Quay Street, Shed 20, Level 1, Princes Wharf, Auckland 1010
  • Blenheim – 15 November
    1400 – 1530, Boardroom, Marlborough Research Centre, 85 Budge Street, Blenheim
  • Wellington – 17 November
    Early afternoon, details soon to be confirmed

If you would like any additional information on any of these sessions or the activities planned in New Zealand, please contact Olly Chapman, Head of Study Programme and Development 


Neustadt/Germany added to the MW Study Programme seminar locations

Germany Seminar Location newsletter.pngFrom 2018 the Masters of Wine (MW) Study Progamme will include a one-week educational seminar in Germany. The German Wine Institute (DWI) has joined forces with the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates (VDP), to offer the educational seminar for MW students studying the theory part of the MW examination. Other hosts during the week will include the town of Neustadt and the regional marketing body Pfalzwein e.V. There are currently four MW seminar venues outside the United Kingdom: Adelaide, Bordeaux, Rust (Austria) and San Francisco. DWI managing director Monika Reule considers this cooperation an excellent opportunity to strengthen the international reputation of the wines and terroirs of Germany. “The Masters of Wine students are very influential opinion makers from all over the world and by coming to us they will be able to learn first-hand a great deal about the special features of wines from German wine regions”. Read the full press release here 


Curly Flat Pinot Noir Technical Tasting Seminar, 16 October 2017, London

Curly Flat.pngHave you ever wondered how the individual components of one of Australia’s greatest pinot noirs taste? On Monday 16 October 2017 you will have the rare opportunity to taste, in isolation, how different pinot noir clones and different winemaking methods affect the taste sensation. The seminar concludes with a tasting of finished wine, to bring together the sum of the parts of the elements involved in getting the best expression from the land. Curly Flat’s owner Jeni Kolkka will present a selection of her trials, along with a member of her estate team, to explain the philosophy and precision evolution of Curly Flat to the top flight producer it is today. This unique seminar, which promises to explore how these individual factors influence the flavour profile of top quality cool climate Aussie pinot noir. The Seminar will take place from 1845 to 2100 at The Institute of Masters of Wine, 6 Riverlight Quay, SW11 8EA. Tickets are priced at £30 for MWs, £45 for MW Students and £65 for Guests. This event is now full. To be placed on the waiting list, please contact Chloe Thompson


4th Annual Cabernet from the Americas Tasting, 30 October 2017, San Francisco 

American Cab Instagram (1).pngBuilding on the success of the last three years, this tasting features top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon wines from around the USA. This year, for the first time, selections will include ‘the other’ Cabernet grape – Cabernet Franc – with fine examples of both varieties from both North and South America. This event has established itself as one of the largest and most important tastings of its kind in the country, and is a must for wine students, trade professionals and keen amateurs with an interest in America’s most important red grape variety and in its finest wines. Held at the Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, the 1600 to 1730 seated tasting, moderated by Mary Margaret McCamic MW, will be led by a panel of some of California’s most highly-regarded winemakers, comparing top wines made from Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The extensive walk around tasting will follow the panel tasting from 1730 to 2000 and will include many outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc wines from across the USA, Canada, Chile, and Argentina. Tickets are $90 for the seated panel tasting and $65 for the walk around tasting, combined tickets for both are $135. A limited number of reduced rate tickets are available to MWs, MW students, full-time wine industry professionals and registered WSET Diploma students. Please purchase tickets early, as this event sells out quickly. For full details and to buy tickets, see here 


Annual Claret Tasting (2013 Vintage), 7 November 2017, Vintners' Hall, London

Claret - newsletter.pngIt is the Institute’s most eagerly anticipated event of the year! Showcasing wines from the 2013 Vintage of the Grands Crus Classés, properties of the Medoc, including First Growths and their Right Bank equivalents. With many Chateaux releasing less wine en primeur year on year, our annual walk around tasting gains commercial relevance in interesting times for the Bordeaux Grand Cru Classé market. This year is of particular significance because the 2013s have shown increasingly well in bottle and their pricing looks highly attractive when placed in the context of the recent campaign for the 2016s. As ever, this event will provide a valuable opportunity to try most of Bordeaux's classed growths side by side; and those who wish to will have the option of tasting the wines blind. Tickets are priced at £45 for MWs, £55 for MW students and £80 for all other guests (all inclusive of VAT). View session times and book tickets here



Annual Reception and Awards Ceremony, 7 November 2017, Vintners’ Hall, London (Members only)

Awards.pngThis year’s annual reception will start at 1730 with a glass or two of Bollinger and will then be followed by the Awards Ceremony at 1830. We will not only be welcoming the new MWs, but will also celebrate the 60th anniversaries of three MWs. During this ceremony we will also be presenting prizes to individual new MWs who have shone in particular parts of the Institute’s examination. Following the ceremony there will be an evening drinks reception with wines and canapés, finishing by 2100. All Members are most welcome to share the special evening, but it is essential to register. To confirm attendance, fill in this form by Friday 27 October 2017 (this is a Member only event).



Trade fairs - Somm Con, 15-17 November 2017, San Diego

Somm Con.pngThe Institute is delighted to add Somm Con to the list of trade fairs it is working with, to raise the profile of the IMW and individual Masters of Wine. It runs from 15 – 17 November in San Diego, and brings together industry professionals of all levels to discuss and lead the conversation on the business of wine. Geoff Labitzke MW will be talking about the IMW in a session called ‘Certifications and Your Career’, and Amy Christine MW and Mary Gorman-McAdams MW will be hosting a table at the main trade tasting to inform trade members and prospective MW students about the Institute. If Members are planning to attend and can help them, please contact events@mastersofwine.org. Or if any Members plan to attend another trade fair elsewhere in the world, and would like the opportunity to inform people in the wine trade about the Institute, the IMW team would be delighted to help. Upcoming trade fair dates include Unified in California in January, Vin Expo in New York in March 2018 and Prowein, also in March 2018.


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

Symp Launch (1).pngThe 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. Anyone can attend the Symposium by buying a ticket. 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 www.livingwine2018.com - more will be revealed over the coming weeks and months. See here to view the programme and confirmed speakers, and to buy your ticket



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VDP.GROSSE GEWÄCHSE Tasting - the New Releases: review by Anne Krebiehl MW


Setting a very refreshing tone for this year's AGM, the tasting that started off this important day was of the latest Grosses Gewächs Riesling releases from the 2016 vintage. The VDP kindly provided samples that we had chosen to represent 'classic' German Riesling. We thus had 56 Rieslings on show: 49 from the 2016 vintage and seven from the riper 2015 vintage. Of course the very well-known regions of Mosel, Rheingau and Pfalz featured - and storied vineyards at that - but we took care to include Mittelrhein, with slopes just as steep as those of Mosel and Saar as well as Franken - some of whose Rieslings duly came in Bocksbeutel. We also tried to give a good overview of the very different aspects of Rheinhessen and the geological diversity of the Nahe. The wines showed beautifully and we achieved what we wanted: the diversity in styles and winemaking approaches between estates, regions and sites was evident. Everyone seemed to fall in love with a different style or region – the room was full of smiles: for wines that are made to age these samples showed at their youthful, seductive best. Hilke Nagel, director of the VDP was in attendance, too: let me express our gratitude to her for making such a splendid tasting possible. Read this report on the blog here


Symposium Launch Event

Symp Launch.pngThe Symposium launch took place on Tuesday 5 September 2017 at the Institute’s headquarters in London. Perched on a podium of wooden wine boxes, six Masters of Wine waxed lyrical on a mixed case of topics including restaurant wine selection and pricing; demystifying wine; alcohol levels in wine; the range of Spanish wines and Iberico pork’s relationship with wine.
In addition, five special guests added their own perspective on the wine trade with their musings on natural wines; camaraderie and family companies in the wine trade; helping wines to travel logistically, and the seeming adoration of red trousers by traditional wine merchants. Delicious food was provided by Spanish brands Jabugo de Ley, Iberica Restaurants, Quesos Fuente Sauco and Anchoas Casa Santoña. The wine list, from Symposium Sponsors FCV, was as follows:

  • Consejo Regulador del Cava Reserva NV, Vilafranca del Penedès, Spain
  • Consejo Regulador del Cava Rosado NV, Vilafranca del Penedès, Spain
  • Terras Gauda O Rosal 2016, Bodegas Terras Gauda, Rías Baixas, Spain
  • Viña Alberdi 2011, Bodegas La Rioja Alta SA., Rioja, Spain
  • Marqués de Riscal Reserva 2013, Bodegas Herederos de Marqués de Riscal, Rioja, Spain
  • Muga Reserva Selección Especial 2011, Bodegas Muga, Rioja, Spain
  • Valbuena 2011, Bodegas Vega Sicilia, Ribera de Duero, Spain 

Read more about the event from the drinks businessDecanterRichardHemmingMW.com and West Sussex Country Times



Sherry Trip to Jerez - extract of review by Yiannis Karakasis MW


Jerez. Not the easiest destination to reach from Athens but totally worthy of the trouble. The Sherry Master 2017 hosted by Institute Supporter Gonzalez Byass (GB) was an extraordinary combination of theory and taste, a fine exploration of the Jerez terroir. Four Masters of Wine from four different countries together with around 10 more professionals from Spain, Germany and USA participated in this Sherry master course. GB Vice President along with the company’s master blender the passionate Mr. Antonio Flores offered us a warm welcome to the world of Sherry. GB was established in 1846 and it is regarded as the major player in the Sherry market. The first day included visits to the vineyards and to the archives of the company dating back to 1835. The tremendous capability of a single variety – the Palomino grape - to produce such a diversity of wine styles was the focus of the day. Read the full review on the blog here


Alto Adige MW Trip - extract of review by Demetri Walters MW

Alto Adige (1).pngThough somewhat ignorant of the Südtirol region before the trip, I knew the essence of it, where it lies geographically and that it presents itself as an amalgam of the best of two cultures: Austrian and Italian. What I wasn’t prepared for was the delightful epiphany that I was to experience. The Dolomites came as a wonderful surprise. Great slabs of towering white rock shot up vertically all around us, many of them surmounted by implausibly situated trees and the looming skeletons of long-abandoned fortifications; ever-alert sentinels to the presence of any would-be invader. Fairy tale stuff then. So why on earth hadn’t I been before? I have to ask this question again given that every reasonably flat surface is smothered with vines. This nicely illustrates why land values are so high in this area. What little relatively horizontal surface that isn’t adorned with houses is nicely decorated with apple orchards and vineyards. Unbeknownst to me, this was to be a revelation and perhaps more than any other wine region I have visited to date. Alto Adige comes as a great big surprise that ejects any ambivalence one might previously have held concerning this wonderful, colourful and dynamic wine region. Read the full review on the blog here


MW Swiss Trip - extract of review by Robin Kick MW

Swiss Trip (1).pngFrom 8-13 September, 22 Masters of Wine were hosted by Swiss Wine Promotion in Switzerland. The goal of the trip was to show the quality and diversity of Swiss wines and culture, as well as its unique Alpine micro-climates and the viticultural issues that accompany them within its three distinctive regions. Each day included at least one walk around tasting of 18-20 producers showing two or three wines and lectures with highly knowledgeable professionals. Following a quick detour to the vineyards west of Geneva, the first official stop was east of Geneva in Nyon at Ecole de Changins, Switzerland’s renowned viticulture and oenology university. The facilities are shared with Agroscope, Switzerland top agriculture research centre. Dr. Olivier Viret and Dr. Johannes Rösti introduced Switzerland as a winemaking zone and discussed the research that has been done to create hardier crossings in order to achieve better ripeness in their marginal climates and to treat less. The use of drones as a tool used in precision viticulture was also discussed. The day finished with a walk around tasting showing the diversity of grapes planted in Geneva, La Côte and Neuchatel/Trois Lacs followed by dinner at Schenk’s beautiful Château Chatagneréaz. Read the full review on the blog here


Tim Atkin MW

Tim has produced his sixth annual guide to South Africa. The 2017 South Africa Special Report is available to purchase and download here.


Susie Barrie MW and Peter Richards MW 

Married MWs and TV presenters Susie and Peter have teamed up with award-winning producer Hattingley Valley to make a top-notch, small-production Hampshire Blanc de Blancs. They are asking for help in not only selecting a charity to support but also finding a name for the wine. See here to give suggestions for the charity and the wine name


Nova Cadamatre MW, Ashley Hausman Vaughters MW, and Billo Naravane MW

Three of the newest Masters of Wine were interviewed for SevenFiftyDaily, and talked about how they studied, what they wish they had known, and how they celebrated.


Sarah Jane Evans MW

A profile piece on Sarah Jane, featured in the publication Magacín


Lisa Granik MW

Congratulations to Lisa, who has been named a Fulbright Scholar for the 2nd time! This will allow Lisa to continue her research on Georgian wine and wine culture, and includes three different extended research trips throughout the viticultural calendar.


Sonal Holland MW

A CNN feature on Sonal, titled 'Can this woman make India love wine?'


Eran Pick MW

A round-up of a year in Israeli wine features Eran becoming Israel's first Master of Wine.


Liz Thach MW

With immigrant labour in the news, Liz Thach MW talks to some wine labourers who became owners.


Morgan Twain-Peterson MW

Wine Business profile new Master of Wine Morgan and his winery Bedrock Wine Co.


Trademark Protection

At the September Annual General Meeting it was mentioned how much the Institute is committed to protecting the trademark of the Institute, the initials ‘MW’ and other marks connected with Masters of Wine. The Institute spends a lot of time and resources on this issue, and year on year are able to increase the reach of such international protection. Despite this there are a number of cases where individuals or companies try to use the letters ‘MW’, or ‘Masters of Wine’. As the profile of the Institute continues to grow internationally, we have to assume this type of action won’t diminish. The Institute has therefore written a guide for all Members on the use of IMW trademarks. It is available in the Members area of the website here.


Decanter Retailer of the Year Awards

The Decanter Retailer of the Year Awards announced its winners recently, with Peter Richards MW as the Chair of Judges. Congratulations to all who were recognised in the awards, including our Members and Supporters in the following categories (MWs linked to the awards are highlighted). 

Outstanding Retailer of the Year AND Online Retailer of the Year AND Regional France Specialist of the Year
The Wine Society (Sarah Knowles MW, Jo Locke MW, Sebastian Payne MW)

Large Retailer of the Year AND Bordeaux Specialist of the Year
Berry Bros & Rudd (Katherine Dart MW, Catriona Felstead MW, Simon Field MW, Jasper Morris MW, Mark Pardoe MW, Lenka Sedlácková MW, Demetri Walters MW)

Supermarket of the Year - Runner-up AND England and Wales Specialist of the Year ‘Other’ Specialist of the Year (for Fortified)
Waitrose (Becky Hull MW, Xenia Irwin MW, Pierpaolo Petrassi MW)

Medium Size Retailer of the Year
Runner-up: Philglas & Swiggot (Justin Knock MW)

South Africa Specialist of the Year
James Handford MW and Greg Sherwood MW

England and Wales Specialist of the Year 
Runner-up: Marks & Spencer (Emma Dawson MW)


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MW Archivist - voluntary role at the Institute

Archivist.pngThe Institute has a proud history in the international wine world, but a lot of information and anecdotal memory rests with individual Members, and has never been systematically recorded and stored for posterity. The Institute is keen to capture that information, and make sure it is retained and maintained for current and future generations of MWs, and so has devised a new role so a Master of Wine can help the Institute's Executive Team in this process. The archivist will also have an oversight over the Institute’s library, the bulk of which is housed in the Guildhall in London, but with some books in the Institute’s headquarters. A job description has been sent to all Members, and the Institute has received several expressions of interest. If there are any more Members who wish to put themselves forward for the role, please contact Sarah Kirkpatrick, by the end of October 2017.


WSET seeking subject-specialist examiners

WSET.pngWSET Awards – the exam board responsible for WSET assessments – is seeking subject-specialist examiners for the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits, a gateway qualification to the MW Study Programme. Applicants should have a wine education background and hold the WSET Diploma, but cannot be actively involved in teaching or administering WSET programmes of study. Full training and support will be provided. For further information please contact Matthew Forster MW (mforster@wsetglobal.com) or Kate Newland (knewland@wsetglobal.com).


Upcoming Raw Wine events 

Raw wine.pngRAW WINE is a two-day celebration of low-intervention organic, biodynamic and natural wine, taking place annually in London, Berlin, New York and now Los Angeles too. It is a platform to taste hundreds of ‘living’ artisan wines and meet the growers behind the bottles. The next editions in the USA are taking place on 5-6 November (New York) and 12-13 November (Los Angeles). To find out more and to explore the full list of producers attending, visit the dedicated microsites: newyork.rawwine.com and losangeles.rawwine.com.




Winesave PRO - 10% discount for MWs and MW students


Winesave are offering a 10% discount to Members and students in the MW Study Programme for winesave PRO, a solution for keeping opened bottles of wine fresh for longer. Winesave uses 100% high-quality, food-grade argon gas to reduce oxidation. To receive the discount, go to www.winesave.com and use coupon code 2017MW10OFF during checkout.






Madeira Producers Tasting - invite to MWs and MW students

Madeira.pngSeven of the top Madeira wine producers - Blandy's Madeira, CAF - Madeira Vinters, Henriques & Henriques, H. M. Borges, Justino's Madeira Wines, Pereira D'Oliveira and Vinhos Barbeito – will be in London on Monday 16th October to show their latest releases and ranges at a ‘walk-around’ Tasting from 3.30 to 7pm at the RSA House, 8 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6EZ. Organised by the Madeira Wine Institute, this generic tasting is an opportunity to compare and contrast the various styles of this well-known, but less understood, wine sector. The event also includes two tutored one-hour Masterclasses on Madeira wines, given by respected international Madeira expert, journalist and judge Alexandre Lalas, and featuring a selection of rare and iconic Madeiras from the producers’ own cellars. Each of these Masterclasses has just 20 seats available – so early booking is recommended. To register, and receive free tickets, please contact Madeleine Waters or 01225 830826



Symington Family Estates test vineyard robots

Symington (1).pngPort producers and Institute Supporters Symington Family Estates has helped trial a new robot, which has been designed to monitor vines in areas where human labour is in short supply. The new bot is named ‘VineScout’ and is the result of a cooperative effort between two Spanish universities, Valencia and La Rioja, the Wall-YE Robots & Software company in France, Sundance Multiprocessor Technologies in the UK and Symington Family Estates, with further funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 ‘Fast Track to Innovation’ scheme. Designed to be autonomous and capable of monitoring temperature and taking other readings to help viticulturists and winemakers with vineyard management, the robot is meant to be deployed in areas where de-population of the countryside – with younger people moving en masse to the cities, a real problem in Spain and Portugal – is making labour harder and more expensive to find. Read the full press release on the drinks business here



Ferrari Trento - Sparkling wine producer of the year

Trento DOC.pngFerrari Trento was awarded the title of “Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year” at this year’s Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships, led by Essi Avellan MW. This achievement is the result of the 11 gold medals obtained by Ferrari for 11 of its Trentodoc wines. Tom Stevenson, the founding father of the competition and international expert of the industry, announced the winners during the Gala dinner held on September 14 at the Vintners' Hall in London. Since its inception, the competition has always ranked the Trentodoc wines produced by Ferrari among the best bubbles in the world. Besides winning as Best Italian Sparkling Wine, Ferrari Trento became World Champion Sparkling Wine Outside Champagne in 2014 with its Perlé 2007 and Blanc de Blancs World Champion in 2016 with its Ferrari Brut NV. Read more here

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The 2017 Marathon du Médoc - by Rod Smith MW

Rod Smith MW.pngThe 2017 Marathon du Médoc - or perhaps more accurately this time, Mud-oc - was as well organised as ever, although there did appear to be - perhaps unsurprisingly - a much tighter degree of security this year. Once again, I vowed not to drink, because alcohol and 42km runs do not really go together, but once more temptation got the better of me, and as I was running for the Pichon Baron team, the Château was 4km into the race, and when the Tourelles 2015 was poured, what else could I possibly do? Having started, I knew I was in for a bad time in terms of timing, but a good time in terms of event - not that I run particularly fast anyway - and so it came to be. But I finished, and at 5h09m, it was not quite as bad as the first time I ran the Médoc marathon, and okay considering all the stopping to eat, drink and take photographs. A whole year’s worth of weather in one day, from warm sunshine, to driving rain, and even a brief spell of hail (not of grape damaging proportions fortunately), and I tried most of the foodstuffs on offer, although I simply had to baulk at the idea of an oyster, much as I love oysters, at the 33km mark. 9km of running having eaten an oyster seems like actually throwing down the gauntlet to your own stomach and imploring it to have a go. The day continued, and finished, with a wonderful all-afternoon lunch at Pichon with suitably stellar wines. Thanks to Christian, Ruth and all at Pichon Baron for allowing me to take part. A great fun day.
Rod Smith MW


“To become a Master of Wine, you have to think like a detective and argue like a courtroom lawyer.”

Institute Executive Director, Penny Richards was interviewed by Meininger's in September. If Members would like to see a copy of the article, please contact Sarah Kirkpatrick


Copyright 2018 The Institute of Masters of Wine