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Recap: Day one of the IMW symposium

Recap: Day one of the IMW symposium

This month, we will be looking back at the daily events of the recent international symposium which was held in Wiesbaden June 29 – July 2. The symposium was hosted by the Federal State of Hessen, Deutsches Weininstitut (DWI) and Wiesbaden Congress and Marketing.

After months of preparation, the 10th international symposium finally kicked off on Thursday, 29 June. Hosted by the Federal State of Hessen, Wines of Germany and Wiesbaden Congress & Marketing, the symposium began with a classic Bollinger reception bringing together Masters of Wine, students and industry experts from around the world.

The reception was not-to-be-missed, with a stellar presentation of 21 Greek wines from the 50 Great Greek Wines portfolio organised by Yiannis Karakasis MW and Gregory Michalis. Only able to show a handful of Greece’s calibre of wines, the duo presented wines from Peza, Dafnes, Santorini, Cyclades, Epanomi, Achaia, Arcadia, Heraklion, Nemea, Thessaly, Drama, Macedonia, AmyntaionImathia and Evia.

Yiannis Karakasis MW amongst the 50 Great Greek Wines tasting (Credit: Arne Landwehr)

After the thirst-quenching reception, delegates sat for the welcome address by IMW Chair Cathy van Zyl MW and the Mayor of Wiesbaden Gert-Uwe Mende, who welcomed delegates to the city and proclaimed an open invite for years to come. Bringing the energy for the opening keynote was Jean-Charles Boisset, who grew up amongst vineyards in Vougeot, Burgundy, France. Boisset heralded the new era of wine, encouraging expanding borders, making wine more accessible and keeping the industry invigorated.

IMW Chair Cathy van Zyl MW (Credit: Arne Landwehr)

Moderated by Caro Maurer MW, our first session of the symposium was one that evoked surprise, curiosity and wonder, placing the subject of wine amongst the context of social and political injustice around the world. Speaking on the experience of Black people in the wine industry in the United States of America was Dr. Monique Bell. Sibel Kutman Oral, who contributed via video, shared with delegates the first-hand experience of winemakers in Turkey, which has been impeded by conservatism in the country. The first and only Master of Wine from India, Sonal Holland MW, opened up about the lack of wine culture in the world’s most populous country. And finally, we were incredibly priviliged to have hosted Svitlana Tsybak who attended as a speaker from the war-torn Ukraine, who provided an incredibly moving and evocative insight into how the Ukrainian wine industry has been affected since the Russian invasion, and was met by a standing ovation from the entire conference.

Left to right: Caro Maurer MW, Svitlana Tsybak, Sonal Holland MW and Dr. Monique Bell (Credit: Arne Landwehr)

After such an invigorating discussion, delegates attended a symposium staple, the Master of Wine winemakers walk-around tasting. With our largest number of participating MWs, delegates tasted wines from 36 winemakers. This is a key point of the symposium as delegates are able to do as the session is named, ‘Taste the Mastery’. The wines shown represented wine regions from the U.S., Australia, France, Israel, Spain and more.

MW walkaround tasting (Credit: Arne Landwehr)

Delegates were then welcomed by Henkell-Freixenet for a standing dinner and a selection of still and sparkling wines from Germany, the U.K., the U.S. and Spain.

Want to find out more about the speakers at the event? You can see all speaker biographies on the symposium website. Keep up to date with symposium news and other IMW events by following us on socials: @mastersofwine. Join our mailing list to be the first to find out about new events and latest news.