Select Page

Catena Institute of Wine awards inaugural scholarship to MW students

Catena Institute of Wine awards inaugural scholarship to MW students

Two Masters of Wine students have been awarded the Catena Institute of Wine scholarship. The scholarship was launched in 2023 after the Catena Institute of Wine became a research and industry associate of the Institute of Masters of Wine.

Students were asked to write an essay on a specific topic ranging from the genetic diversity of vines or Terroir in a South American location to the role of Science and Art in Winemaking or a proposal for novel or not yet well-developed grape-based beverage from Argentina.

The winning candidates are Amanda Barnes and Florencia Gómez. Amanda, who is in stage three of the programme, and Florencia, who is in stage two, both specialise in South American wine, and were chosen by Laura Catena, founder of the Catena Institute of Wine, who judged the submissions anonymously.

Amanda Barnes is an award-winning wine writer who has been based in Argentina since 2009 where she writes about the wine regions of South America for multiple international wine publications. She is author of The South America Wine Guide: The definitive guide to the wines of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru, and when she isn’t studying or writing about wine she enjoys jumping in soil pits with agronomists and riding horses with gauchos in the Andes mountains.

Florencia is an Argentinian wine professional with over 15 years of experience all along the wine industry. After getting her winemaking degree, she spent the first six years making wine in Argentina, the US, France, and Croatia. This international approach got her to work as an Export Manager for Europe, where she discovered her passion for communicating wine. In 2023, she started Grand Crew Studio her own marketing agency, where she uses her 360° experience to rethink wine communications from a unique holistic perspective. She is a brand ambassador, content creator and communication strategist. She is passionate about modern wine brands with a shared love for innovation, sustainability, technology, and consumer trends.

The students are awarded a $2,000 scholarship annually towards their studies, for up to two years. This scholarship will be offered to students every two years.

Laura Catena, founder of the Catena Institute of Wine, commented: “We are thrilled to offer two scholarships to Masters of Wine students with ties to Latin America.  Our beautiful wine regions will greatly benefit from their focus and in-depth knowledge.  At the Catena Institute of Wine in Argentina we believe that to preserve wine for generations to come, it is essential for wine producers to use science and research to truly understand the local nature and culture of every growing region. The academic focus of the Institute of Masters of Wine is perfectly aligned with our family’s vision and philosophy.”

Sarah Harrison, IMW Head of Operations, also added: “We are incredibly grateful to the Catena Institute for their generous support of these students’ MW studies. It is fantastic to see so many talented students representing South America and we look forward to developing our presence in the region.”


For more information contact:
Belinda Eaton
Head of Marketing and Engagement
Institute of Masters of Wine
+44 (0)207 383 9136

Notes to editors:

About the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW)
The IMW is a membership organisation with an exceptional international reputation. For 70 years, its members – the Masters of Wine (MWs) – have been at the forefront of leadership and expertise in the world of wine. The IMW’s mission is to promote excellence, interaction and learning across all sectors of the global wine community. MWs prove their comprehensive understanding of wine by passing the MW exam, recognised worldwide for its rigour and exacting standards. In addition to passing the exam, members must sign the code of conduct before they are entitled to use the initials MW. This requires them to uphold the highest standards of commercial conduct within the industry. Today, there are 416 Masters of Wine working in 31 countries. The membership encompasses winemakers, sommeliers, buyers, journalists, shippers, consultants, viticulturalists, academics, educators and more. There are 367 students from 40 countries in the 2023-24 MW study programme. The IMW works with 37 supporters and four research and industry associates, who help promote the IMW’s mission. The five principal supporters are Austrian Wine, AXA Millésimes, Champagne Bollinger, Constellation Brands and VSPT Wine Group.