Jancis Robinson MW OBE receives 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award
Jancis Robinson MW OBE has been named the recipient of the 2024 Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented at Vinexposium’s V d’Or by Julian Gore-Booth, IMW executive director and Patrick Schmitt MW, editor-in-chief of the drinks business.
The award acknowledges the substantial contribution of an individual to the global wine community, and recognises vision, determination and innovation. All recipients are considered to have materially contributed, not only to their own success, but to the greater world of wine.
Jancis Robinson MW OBE is internationally known for her contribution to the world of wine as a wine writer, critic and TV presenter amongst many other achievements in her colourful career which has spanned almost five decades. In 1984, Jancis became the first person working outside of the wine trade to pass the Master of Wine exam. She has since published over 20 books, including essential wine guides and developed her now world-renowned eponymous wine website JancisRobinson.com. In 2003, she was ordained with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Late Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II and personally advised her wine cellar.
On receiving the award, Jancis commented: “I can’t tell you how surprised and delighted I am to be honoured by my peers and to join such an array of wine stars, many of them old friends. I give sincere thanks to the amazing and supportive team at JancisRobinson.com who work so hard and so brilliantly, as well as my collaborators on all the books and at the Financial Times. And finally this award should of course be shared with my wonderful, long-suffering, growing family, not least my husband Nick Lander who has looked after me so well for 43 years. Here’s to many more women in wine being wholly recognised.”
This award was last presented in 2019 in Paris and was not awarded since the COVID-19 outbreak. The IMW is proud to continue to present this award alongside the drinks business at Wine Paris and Vinexpo as part of a long-standing friendship.
Patrick Schmitt MW, editor of the the drinks business, said: “Although best known as a tireless and fiercely-independent wine critic, Jancis’s contribution to the world of wine has been so much greater than tasting notes and scores. With her always up-to-date commentary on the drinks industry she has kept wine lovers and professionals at the forefront of what’s really happening in the trade. And then there’s her vast wealth of published referential material, in particular the incredible books she has authored and edited – from the ultimate study guide that is The Oxford Companion to Wine to the ground-breaking tome called Wine Grapes. In short, I can’t think of anyone who has done more to educate the wine drinker than Jancis.”
IMW Chair, Cathy van Zyl MW, shared her thoughts on Jancis’ achievement: “For many wine drinkers and professionals worldwide, Jancis is not only their most trusted source for tasting notes and scores, considered industry commentary and detailed referential material, she is their inspiration. An influencer before marketers coined the phrase, she has always been willing to share her knowledge in a manner that is relevant, engaging, and inspires passion. Many have benefited from Jancis’ insightful comments about their business or the challenges facing them, others will remember how she helped direct their wine journey with a discrete word of encouragement or pragmatic advice. Regardless of who you are or what your relationship with the world of wine is, Jancis will have – in some way or form – influenced that.”
Jancis was unable to attend the ceremony in person and therefore asked Jeannie Cho Lee MW to accept the award on her behalf.
Previous recipients of this coveted award include Robert Mondavi, Marchese Piero Antinori, Jean-Michel Cazes, Baroness Phillipine de Rothschild, Hugh Johnson OBE, Miguel A. Torres and Paul Symington. Jancis becomes the third Master of Wine to receive the award after Olivier Humbrecht MW in 2012 and Mark Savage MW in 2016. Nominations are submitted by Masters of Wine and voted on by the membership.
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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 417 Masters of Wine working in 31 countries. The membership encompasses winemakers, sommeliers, buyers, journalists, shippers, consultants, viticulturalists, academics, educators and more. There are 349 students from 40 countries in the 2022-23 MW study programme. The IMW works with 38 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.