MW student Jake Skakun awarded the Feudi di San Gregorio scholarship
Master of Wine student Jake Skakun has been selected for the inaugural Feudi di San Gregorio scholarship. Jake is a stage two student in the programme and receives £1,500 to be used toward his MW studies.
For over 30 years, Feudi di San Gregorio winery has focused on the indigenous grape varieties Greco, Fiano, Falanghina and Aglianico from the Campania region. Founded in 1986, the winery is keenly focused on its terroir, Irpinia, and producing wines of the highest quality. Today, Feudi grapes are grown across 300 hectares of vineyards on plots which vary hugely in altitude, exposure and slope, and include historic vineyards planted well over 100 years ago.
Open to stage one and stage two MW students, scholarship applicants were asked to write an essay, of a maximum of 750 words, which responds to the following question:
Feudi di San Gregorio is well known for its in-depth studies into old vines in vineyards under its ownership. How would you bring this research to life for both an audience of experts and a wider audience of non-expert wine consumers?
Based in Toronto, Jake Skakun is a partner and the wine director at restaurants Grey Gardens, Le Swan, and Bar Vendetta. He is also an account manager for the Burgundy-focused importing agency CGU Fine Wines. Jake received his Sommelier Diploma from the International Sommelier Guild in 2007, WSET Diploma in 2012, and completed the Wine Scholar Guild’s Bourgogne Master-Level with the highest honours in 2018.
Antonio Capaldo, CEO of Feudi di San Gregorio, said, “The quality of the essays provided great ideas – in terms of strategy, positioning and communication – for our future initiatives. I was impressed by the multidisciplinary perspective that most of the essays demonstrated; combining productive, commercial, and marketing needs is quite rare in the wine world. We congratulate Jake and hope to have the chance to welcome him in the future to share our remarkable heritage at Feudi di San Gregorio.”
Adrian Garforth MW, executive director of the IMW, said, “We are delighted that Feudi di San Gregorio have elected to offer this scholarship at a time when many individuals are still coming to terms with the impact of the Covid pandemic. Jake is a worthy recipient, and I am sure this financial support will be a welcome boost as he continues his studies. Feudi di San Gregorio share the same values that underpin the Institute of Masters of Wine and I sincerely hope this will be the beginning of a long-term relationship between our respective organisations.”
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Institute of Masters of Wine
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Notes to editors:
About the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW)
The IMW is a membership organisation with an exceptional international reputation. For almost 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 420 Masters of Wine working in 30 countries. The membership encompasses winemakers, sommeliers, buyers, journalists, shippers, consultants, academics, educators and more. There are 376 students from 41 countries in the 2020-2021 MW study programme. The IMW works with 31 supporters and one academic and research associate, who help promote the IMW’s mission. The five principal supporters are Austrian Wine, AXA Millésimes, Constellation Brands, the Madame Bollinger Foundation, and Waitrose and Partners.