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MW students Charles Foley, Xin Huang and Nicholas Poletto receive Wine Scholar Guild Masters of Wine scholarship

MW students Charles Foley, Xin Huang and Nicholas Poletto receive Wine Scholar Guild Masters of Wine scholarship

The Institute of Masters of Wine is pleased to announce that three Master of Wine students have been selected for the 2021 Wine Scholar Guild scholarship. Charles Foley, Xin Huang and Nicholas Poletto have each been awarded full tuition for, respectively, the Italian Wine Scholar, Spanish Wine Scholar and French Wine Scholar programme in distance-learning format.

Wine Scholar Guild (WSG) is the leading provider of specialised certification programmes on the wines of France, Italy and Spain. Its study and certification programmes offer wine industry members and committed students of wine the opportunity to specialise in the wine country of their choice. These advanced wine education programme provide current, accurate and in-depth information on the wines of France, Italy and Spain.

All three winners are stage two students on the study programme. Charles Foley holds a first-class honours in classics and is a specialist and auctioneer at Christie’s. Charles is the auctioneer for the Cape Fine Wine Auction in Stellenbosch and the host of the Florida WineFest. He has auctioned wines from the Avery Family Cellars, the Collection of Lord Halifax, the Alpina Collection, the Villa Sirio Collection and was the first auctioneer to hammer a bottle of whisky for over £1 million.

Xin Huang (Cherie) grew up and resides in mainland China and the US. Following a financial role at one of China’s biggest airlines, Cherie switched to her beloved wine industry and joined California-China Wine Cultural Exchange to promote Californian and Chinese wines and culture in 2014. Alongside her wine qualifications such as Certified Sommelier, WSET Diploma and WSET Level 3 Award, she has established her own company XIN WINE LLC, focusing on selling high-end wines sourced from foreign markets and Bordeaux en Primeur wines.

Nicholas Poletto was born in England to Italian parents, however, spent most of his life growing up in the US. His wine career began in 2001 working for a wine distributor in New York City. After five years as a sales representative and an avid student of WSET wine courses, Nicholas moves to Martinborough, NZ to assist in winemaking at Mebus Estate. In 2008, he returned to the US to work as a state manager for Kobrand Corporation and was promoted to director of education in 2011.

Julien Camus, WSG founder and president, said, “We are honoured to support Master of Wine candidates by providing them with scholarships for our French, Italian or Spanish Wine Scholar certification programmes. All three producing wine countries have a very deep footprint in the vast world of wine and we hope that these advanced and specialised Wine Scholar Guild programmes will help them toward their extraordinarily ambitious and demanding quest for the MW title.”


For more information contact:
Kara Tonitto
Marketing and Communications Officer
Institute of Masters of Wine
+44 (0)207 383 9139

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 act with honesty and integrity, and use every opportunity to share their knowledge of wine with others. Today, there are 408 Masters of Wine working in 31 countries. The membership encompasses winemakers, sommeliers, buyers, journalists, shippers, consultants, academics, educators and more. There were 341 students from over 40 countries in the 2019-2020 MW study programme.