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Neil Hadley MW elected chair of the IMW

Neil Hadley MW elected chair of the IMW

Members of the Institute of Masters of Wine have elected Neil Hadley MW as the new chair of the organisation. Neil, the 55th chair of the IMW, is general manager, export for family-owned Taylors/Wakefield Wines of the Clare Valley, South Australia.

Speaking after his appointment was confirmed, Neil said, “I’m honoured to take up this prestigious position and am especially proud to be the first-ever Australasian MW in the role. We have plenty of challenges before us, but the opportunity to be an integral part of the team that faces and overcomes these challenges is really exciting and I am looking forward to making my contribution to this chapter in the IMW’s ongoing story.”

As chair, Neil will head up the IMW’s Council, a board of 14 international Masters of Wine, who are responsible for the governance and strategic direction of the IMW. There are currently 409 MWs working in 30 countries.

Neil has been an MW over half his life, passing the exam in 1993. At the time, he was the youngest member of the IMW at just 26 years of age.

His career in wine started in the UK wine trade, joining retailers Lay & Wheeler in 1984, after which he spent time travelling and working through the vineyards of Australia. He returned to the UK in 1987 to take a position in education at Grants of St James’s School of Wine.

A few years later Neil moved permanently to Australia, and his career included marketing manager for winemaker Rosemount Estate, brand director for Penfolds wines and ultimately the group product development director within the Southcorp global marketing team. After a stint at Villa Maria Estate in New Zealand, Neil joined Taylors/Wakefield Wines, where he has worked for the past 13 years.

Neil takes over the role of chair from Adrian Garforth MW, whose two-year tenure officially ended at the IMW’s annual general meeting earlier this week.


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.