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Once in a lifetime chance to meet the Masters of Winemaking

Once in a lifetime chance to meet the Masters of Winemaking

20 Master of Wine winemakers are to serve their own wines at a walk-around tasting that will be the first of its kind.

The tasting, which will take place on 15 May 2014, during the Institute’s 8th International Symposium in Florence, will reflect the global reach of the Master of Wine family. MW Winemaking expertise from France, Germany, Austria, the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, and South Africa will be on show.

Internationally-known names in winemaking taking part include Olivier Humbrecht MW (Domaine Zind-Humbrecht), Fiona Morrison MW (L’IF, St. Emilion), Steve Smith MW (Craggy Range), and Alastair Maling MW (Villa Maria).

“This has been a fascinating tasting to organise,” said convenor Cathy van Zyl MW, who has been putting the tasting together in conjunction with Jane Hunt MW of Hunt & Coady. “The desire from MW winemakers and MW winery owners to share their wines with fellow wine professionals and lovers is high, and so we’ve been able to put close to 40 interesting and really very good wines on the table for Symposium delegates to enjoy.

“This alone should make it one of the more fascinating tastings of the weekend but, given that the MW winemakers will be present and pouring their own wines add to its allure. The opportunity to gain insight into their inspiration and wine-making approach is unprecedented. If anyone is sitting on the fence about attending the Symposium, this tasting should sway them!”

Alastair Maling MW, who was born and raised in Hawkes Bay, is the General Manager, Winemaking and Viticulture at Villa Maria, New Zealand. Alastair says: “Getting the chance to take our wines to the MW Symposium is an opportunity many would kill for. We’re not showing the wines one would expect from New Zealand – instead I am showing a Chardonnay and a Cabernet/Merlot blend – but both are great examples of what New Zealand can do, and in particular will show a sense of place or terroir which I’m hoping will surprise a few.”

Olivier Humbrecht MW completed a degree in oenology in Toulouse in 1987 and became the first French Master of Wine in 1989. In the same year he assumed responsibility for winemaking at his family business in Alsace, Domaine Zind Humbrecht. Of the tasting, Olivier said “This will be a completely unique event. To gather so many MW winemakers from around the world at the same place is quite something. The selection of wines will be at the same high level as the general organization of the Symposium, and of the beauty of the venue. I can’t wait!”

The tasting, which closes the first afternoon of the Symposium, will be followed by dinner at the fabulous Palazzo Corsini, overlooking the River Arno.

Tickets for the Symposium are priced at EUR 995.00 plus IVA, with discounts for Masters of Wine, Institute students, and some press.