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Opus One Becomes an Institute Supporter

The Institute of Masters of Wine is delighted to announce a new support arrangement with Opus One.

Starting in June 2010, Opus One will host the annual Masters of Wine examination in North America for students in the Institute’s international education programme. Opus One will also stage a reception for students at the end of the four-day examination.

The Institute is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting professional excellence and the highest educational standards in the global wine trade. It was founded in London in 1955 and today it is a truly international organisation with a membership of 279 individual Masters of Wine based in 22 countries.

Since 1992 the Institute’s education programme for wine trade professionals has been delivered on three continents: Europe, Australasia and North America. More than 240 students from 24 countries are currently studying in the programme which leads to the Masters of Wine examination. The examination is held concurrently in the United Kingdom, Australia and North America over four days every year, usually during June. On successful completion of the examination, which tests both practical and theoretical understanding of all aspects of the art, science and business of wine, students must finally write a 10,000 word original dissertation. Only then are they eligible to join the Institute, abide by its Code of Conduct and use the title Master of Wine or its abbreviated form MW, which is recognised as the highest achievement in the wine industry.

The 2010 Masters of Wine examination will take place concurrently from 1 to 4 June in three locations: Opus One in California, USA, London in the United Kingdom and Sydney, Australia.

Opus One is the story of a shared dream of two great men of wine: Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild and renowned Napa Valley vintner Robert Mondavi. Having met for the first time in Hawaii in 1970, the partners eventually agreed to launch a wine together in the Napa Valley. The joint venture they named Opus One produced its first vintage in 1979 and opened as a winery in 1991.

Situated in the Oakville appellation of Napa Valley, Opus One’s vineyards comprise 169 acres and are planted to the traditional grape varieties of Bordeaux: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Producing about 250,000 bottles each year, Opus One remains dedicated to uncompromised quality and to expressing the vision and passionate spirit of its founders, for generations to come.

David Pearson, CEO of Opus One, said: “It’s a great pleasure to support the Institute of Masters of Wine and contribute to the kind of international partnership upon which Opus One was based. We salute the Institute’s ability to renew itself by attracting remarkable new talent and by holding a keen vision of stewardship across the world of wine.”

Siobhan Turner, Executive Director of the Institute said: “We are delighted to welcome Opus One as an official supporter of the Institute. Since its foundation, the Institute’s mission to promote educational and professional excellence has enjoyed the valuable support of leading companies and organisations from the wine community. Opus One’s support will provide first class facilities for our annual examination in North America and is an important development in our evolving relationship with the international wine industry.”