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Scotland’s Justin Martindale MW wins the Quinta do Noval Award

Scotland’s Justin Martindale MW wins the Quinta do Noval Award

At the Institute of Masters of Wine awards ceremony this week at Vintners’ Hall, London, Justin Martindale MW from Edinburgh was given the prestigious 2022 Quinta do Noval Award for the best research paper (RP) by a new MW. This was judged by Christian Seely, Managing Director of AXA Millesimes, Quinta do Noval’s owners.

He wins a cheque for £1000, a framed print of Quinta do Noval, and a trip to the iconic property in the Douro to collect a case of wines and ports – including Noval’s fabled Nacional Vintage. Justin was presented with his Noval Award by Corinne Ilic, AXA Milllesimes’ Director of Communication (pictured).

The RP is the final stage of the Master of Wine exam. It is an individual project, of between 6,000 and 10,000 words, on a topic chosen by the student. Commenting on Justin’s paper entitled ‘The evolving language of minerality in wine tasting, Christian Seely said: “Taking an apparently limited subject of study, the use of one word (or a number of very similar words) in wine tastings, the author succeeds in making a fascinating study of the evolution of the concept of minerality, its validity as a descriptor, and a detailed analysis of how it is used and to which wines it most often referred. I really enjoyed it, and it enhanced my understanding of the issue.”

Justin, hailing from the Wirrall with a music degree from Leeds University, enjoyed a brief stint as a classical musician before joining the wine trade with Majestic Wine in London and Scotland – where he has been based for the past 12 years. He said after the ceremony: I’m absolutely thrilled to have won this award! The research paper stage was personally the most challenging of the whole MW journey, as I wanted to take a subject of general interest and bring it to life. I love language, which is so important when selling a bottle of wine. To have the final work recognised in this way is incredibly humbling. I’m very proud, and I’m really excited to have the chance to visit Quinta do Noval in person!”

In Edinburgh, Justin, a wine consultant, judge and tutor, also created the popular Lothian School of Wine, which he has just sold. “Now with my MW qualification, I shall be looking for new directions in the wine world. But first stop, the Douro and Quinta do Noval!”


For further information, contact:
Sarah Kirkpatrick, Head of Marketing, Communications and Membership
The Institute of Masters of Wine
+44 (0)207 383 9131


Fiona Campbell, Quinta do Noval’s UK PR
+44 (0)112 578 2095