Select Page

Special George T. Gamblin Memorial scholarship awarded to MW student Chris Martin

Special George T. Gamblin Memorial scholarship awarded to MW student Chris Martin

A unique 2020 George T. Gamblin Memorial scholarship has been awarded to Master of Wine student Chris Martin.

Mary Margaret McCamic MW established the George T. Gamblin Memorial scholarship in 2018 in honour of her late father, a retired doctor and former US Naval officer. The scholarship was founded with the hope of inspiring top wine students to relate wine to something beyond the textbook.

This year, amid the COVID-19 crisis and the cancellation of the MW closed book exam and stage one assessment, Mary Margaret wanted to provide an additional scholarship opportunity that allowed students to find inspiration in wine.

She collaborated with the two estates she represents, Screaming Eagle and Domaine Bonneau du Martray, as well as sister properties JONATA and the Hilt Estate to provide a donation to the IMW, which will be distributed to the winner.

Students were asked to write a creative response to, what wine or wine experience made you want to become a Master of Wine, and why?

There were many outstanding and moving entries submitted this year, but Chris’s winning entry, A Show and Tell Fiasco was chosen unanimously by Mary Margaret and her family.

Chris, a stage one MW student, was born in Scotland and raised in both Yorkshire, UK and Alabama, US. He is currently based in London, where he works for WSET as the head of educator training and is a regular judge at international wine competitions.

Mary Margaret said, “I was personally moved by the number of submissions this year, each so creative and inspired in its own right. Ultimately, we selected a winning piece that captured so many elements of wine together in a unique, beautifully written short story. Chris’s submission was somehow able to transform a humble bottle of wine into a great storyteller, offering a sentimental window into to the trials of a young boy who felt out of place and time, yet who was ultimately grounded by this simple bottle of wine. His story captures nostalgia, angst, aspiration, sadness, and resilience effortlessly from the perspective of a child and into that of a wiser, older self. It is at once moving, tender, and inspiring.”

On learning that he had won the scholarship, Chris commented, “I am delighted and honoured to have been selected as the winner. This scholarship opportunity, alongside the IMW, has challenged me to look at wine in new ways, allowing me to rediscover why I so enjoy studying the subject.”

Read Chris’s winning piece alongside several honourable mentions plus an honorary submission from Ashley Hausman MW here:


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

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 394 Masters of Wine working in 30 countries. The membership encompasses winemakers, sommeliers, buyers, journalists, shippers, consultants, academics, educators and more. There are 350 students from more than 40 countries in the 2019-2020 MW study programme.

About the George T. Gamblin Memorial scholarship
The George T. Gamblin Memorial scholarship was founded to foster higher learning in wine education. It is currently a family-funded scholarship, established by George’s daughter, Mary Margaret McCamic, who became a Master of Wine in 2016. Her love of learning and dedication to climbing the wine world’s version of Mount Everest was driven in large part by her father. To keep his memory alive, instil a passion for higher learning in the world of wine, and foster the same intellectual curiosity that her father passed onto her, Mary Margaret and her family created an annual scholarship awarded to a Master of Wine student. The first scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2018.