Select Page

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates becomes a Major Supporter

The Institute of Masters of Wine is delighted to announce that Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has joined its family of global Supporters, as a Major Supporter.

Located near Seattle, Washington USA, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (SMWE) has a long and distinguished history which dates back to 1934. The third largest premium wine company in the US, their portfolio includes: Washington State wineries Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, Northstar and 14 Hands; California wineries Patz & Hall (Sonoma), as well as Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Col Solare, which are owned jointly with the Antinori family. SMWE is also the exclusive US importer for Marchesi Antinori, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, Bodegas Torres and Villa Maria Estate.

Wineries under the umbrella of SMWE ownership are renowned worldwide. Chateau Ste. Michelle for example has been named in Wine & Spirits magazine’s ‘Top 100 Wineries of the Year’ 21 times, making it the magazine’s most awarded American winery. In 2013 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars received the U.S ‘Producer of the Year’ trophy at the International Wine and Spirit Competition.

The Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) has enjoyed a close relationship with SMWE over the last few years and is pleased to be able to consolidate this partnership. A Master of Wine (MW) trip to Washington and Oregon has already been confirmed for the spring of 2017. SMWE has helped organise the trip in conjunction with the Washington State Wine Commission and the Oregon Wine Board.

As the highest proportion of students on the MW Study Programme are now in the US, the new partnership with SMWE, alongside existing Major Supporters Constellation Brands and Jackson Family Wines, will help cement the IMW’s presence in the United States.

Sarah Jane Evans MW, Chairman of the IMW said, “It is a real pleasure to welcome Ste. Michelle Wine Estates into the family of our Supporters. They share our commitment to excellence and learning. MWs and students alike will welcome the opportunity to draw on their expertise.”

“Supporting students and institutions of higher learning has always been a priority for our company,” said Ted Baseler, President and CEO of SMWE (pictured with Bob Betz MW). ‘We are very proud to join the Institute in its mission to continually raise the bar for wine professionals across the globe.”

Bob Betz MW, Owner/Winemaker of Betz Family Winery and coordinator of next year’s Washington and Oregon MW trip added, “This is a perfect marriage. For decades Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has conducted wine education programs internationally. This formal sponsorship will create additional opportunities for the Institute’s already robust learning curriculum.”


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

Notes to Editors:

About the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW)
The Institute of Masters of Wine (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 examination, recognised worldwide for its rigour and exacting standards. In addition to passing the examination, 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 341 Masters of Wine working in 25 countries. The membership encompasses winemakers, sommeliers, buyers, journalists, shippers, consultants, academics, educators and more.

About Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is the third largest premium wine company in the U.S. The company, located outside of Seattle, Washington, has a distinguished history that dates back 80 years to 1934. Wines under the Ste. Michelle label were first introduced in 1967, and since that time the company has expanded its vineyard holdings to more than 3,700 acres in Washington and California. Today its ‘String of Pearls’ wine portfolio represents owned or imported brands that demonstrate the producers’ unwavering commitment to creating distinctive, high quality wines from authentic estate vineyards.

Ste. Michelle’s Washington portfolio includes Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, Northstar, Spring Valley Vineyard, Col Solare, Michelle sparkling wines, Red Diamond, and Snoqualmie. In California, the company owns Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (with Italy’s Antinori family), Conn Creek and Villa Mt. Eden (Napa Valley), and Patz & Hall (Sonoma). Ste. Michelle also owns Erath, in Dundee, Oregon. The company became the exclusive U.S. importer in 2006 for the acclaimed Marchesi Antinori wine portfolio of Italy and Chile’s Haras wines, for Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte of France in 2009, for New Zealand’s Villa Maria Estate in 2010, for Spain’s Torres in 2014.