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Two new Masters of Wine

Two new Masters of Wine

Wojciech Bońkowski MW and Joshua Grainer MW have achieved the title of Masters of Wine.

Announced by the Institute of Masters of Wine today (24 February), the new members of the IMW are based in Poland and USA respectively. Wojciech Bońkowski is the first MW to be based in Poland.

There are now 416 MWs globally – 267 men and 149 women living or working in 31 countries. 2023 marks the 70th anniversary of the first Master of Wine examination, held in 1953. Since the first exam, 500 people have become an MW.

Wojciech and Joshua are the first of the 2023 MW vintage. They have proved their understanding of all aspects of wine by passing the Master of Wine exam, recognised worldwide for its rigour and high standards.

The MW exam consists of the theory and practical exams taken at the end of stage two and the research paper submitted at the end of stage three. The RP is an in-depth study on a wine-related topic from any area of the sciences, arts, humanities, or social sciences. Only when an individual passes the third stage of the MW exam do they become a Master of Wine.

In addition to passing the exam, and before new members have the right to use the title Master of Wine or initials MW, they must sign the IMW’s code of conduct.

The top countries where MWs are based around the world are Australia (27), Canada (10), France (18), Germany (10), New Zealand (15), the UK (207) and the US (58).

Meet the new Masters of Wine

Wojciech Bońkowski MW (Poland)

Wojciech Bońkowski, a wine writer from Poland, obtained an MA in Italian literature and PhD in musicology from the University of Warsaw. His book on Chopin’s favourite food and wines, Chopin Gourmet, was published in English by the Chopin Institute in 2010. Simultaneously he developed a career in wine, working in London for a year before returning to Poland where he published eight books and founded the country’s leading wine website, Winicjatywa (2012), and wine magazine, Ferment (2017). Wojciech is active internationally as a writer, wine market consultant and judge, notably at Decanter World Wine Awards and 50 Great Greek Wines. He currently focuses on the wines of Italy, Greece, Austria, Central and Eastern Europe including Poland’s booming industry, Port, Madeira, and Champagne.

Research paper

Towards a Tokaj classification. Applying the Austrian Erste Lagen approach to Hungary

Joshua Grainer MW (USA)

Joshua is the managing director and winemaker for RdV Vineyards in Virginia, USA. Joshua discovered his love of wine in his early twenties while traveling through Italy. He went on to develop his craft in the USA, France, and Australia before joining RdV for their inaugural vintage in 2008. When not in the vineyard or winery, he can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife and son.


Research paper

Evaluating Phenology Shifts of Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Merlot in Virginia by the Mid-21st Century



For more information contact:
Belinda Eaton
Marketing and Communications Manager
Institute of Masters of Wine
+44 (0)207 383 9136

Notes to editors:

About the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW)

The IMW is a membership organisation with an exceptional international reputation. For 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 uphold the highest standards of commercial conduct within the industry. Today, there are 416 Masters of Wine working in 31 countries. The membership encompasses winemakers, sommeliers, buyers, journalists, shippers, consultants, viticulturalists, academics, educators and more. There are 349 students from 40 countries in the 2022-23 MW study programme. The IMW works with 35 supporters and two research and industry associates, who help promote the IMW’s mission. The five principal supporters are Austrian Wine, AXA Millésimes, Constellation Brands, the Madame Bollinger Foundation, and Waitrose and Partners.