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Celebrations as five new Masters of Wine join Institute

The Institute of Masters of Wine is delighted to welcome five new Masters of Wine, from three different continents, into the Membership. The announcement brings the total number of Masters of Wine to 323, in 24 countries.

One of the new Masters of Wine is Australian; two are Canadian; and two are British. They bring with them into the Institute decades of experience across the wine trade, from retail to winemaking, wine journalism to wine education.

Sarah Jane Evans MW, Chairman of the Masters of Wine, said “On behalf of all Masters of Wine worldwide, I am delighted to welcome these new members to our community. Today is a memorable day for them – each one of us can remember that special moment when we received the news that we had become MWs. My congratulations to them on their achievement. They bring a range of experience to enrich the IMW and I wish them every enjoyment of the opportunities that being a Master of Wine brings.”

The new Masters of Wine are as follows:

Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW (Canada)

Michelle Cherutti-Kowal cropped 160.jpgMichelle is a London-based Italian-Canadian. She is a highly-respected wine lecturer, having taught since 2004 at the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET). She has authored articles on wines, wine regions and wine-related events and is a frequent expert at major wine shows. Michelle is a Chair Judge for the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) and judges several other international competitions.



Miles Corish MW (Australia)

Miles Corish cropped 160.jpgMiles originally moved to England from Sydney, Australia to play professional cricket. He is currently Managing Director of Bowland Forest Vintners, a wholesaler and retailer based in Lancashire. Miles is a WSET Educator, judges at wine competitions, consults for the on-trade and, whenever time allows, returns to the Hunter Valley in Australia to make wine under his own label.



Jennifer Docherty MW (Canada)

Jennifer Docherty cropped 160.jpgJennifer Docherty was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. She left at eighteen to study fashion design in New York, but has called London home since 2005. Her love of gastronomy originally led her to pursue part-time WSET wine courses, which inspired her to change career. She is a wine buyer for Liberty Wines and has previously worked in education, sales and fine wine buying. She speaks English, Mandarin and French.



Patrick Schmitt MW (UK)

Patrick Schmitt cropped 160.jpgPatrick Schmitt is editor-in-chief at The Drinks Business. He also chairs the publication’s annual awards programme. Patrick has been shortlisted two years running for Editor of the Year in the business and professional magazine category for the British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME). Patrick studied Geography at Oxford University and Landscape Architecture at the University of Greenwich before a job on a horticultural trade journal took him into a career as a journalist.



Victoria Stephens-Clarkson MW (UK)

Victoria Stephens-Clarkson cropped 160.jpgVictoria joined the wine trade in 2000, working for a Grande Marque Champagne house in Epernay. Since then she has worked as a buyer for Direct Wines and Liberty Wines. Her current position is Head of Buying for Atlas Fine Wines, in London. Victoria speaks several languages, and has spent considerable time travelling amongst wine regions, making wine and overseeing winemaking projects to complement her buying experience. The five new MWs have each successfully submitted a Dissertation, which used to form the third part of the Master of Wine Examination. The Dissertation has now been replaced by the Research Paper, which candidates will submit for the first time this summer.

Ends (20 Mar 2015)

The titles of the successful Dissertation submissions are as follows:

Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW: Does it make a difference when a wine region upgrades its classification? A study of Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore.

Miles Corish MW: In-store wine dispensing machines: what role do they play in the UK independent retail sector?

Jennifer Docherty MW: Non-vintage champagne disgorgement date labelling: Understanding the perspectives of the UK trade and champagne producers.

Patrick Schmitt MW: Changing dosages in Brut NV champagne: trends, causes and implications.

Victoria Stephens-Clarkson MW: Tourism and the English Wine Industry: are the needs of tourists being met by English Wine Producers?

Ben McKeown
Communications Manager, Institute of Masters of Wine
T: +44 (0)207 383 9131

Trentodoc becomes Institute Supporter

The Institute of Masters of Wine is delighted to announce that Trentodoc, the organisation representing the appellation (Denominazione di origine controllata) for white and rosé sparkling wine in Trentino, Italy, has become a Supporter of the Institute.

Istituto Trento DOC was founded by producers in 1984. Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) status was awarded to the Trentino region in 1993, and 2007 saw the creation of the Trentodoc regional trademark. 41 sparkling wine producers, all using the classic method, are currently members of the Istituto.

Trentino is situated between the Dolomites and Lake Garda. The region’s alpine setting ensures pure, clean air and water, excellent soil, and a wide temperature variation between day and night, which aids flavour development. The grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Blanc are permitted, and they must be grown in a well-defined area within the Province of Trento.

Enrico Zanoni, President of Istituto Trento DOC, said “We are extremely pleased to be collaborating with an organisation of the prestige and authority of the Institute of Masters of Wine. This synergy is a source of pride for our forty-one associated sparkling wine producers, and the entire Trentino region. We see this relationship as an acknowledgement of the quality of our wine, which is an example of Italian-made excellence, and an expression of the uniqueness of the mountain territory of Trentino.”

Chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine, Sarah Jane Evans MW, said “I am delighted that we are going to be working with Trentodoc. It develops and deepens our relationship with Italy, already established through the Istituto Grandi Marchi, and our Symposium in Florence 2014.”

Trentodoc becomes the Institute’s second Italian Supporter after Istituto Grandi Marchi. The Institute now has 25 Supporters from eleven countries.

Ends (18 Mar 2015)

Ben McKeown
Communications Manager, Institute of Masters of Wine
T: +44 (0)207 383 9131

Egon Müller wins Winemakers’ Winemaker Award 2015

Today at ProWein the Institute of Masters of Wine and international publication The Drinks Business announced Egon Müller as the recipient of the 2015 Winemakers’ Winemaker Award.

The honour, which has been awarded every year since 2011, recognises outstanding achievement in the field of winemaking. The winner is chosen by a panel of winemaking peers that comprise all Masters of Wine who are winemakers, plus the award’s past winners: Peter Sisseck of Dominio de Pingus (2011), Peter Gago of Penfolds (2012), Paul Draper of Ridge (2013), and Anne-Claude Leflaive of Domaine Leflaive (2014).

Egon Müller said “I was both surprised and very pleased to hear that I had been awarded this prize – and it gives me particular pleasure not only to be singled out in this way by my fellow winemakers but also to be given this award by the Masters of Wine who have always stood for an ethical wine trade. The Scharzhof estate has a winemaking history that predates the six generations of my family by many hundreds of years – possibly back to the Romans – and I am very glad that my families care and concern with honouring this long and illustrious history is recognised in this award.”

Egon Müller, son of Egon and Eleonore-Charlotte Müller, was born in the great summer of 1959. The story goes that his father gave him a drop of 1949 Scharzhofberger feinste Auslese before his first drink of mother’s milk.

He was raised on the estate of Egon Müller Scharzhof and went to school at Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium in Trier, the only school that had its own wine estate. After school he went to work as an intern in France, first at Château Pichon Lalande and then at Château Yquem. He then studied Oenologie at Fachhochschule Geisenheim.

After Geisenheim he spent a year in the USA at the Robert Mondavi Winery and with Château and Estate Wines in New York. After working for 6 month in the Yamanashi winegrowing region in Japan, he went to work permanently with his father at the family estate, which he took over in 1991.

In presenting the award, Sarah Jane Evans MW, chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine said:

“I am delighted to be presenting this award to Egon Müller. He is recognised globally for the exceptional quality of his wine and his uncompromising standards. He also represents the commitment to excellence which is at the heart of the Institute’s work. We are especially pleased that he becomes the first German winemaker to be honoured with this prize here in his homeland.”

Ends (16 Mar 2015)

Ben McKeown
Communications Manager, Institute of Masters of Wine
T: +44 (0)207 383 9131

Masters of Winemaking tasting comes to ProWein

A selection of Master of Wine winemakers is to serve their own wines at a walk-around tasting at ProWein.

The tasting, which is a reprise of a hugely successful similar event at the Institute’s 8th International Symposium in Florence in 2014, will reflect the global reach of the Master of Wine family. MW Winemaking expertise from France, Germany, Austria, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, and South Africa will be on show.

Internationally-known names in winemaking whose wines will be featured include Olivier Humbrecht MW (Domaine Zind-Humbrecht), Fiona Morrison MW (L’IF, St. Emilion), Steve Smith MW (Craggy Range), and Alastair Maling MW (Villa Maria).

Cathy van Zyl MW, who put the original tasting together in conjunction with Jane Hunt MW of Hunt & Coady, said “the desire from MW winemakers and MW winery owners to share their wines with fellow wine professionals and lovers is high, and so we’ve been able to put some interesting and really very good wines on the table for delegates to enjoy.

“This alone should make it one of the more fascinating tastings of the weekend but, given that many of the MW winemakers will be present and pouring their own wines add to its allure. The opportunity to gain insight into their inspiration and wine-making approach is unprecedented.”

Alastair Maling MW, General Manager, Winemaking and Viticulture at Villa Maria, New Zealand says: ” We’re not showing the wines one would expect from New Zealand – instead I am showing a Chardonnay and a Cabernet/Merlot blend – but both are great examples of what New Zealand can do, and in particular will show a sense of place or terroir which I’m hoping will surprise a few.”

Olivier Humbrecht MW completed a degree in oenology in Toulouse in 1987 and became the first French Master of Wine in 1989. In the same year he assumed responsibility for winemaking at his family business in Alsace, Domaine Zind Humbrecht. Of the tasting, Olivier said “To gather so many MW winemakers from around the world at the same place is quite something. The selection of wines will be at the same high level as those shown at the Symposium. I can’t wait!”

The tasting will take place at Sunday 15th March from 1800-2000. The venue is Foyer CCD East, First floor, ProWein.


Ben McKeown
Communications Manager, Institute of Masters of Wine
T: +44 (0)207 383 9131