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Four new Masters of Wine inducted at the 2023 IMW annual awards ceremony

Four new Masters of Wine inducted at the 2023 IMW annual awards ceremony

The Institute of Masters of Wine has officially welcomed four new Masters of Wine to its membership at an awards ceremony today at Vintners’ Hall in London (31 October 2023). 

The ceremony celebrates the inauguration of the new MWs and recognises individual excellence in areas of the MW examination. Masters of Wine from around the globe fly into London for the occasion to welcome the new ‘MW vintage’. 

The four new MWs inaugurated at Vintners’ Hall were, Wojciech Bońkowski MW (Poland), Joshua Grainer MW (United States), Erin Jolley MW (United States) and Andrea Lonardi MW (Italy).  

Cathy van Zyl MW, Chair of the IMW said: “The official welcome of new MWs into the Institute is the highlight of our calendar. Not only because it takes each MW back to the day they joined the Institute but because, as a community, we celebrate the commitment, enthusiasm and study it takes to pass the examination; recognise the achievement of our new MWs; and show our respect for their achievement. Congratulations to Wojciech, Joshua, Erin and Andrea.” 

Julian Gore-Booth, Executive Director of the IMW said: “We are delighted to welcome four new members to the MW family. They represent the pinnacle of excellence and achievement in the wine world and we are proud to have them with us.” 

Sponsored by supporters of the IMW, individual awards were given during the ceremony to the MWs who performed exceptionally in a particular aspect of the MW examination. Of the six honours four were awarded to Wojciech Bońkowski MW and two to Joshua Grainer MW. 

Quinta do Noval award for the best research paper by a new MW. Presented by Christian Seely, Managing Director, AXA Millésimes. Awarded to Joshua Grainer MW for his paper ‘Evaluating Phenology Shifts of Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Merlot in Virginia by the Mid-21st Century’. Research papers can be downloaded from the IMW website here. 

Taransaud Tonnellerie award for excellence in the production and handling of the wine paper. Presented by Henri de Pracomtal, Chairman and CEO, Taransaud Tonnellerie. Awarded to Wojciech Bońkowski MW. 

Chair’s Award for the top performance in the business of wine paper. Presented by Kate Tuck in memory of Philip Tuck MW. Awarded to Wojciech Bońkowski MW. 

Robert Mondavi Winery award for the best performance across all the theory papers. Presented by Sandro Sartor, President and Managing Director of Ruffino, a Constellation Brands Company. Awarded to Joshua Grainer MW. 

Austrian Wine award for outstanding achievement across all papers. Presented by Chris Yorke, Managing Director, Austrian Wine Marketing Board. Awarded to Wojciech Bońkowski MW. 

Madame Bollinger medal for outstanding tasting ability. Presented by Justin Liddle, Interim Managing Director of Mentzendorff & Co Ltd. Awarded to Wojciech Bońkowski MW. 

As well as celebrating the new Masters of Wine, the ceremony honoured members who had reached their 50th year as MW. Hugh Cochrane MW and David Cossart MW passed their MW examination in 1973 and were joined at the ceremony by close family to celebrate the milestone. 

There are currently 414 Masters of Wine based in 31 different countries. 


Top row, left to right: Julian Gore-Booth – IMW Executive Director, Andrea Lonardi MW, Joshua Grainer MW, Cathy van Zyl MW – IMW Chair 

Bottom row, left to right: Erin Jolley MW, Anthony Fairbank – Master Vintner, Wojciech Bońkowski MW 


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 417 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 36 supporters and four research and industry associates, who help promote the IMW’s mission. The five principal supporters are Austrian Wine, AXA Millésimes, Champagne Bollinger, Constellation Brands and VSPT Wine Group.