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Institute celebrates Diamond Anniversary with unforgettable week of events

Institute celebrates Diamond Anniversary with unforgettable week of events

The largest-ever gathering of Masters of Wine is assembling in London from Monday to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the wine world’s most prestigious title.

Masters of Wine are flying in from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong – as well as from all over Europe – to enjoy a week of special celebrations. The centrepiece of the week will be a gala dinner for 300 at the Banqueting House in Whitehall on Tuesday 17 September. The venue, a former Royal palace, is famous for its decorated ceiling painted by Rubens.

Jean-Michel Valette MW, Chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine, said:

“Sixty years ago six members of the British wine trade passed their exams and became the first Masters of Wine. We now number 312 in 24 different countries; last week we welcomed another eight new Masters of Wine, including our first Turkish citizen. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the vibrancy and reach of the Institute than by this week together.”

The week’s celebrations will start with an open-air drinks reception on the evening of 16 September in Fitzroy Square, which is the home of the Institute’s Executive Office. Members of the trade body English Wine Producers, which represents over 400 vineyards in England and Wales, will be on hand to serve their multi award-winning sparkling wines in the Square’s garden.

The following morning there will be visits to the cellars of the 650-year old Vintners’ Company in the City of London, and to the UK Government cellars at Lancaster House in St James’s. On that afternoon VDP (Verband Deutscher Qualitäts- und Prädikatsweingüter), the association of 200 of Germany’s top wine producers, will present a seminar and tutored tasting focusing on Riesling & Spätburgunder at Saddlers’ Hall.

The Institute’s Annual General Meeting, which is anticipated to be the best-attended in 60 years, will take place on Wednesday 18 September at Vintners’ Hall. It will be preceded by an Institute seminar and tasting titled ‘Old Vines’. Speakers will include the viticulturalist Rosa Kruger, who is an expert on the old bush vines of South Africa; winemaker Dean Hewitson, champion of South Australia’s very old vineyards, many of them dry-grown from the 19th Century and therefore the oldest of their type in the world; and Norrel Robertson MW and Mark de Vere MW, who have decades of winemaking experience in wine in Spain and California respectively.

On Thursday Istituto Grandi Marchi (IGM), the group of 19 traditional Italian winemaking families which has been a major Institute Supporter since 2009, will host ‘Exploring the Authentic wines of Italy’ at the Institute of Directors. This will showcase wines made from native grapes that embody their region of origin.

The final event of the week, the Anniversary Fortified Tasting, will be an outstanding walk-round tasting of fortified wines from all around the world specially selected to celebrate the IMW’s 60th Anniversary. This tasting will feature a selection of rare and fascinating wines going back to 1887, many of which are no longer commercially available. Tickets for the Anniversary Fortified Tasting are available to the public, who can find ticket information in the ‘Events’ section of the Institute’s website.

Ends (16 September 2013)


For enquiries about this release please contact:
Ben McKeown
Communications Manager, Institute of Masters of Wine
T: +44 (0)207 383 9131