MWs descend on London for 60th anniversary

16 September, 2013

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

MWs are flying in from the Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the US – as well as from all over Europe – to enjoy a week of celebrations.  

The centrepiece of the week will be a gala dinner for 300 at the Banqueting House in Whitehall on Tuesday, September 17.  
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 new crop included two staff members at Berry Bros & Rudd.

Anne McHale MW hosts educational tastings and dinners in the firm’s 300-year-old cellars and has been working for the company since 2006, while Demetri Walters MW is sales manager for private wine events.  

The following UK wine trade members also passed the rigorous process: James Davis MW, senior buyer for Greene King: Barry Dick MW, UK wine development director at Accolade; Matthew Hemming MW, fine wine manager at at Averys Wine Merchants in Bristol; and Jon Pepper MW, managing director at Buckingham Schenk.

The Institute’s Annual General Meeting, which is anticipated to be the best-attended in 60 years, will take place on Wednesday at Vintners’ Hall in London. It will be preceded by an Institute seminar and tasting titled Old Vines.  

Speakers include viticulturalist Rosa Kruger, 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.

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