The prestigious institute will be offering a presentation and conference to be included in the Trade Fair’s Program of Activities
The 'Institute of Masters of Wine' (IMW) defines itself as a 'global leader in the highest level of training on wine producing', and for this 'the goal it aspires to is excellence in the viniculture industry, promoting the highest standards of quality, excellence and conduct in the sector'. The IMW is an international professional, non-profit association that is financed with its membership fees and with the sponsorship received from diverse companies in the sector. All its members must pass the Master of Wine examination and formally abide with the Institute's Code of Conduct before enjoying the right to use the title of 'Master of Wine' (MW).
Without a doubt this is one of the most respected entities in the viniculture world, fundamentally due to the rigor and seriousness of its study plans, as is likewise the case with the scrupulous professional workmanship of its members, the 'Masters of Wine'.
In recent conversations that have taken place between Manuel Juliá, Director of FENAVIN, and Siobhan Turner, Executive Director of the IMW, the bases for development of close collaboration between both institutes were duly established. The first sample of this agreement will be IMW's participation at the activities foreseen for FENAVIN 2007, with a presentation and conference included in the Trade Fair's Program of Activities.
Specifically, on May 9th, at six in the afternoon, Siobhan Turner will be in charge of a presentation on the 'Institute of Masters of Wine'. Siobhan Turner, who is of Canadian origin, has held posts of a financial profile in prominent London 'City' companies, and in the year 2004 he took over IMW's executive management. During the presentation he will describe the institute's philosophy, origin and history, along with its principles and objectives, and above all the institute's educational program.
On a global level the title of 'Master of Wine' is considered to be the most important and prestigious in the wine industry, while in turn it is also the most demanding and the most difficult to obtain. The institute itself warns that to obtain the title a very serious effort in hours and intensity must be made, recommending that a task must never be confronted without first enjoying very good training. The duration of the educational program is two years, during which the candidate, under the guidance of a tutor (a 'Master of Wine'), will in good measure be responsible for self-training, duly following the program's structure of contents, both on a theoretical and practical level.
Exams consist in four written tests and three practical examinations involving blind tasting sessions. Obtaining a 'Master of Wine' title obliges candidates to enjoy extensive knowledge about all the wine producing regions in the world, along with knowledge on viticulture, enology, marketing, legislation, quality control, commercial aspects and contemporary problems that the wine industry is confronted with. The practical part requires that the candidate be capable of describing, evaluating and identifying up to 12 different wines from anywhere in the world during a blind tasting session. After passing the theoretical and practical exams, the candidate is to present and sustain an investigation paper on a theme of the student's choice related with the wine industry. The difficulty and exigency of the tests is made more than evident with the following figures: between 1993 and 2000, 266 candidates participated in the educational program, and only 85 of them (somewhat less than 30%) actually passed the exams and became 'Masters of Wine'.
The IMW currently counts with 257 members -63 women and 194 men- of 19 different nationalities. Amongst them can be found enologists, winery owners, distributors, importers, journalists, writers,… The youngest 'Master of Wine' is 28 years old, and the oldest is 89, while the average age at which exams are actually passed stands at 34 years. Approximately 30% of the 'Masters' are from outside the United Kingdom, in particular from the United States, Australia and France.