The "Institute of Masters of Wine" (IMW) was founded in 1955 in London (Great Britain) by a group of wine dealers in cooperative cooperation with the Vintners Company founded. Incidentally, the forerunner is that of the famous wine dealer and wine author André in 1908 Simon (1877-1970) founded "Wine Trade Club". However, the first exam for the prestigious title of "Master of Wine" took place earlier in 1953, in which six of 21 candidates were selected. The goal in the founding year was to provide special training a challenging qualification in the UK wine trade to create and thereby help him to better quality and reputation. Initially, only candidates who had a longstanding practice in a corresponding position in a relevant company or institution could take the exams.
In 1983, these narrow regulations were relaxed and, among other things, wine authors were allowed. Non-British candidates were only accepted from 1987 onwards. Finally, it was decided to take preparatory seminars outside the UK. This has been the case in the United States and Australia, and since 2004 Wine Academy Austria possible. In 1992 the main objectives of the institute were reformulated (Mission Statement), they are now "promoting excellent knowledge about wine", "education at the highest level" and "extremely good behavior in the wine industry". The course is largely self-study and takes three years. After training in theory and practice, only a few candidates pass the extremely difficult and demanding final exams (1 in 4, 5 to 6 annually).
The exam is divided into three sections. The first consists of a theoretical test, in which four days of expansion, filling, transport, quality control, Marketing, commercial aspects and general wine knowledge from around the world and must be answered in writing in the form of three essays. The second section consists of a practical test in which twelve covert wines from all over the world are held over three days blindverkostet, described, assessed and identified. In addition, questions about the wines, for example regarding quality and production methods, must be answered. Only if the first two sections have been successfully completed must a current topic from the world of wine be prepared in the form of a dissertation with 10,000 words (about 30 A4 pages) within one year on the basis of own research. This research work must bring new knowledge in connection with viticulture.
At the end of 2018 there were 380 members (including 131 women) from 30 countries. They may use the abbreviation "MW" after their name. In Austria there are three, these are Dr. Josef Schuller, GF of the Wine Academy Austria, who was elected the first non - British chairman in 2008, Roman Horvath, managing director of Wachau domain, as well as Andreas Wickhoff, GF of the Premium Estates of Austria, In Germany there are eight, including Markus del Monego (Sommelier World Champion), Frank Roeder (founder and GF VIF Wine Trade ) and Janek Schumann (wine trade, restaurant). In the Switzerland there is only one MW with the wine dealer Philipp Schwandner. An international symposium with a focus is organized every four years. Previous locations were Oxford, Bristol, Cambridge, Perth (Australia), Wien. Napa Valley (California), Bordeaux (France) and 2014 in Florence (Italy). Another well-known wine education offers WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust).
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