See the 13 new Masters of Wine and titles to their research papers


From comparative study on winter vine burial in China to consumer's attitude towards wine in India, find out what topics have the new MWs chosen for their final research papers.

Richard Ballantyne MW (UK)

Richard is UK accounts manager for Vinexus, a specialist importer of Italian wines.

He’s ‘hooked’ in Nebbiolo and so unsurprisingly did his research paper on:

Research paper: ‘Barolo – Is there an economic benefit in producing under a Cru Label Designation? If there is, what are the reasons?’

Bree Boskov MW (Australia)

Bree was born in Australia and originally trained as a sommelier. She has worked in wine all over the world.

She is currently North American market manager for Equilibrio Wines, which has a boutique Australian, Portuguese and South African portfolio.

Research paper: Prospects for Australian luxury wine growth among importers in key US markets.

Barbara Boyle MW (Ireland)

Barbara lives and works in Dublin and is a trained chartered accountant and tax consultant. She edited the ‘best of wine in Ireland’ guide for two years.

Research paper: What is the effect of serving temperature on the sensory attributes of Tawny Port and Ruby Port?

Matt Deller MW (USA)

Matt is director of fine wine development for Constellation Brands, owner of Robert Mondavi wines and one of the world’s largest wine companies. He lives in San Francisco.

Research paper: Coravin wine by the glass programs in the US restaurant market: effectiveness, functionality and marketing best practice.

Matthew Forster MW (UK)

Matthew is director of WSET Awards, having previously worked for Berry Bros & Rudd. He is also a trained solicitor.

Research paper:‘New’ vintage Madeira: the role of colheita and frasqueira classifications in Madeira production.

Sonal Holland MW (India)

Sonal is India’s first MW, according to the Institute. She has founded SOHO wine club and her namesake institute offers WSET-accredited wine training.

Sonal holds a Diploma in Hotel Management from the Institute of Hotel Management Dadar in Mumbai, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Mumbai University.

Research paper: Awareness, attitude and usage of wine among SEC A urban Indian wine consumers.

Jeremy Lithgow MW (UK)

Jeremy is sales director at Charles Taylor Wines and has worked in wine since 1995. He previously managed the Harrods wine department.

Research paper: To what extent can the white wines of Saint-Aubin compete with the village-level white wines of Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet in the London independent wine retail sector?

Mary Margaret McCamic MW (USA)

Mary Margaret is sales manager for Screaming Eagle in California. She has an MA in teaching but transferred to the wine trade with a job in the wine department of Balthazar in New York.

Research paper: An investigation into the exceptions for wine in the Volstead Act: What impact did these exceptions have on grape growing and wine production in Napa Valley during US Prohibition?

Iain Munson MW (France)

Iain studied oenology at the University of Montpellier in Languedoc-Roussillon. He worked in the region and eventually joined JeanJean, where he now looks after the laboratory and wine quality. JeanJean is now part of the AdVini group.

Research Paper: Investigation into the increased sales of Picpoul de Pinet in the UK on and off trade between 2010-2015.

Mick O’Connell MW (Ireland)

Mick was a judge in the Decanter World Wine Awards 2016 and has been combining passions for wine and music for several years.

He makes a garage wine in Sardinia with his wife and works in Ireland alongside Barbara Boyle MW, another new MW, at the Wine Mason importer.

Research paper: An investigation into the attitudes of UK independent wine merchants towards the wines of Sardinia.

Mark Pygott MW (Taiwan)

Mark lives in Taiwan, promoting wine culture and educating wine enthusiasts. He moved there after selling his UK import business focuses on lesser known regions of France and Spain.

He was previously assistant winemaker at Domaine Montrose in Languedoc.

Research paper: Has climate change occurred in the Barossa Valley over the last 50 years and if so, how have vine growers adapted to any changes.

Ana-Emilia Sapungiu MW (UK)

Ana-Emilia is the wine buyer at Oddbins Wine Merchants. She started working in wine after moving to the UK from Romania to study an MBA.

She joined the Oddbins management trainee programme. She was a Decanter World Wine Awards 2016 judge.

Research Paper: What is the current and future role of wine agencies in the UK multiple off trade?

Image: Fongyee Walker MW

Fongyee Walker MW (China)

Fongyee has been a columnist on DecanterChina since 2015.

She became interested in wine at the University of Cambridge whilst studying classical Chinese. She went on to head the university’s blind wine tasting team.

She is now co-owner of Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting and works as a wine educator and consultant in both English and Mandarin. She is based in Beijing.

Research paper: ‘Winter Vine Burial in Ningxia, Shanxi and Hebei: a comparative study of present conditions and future sustainability.’

It is notoriously difficult to pass the three MW exams set by the Institute of Masters of Wine.

The tests include a practical tasting exam, a theory test and a final, essay module.

Students can choose an area of interest for the essay module, as long as there is a wine angle.

· Breaking down the Masters of Wine Stage 1 tasting exam

· Take your first step on the road to MW stardom: See our WSET pages

Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦

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