Institute of Masters of Wine

IMW - Who are we?

The Institute

The Institute of Masters of Wine is a professional body with an unsurpassed international reputation. Our Members, Masters of Wine (MWs), hold the most respected title in the world of wine. MWs have proved their understanding of all aspects of wine by passing the Master of Wine (MW) Examination, recognised worldwide for its rigour and high standards.

In addition to passing the Examination, MWs are required to sign the Code of Conduct before they are entitled to use the initials MW. The Code of Conduct requires MWs to act with honesty and integrity, and use every opportunity to share their understanding of wine with others.

There are 354 Masters of Wine today, working in 28 countries. The Membership encompasses winemakers, buyers, journalists, shippers, business owners, consultants, academics, and wine educators. There are over 320 students, from 36 countries, in the MW Study Programme.

The Institute promotes excellence, interaction and learning across all sectors of the global wine community. We run courses, events and examinations on four continents. A record number of students took the MW Examination this year, in three cities round the world.


Masters of Wine

What started more than sixty years ago as a qualification for the UK wine trade is now held by a global family of 354 MWs. Becoming a Master of Wine means entry into the world’s best wine community: one that brings deeply rewarding personal and professional opportunities, but also lifetime friendships with fellow Members.

MWs are often asked to judge wine competitions all over the world, to lecture at wine courses, to lead tastings and to sample and assess some of the world's finest private cellars. MWs currently advise governments and heads of state worldwide, as well as hotels, airlines, and other institutions.

The Institute itself organises trips for MWs, which are generally hosted by trade bodies. Over the years groups of MWs have been treated to exceptional hospitality in most wine-producing regions of the world, with a level of VIP access that would be the envy of anyone with an interest in wine.

The Institute also runs a full events calendar, including the famous Symposium, which takes place every four years. The next Symposium, 'Living Wine', will be help in Logroño, Spain in 2018. Many of the world's most iconic producers have brought their wines to our events, in the knowledge that they will be presenting to an audience whose love and understanding of wine is unsurpassed.

Of course, being a Master of Wine isn't just about taking advantage of the opportunities that are on offer, it's about offering those opportunities to others.


MW Study Programme

Successful MWs have always given their time to help others through the Examination. Over the years, that help and guidance has evolved into the formal Study Programme, which aims to assist and advise students as they prepare themselves to take the Examination.

Every student in the Study Programme has a nominated MW as their personal mentor. These mentor relationships frequently become friendships that last a lifetime, whether students go on to pass the Examination or not.  Students can expect to learn from many more Masters of Wine, as well as leading figures in the global wine trade, at Study Programme residential seminars and course days.

Not everyone who joins the Study Programme goes on to pass the Master of Wine Examination; but anyone who has invested time in study for the Examination sees the benefits in terms of broadening their perspective, not only in terms of increased knowledge, but through the contacts they make with their peers in the global wine trade.  Importantly, the Institute considers ex-students as part of our extended family.