Master Class and Scholarship for Aspiring Masters of Wine

Portuguese wine professionals are invited to attend a Master Class in Oporto, June 10 through 12.  This event, sponsored jointly by Symington Family Estates, makers of Graham’s Port, and The Institute of Masters of Wine, is aimed at wine trade professionals who are considering applying to study for the Master of Wine, the wine trade’s most challenging and prestigious qualification.  Delegates will participate in a series of tastings, workshops and tutorials aimed at preparing them for the Institute’s study programme.  The weekend will be hosted by Lynne Sherriff MW, Chairman of the Institute, Philip Tuck MW, and Mai Tjemsland MW.

The programme will focus on developing tasting techniques and analytical skills which are central to the Master of Wine qualification.  The topics to be covered will include international wine styles and varieties, current winemaking trends, sustainability, fortified wines, and business themes including selling wines in restricted markets.

The event is open to Portuguese wine professionals with a minimum of five years of industry experience who hold a formal wine qualification (e.g. a degree in oenology, viticulture, or wine business, the WSET Diploma or an internationally recognised sommelier certification).  Delegates will also need good written and spoken English as all the sessions will be conducted in English.

At the end of the programme, delegates will have the opportunity to sit the entry examination for the Institute’s 2012/13 study programme.

To apply to attend this event, please go to the Institute of Masters of Wine website page for the  IMW Master Class, Oporto to download the booking form (which includes a detailed agenda for the three days) which should be emailed to the IMW as directed.

Note that Symington Family Estates is substantially underwriting the course fee for this event to make it more accessible to everyone interested in this opportunity.  The €150 fee includes the cost of the course and all lunches and dinners, but excludes accomodation.

To learn more about the Master of Wine qualification and see videos of a similar event, go the IMW website Study Programme page.

The Symington Scholarship

Symington Family Estates together with Revista de Vinhos and The Institute of Masters of Wine announce the Symington Scholarship, which will help a talented Portugese wine professional study for their Master of Wine qualification.

Currently there are 297 Masters of Wine from 23 countries around the world, but not one from Portugal.  The Symington Scholarship will sponsor a candidate to study in hopes of becoming Portugal’s first Master of Wine.  This scholarship is worth more than €14,000, which will be divided over a three year period, and will cover candidature costs, fees for the first and second years of study and matriculations for the exam and dissertation.

Candidates for this scholarship are strongly advised to attend the Master Class described above.

In order to be eligible for the Symington Scholarship, the candidates will have to have been accepted to the Master of Wine Study Programme, and must have Portuguese nationality.

Additionally, the candidates should write a letter outlining the reasons why they wish to undergo the Master of Wine programme and explaining why they feel they are eligible for the Scholarship.  Please submit this in writing by 14 September at the latest, to:

Symington Scholarships
Travessa Barão de Forrester, 86
4400-034 Vila Nova de Gaia
T: +351 223776300
jcf  at

After the results of the entrance exams are announced by The Institute of Masters of Wine, the final decision for awarding the Symington Scholarship will be taken by a committee for analysing applications, made up of Paul Symington, Luís Lopes of the Revista de Vinhos, Manual Carvalho of the Público newspaper, and Philip Tuck, Master of Wine.

The funding, after the first year of the programme, will depend on the student’s performance in the First Year Evaluation.

Application to the Master of Wine Study Programme

All students study for a minimum of two years before sitting the Masters of Wine Examination.  They follow a self-study programme and are supported by an annual, week-long residential seminar, occasional study days and one-to-one advice from mentors who are Masters of Wine.  The study programme does not therefore demand large periods of time away from employment, however, it does require discipline and motivation to keep up with the level of study required.  After passing both the Theory and Practical parts of the examination, students then research and write a 10,000 word dissertation in the following year, again with the support of a Master of Wine mentor.

Applications for the 2012/13 programme will open in July 2012.

The deadline for applying to the Master of Wine study programme is August 15th, 2012, and the results will be announced in October 2012. The course will begin in November 2012, with the first year’s compulsory residential seminar in January 2013.

The final decision for approving a candidate for the MW course is at the full discretion of The Institute of Masters of Wine.

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