The Master of Wine (MW) is the highest academic accolade in the wine business and can take many years of study to achieve. One becomes a Master of Wine after having successfully passed a rigourous week-long, two-fold exam of both tasting and theory questions as well as a dissertation or research paper of original research. A successful candidate will have demonstrated a thorough and broad knowledge on the art and science of wine, the business of wine as well as the skill to communicate clearly and concisely.
Unlike other Masters programmes, it has a notably low pass rate of less than 10%, making it one of the rarest and most difficult titles to acquire.
The first Master of Wine exam was held in 1953 in London, UK and while London remains the Institute’s base, the exam is also given in Napa, California as well as in Sydney, Australia. Since its inception, 391 people have passed the criteria to become Masters of Wine.
Today, there are only 338 Masters of Wine from 21 different nationalities, residing in 24 different countries. They work in all aspects of the wine business, including buyers, marketers, company directors, wine producers, journalists and educators.
For more information, visit The Institute of Masters of Wine.