Meet the new Masters of Wine 2020

The seven students all passed the Institute of Masters of Wine’s (IMW) notoriously tough three-stage exam process, involving theory exams, tasting exams and a research paper – an in-depth study on a wine-related topic.

The seven new MWs include:

Vanessa Conlin MW (US), a former opera singer based in the Napa Valley, where she is head of wine for ecommerce wine retailer Wine Access.
Research paper: Land and winery ownership in Napa Valley from 1998-2018

Elizabeth Kelly MW (UK), involved in buying English wines and product development at retailer Marks & Spencer, having previously worked for Oddbins and the WSET.
Research paper: A sustainability scheme for the UK wine production industry.

Pasi Ketolainen MW (Finland), an ex-sommelier who has represented Finland in blind tasting competitions. He joined Viinitie Oy as commercial director in 2019.
Research paper: Wine distributors’ views regarding the current and future status of the restaurant supply chain in Finland.

Lin Liu MW (France), based at Château de Chambert in Cahors, who has been involved in trading, winemaking, tasting, judging, writing and wine education.
Research paper: Cahors AOC hierarchisation project, a case study from 1999 to 2019.

Curtis Mann MW (US), director of alcohol and beverage at California/Nevada supermarket chain Raley’s since 2013, who began his career in hospitality.
Research paper: California consumer understanding and preference for US Chardonnay styles.

Beth Pearce MW (UK), a buyer for Majestic Wine who joined the retailer’s management training scheme after visiting vineyards in New Zealand following university.
Research paper: How effective is it to use the reduced carbon footprint of bulk shipping and UK bottling as a marketing message?

Ross Wise MW (Canada), an ex-chef who is now winemaker at Black Hills Estate Winery in the Okanagan Valley, and senior winemaker at Andrew Peller.
Research paper: How will climate change be influencing viticulture in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley by the 2050s?


See also: My most memorable wines: Jancis Robinson MW and Hugh Johnson

See also: Master of Wine vs Master Sommelier: What’s the difference?

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