MW Press Release

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SAN FRANCISCO — With the goal of expanding California’s wine export sales, Wine Institute will host 50 Masters of Wine (MW’s) during a comprehensive program touring the Golden State from Oct. 18-27. This project is a collaboration between Wine Institute and the London-based Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW). The MW guests come from 16 countries and include sommeliers, wine retailers, restauranteurs, wine writers and other leaders in the global hospitality industry.

“Our ‘California Dreamin’ program for the MWs is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for wine industry influencers from around the globe to see ‘what’s next’ in California wines,” says Linsey Gallagher, Wine Institute Vice President of International Marketing. “There are only 380 Masters of Wine in the world, so it’s an honor to have this important group learn about the quality and diversity of California wines.”

The trip begins in Santa Barbara County and winds north with stops in Paso Robles, Santa Cruz Mountains, Sonoma County and Napa Valley, finishing in San Francisco. During the tour, the MW’s will taste more than 600 California wines from 60 American Viticultural Areas and meet hundreds of winemakers while experiencing the 2018 harvest in progress.

U.S. wine exports, more than 90% from California, reached $1.53 billion in winery revenues and 380 million liters (42.2 million cases) in 2017. California exports about 20% of its wine production and exports have grown nearly 70% by value in the past decade.

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of more than 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program has more than 175-member wineries exporting to 138 countries. The program’s 15 representative offices conduct activities in 25 countries around the globe.

The Institute of Masters of Wine is a professional education and examination organization based in the United Kingdom that awards the Master of Wine (MW) title to those who pass the MW examination. The MW qualification is regarded as one of the highest standards of professional knowledge in the world of wine. The 380 MWs are working in 30 countries across five continents. IMW was formed in 1955 by the group who passed the inaugural exam in 1953.