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Published:  23 July, 2008

Tim Atkin, Harpers' editorial director and The Observer's wine correspondent, is one of four people to pass the 2001 Master of Wine examinations. The other three are: Beverley Blanning, who runs wine tours and wine education for corporate clients; Linda Jotham, who runs wine education courses and provides a cellar consultancy; and Patricia Stefanowicz, a wine consultant in wine brokering and marketing, wine education and journalism. Forty candidates from eight countries took the exam - 29 in London, six in San Francisco and five in Sydney. Four others have passed the theory and practical, and under the revised syllabus now have to submit their dissertation within six months. Institute chairman Hugo Rose MW said: "This year's overall performance has improved and we are looking forward to welcoming the four successful candidates to the institute." The Institute's executive director, Jane Carr, said: "Fewer candidates took the exam this year, but there were more passes and the overall standard was higher."