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MW 2021 examination tests candidates on marginal climates

Published:  15 September, 2021

The Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) has made available every question posed to students taking the 2021 MW exam, including the list of wines for the practical tasting segment.

From 31 August to 3 September, 106 students sat the theory and practical exams in Adelaide, Helsinki, London, Malaga, Napa, Ontario and Singapore. The exam, usually held in June each year, was postponed to September due to the pandemic.

The practical and theory exams are notoriously rigorous, covering a wide range of wines, tasted blind, and a diverse selection of topics including viticulture; vinification and pre-bottling procedures; handling of wines; the business of wine; and contemporary issues surrounding climate change.

This year, Section A of the theory questions asked students either to evaluate the principal factors to consider when establishing a vineyard in a marginal climate, or to discuss the major factors that impact the timing of harvest.

Other questions include ‘What is the importance of soil pH in viticulture?’ And ‘How can vine growers influence soil pH to obtain quality grapes for winemaking?’

The full list of questions, including theory and practical tasting elements can be found here.

As well as theory, the taste buds of prospective MW were put to the test via a blind tasting of a Vin Jaune, Grand Cru white Burgundy and Inopia Blanc from the Rhone, where they were asked to correctly identify the origin and varieties used.

The practical and theory exams form the second stage of the MW study programme.

Students who successfully pass the stage two theory and practical exams will progress to stage three, the research paper, which is the final stage of the MW study programme.