A wine producer in Tuscany is sponsoring a second year MW student in an effort to give Italy its first Master of Wine.
Famiglia Cecchi, which owns estates across the region including in Chianti Classico, has awarded Gabriele Gorelli, from the Montalcino region of Tuscany, with a bursary to help fund his MW journey.
The estate launched a competition to identify an Italian MW student who would promote the reputation of Tuscan wines, setting an essay question which asked students how best to build the profile of wines from the Chianti and Chianti Classico region.
“We are so proud to be able to support the studies of students in this very worthwhile cause,” said winemaker and owner Andrea Cecchi.
“We found the standard of entries to be very high and each student had taken a fresh perspective.”
Gorelli will be given £1,500 towards the cost of his Master of Wine studies.
“I really think Chianti, Classico in particular, deserves higher attention and reputation around the world,” Gorelli said.
“Commanding higher prices, it would let wineries to be economically viable and sustainable, helping to preserve culture, landscape and traditions that are really the soul of Tuscan wine.”
To date, no one from Italy has successfully made it through the intensive MW course.
The MW exam consists of three stages, including a final research paper which focuses on a wine-related topic from any area of the sciences, arts, humanities, or social sciences.
In addition to passing the examination, all MWs are required to sign the MW code of conduct before they are entitled to use the initials MW, which requires them to act with honesty and integrity and to use every opportunity to share their understanding of wine with others.
To apply, students need to hold a qualification in wine appreciation such as a WSET Diploma or equivalent, as well as a minimum of three years of professional experience in the global wine community.
Six new MWs were sworn into the Institute of Masters of Wine in February this year, bringing the total number of MWs worldwide to 384.