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Ex-Selfridges buyer Davies among record number of new Masters of Wine

Published:  08 September, 2015

Former Selfridges buyer Dawn Davies is among 19 wine trade professionals to gain the Master of Wine qualification.

Davies (pictured) left Selfridges last month after nine years to join spirits distributor Speciality Drinks.

Sarah Knowles, the Wine Society's buyer for Australia, New Zealand, North America and Austria, is also among the new MWs.

Davies and Knowles are joined by three other new UK-based MWs: Victoria Burt, research and development manager at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust; wine writer and former Majestic manager Richard Hemming; and Emma Symington, blogger and wine judge who runs trade events and education for Wine Australia in the UK.

Former Oddbins buyer Lynne Coyle, who is now head of wine buying and development for retailer O'Briens Wines in Ireland, has also gained the MW qualification, along with Rebecca Gibb, a British wine writer now based in New Zealand.

Journalist and educator Ying Tan is Singapore's first MW.

The other new MWs are: Marcus Ansems and Eugene Mlynczyk (both Canada); Mollie Battenhouse (USA); Romana Echensperger, Konstantin Baum and Janek Schumann (Germany); Wendy Cameron and Andrea Pritzker (both Australia); Yiannis Karakasis (Greece); Kenichi Ohashi (Japan); and Taina Vilkuna (Finland).

The new MWs bring the total up to 340 from 24 countries and represent a record crop of new qualifiers.

John Hoskins MW, chief examiner of the Institute of the Masters of Wine, said: "Not only do we have a record number of new MWs, but we can report that the general standard of the research papers was considerably higher than equivalent papers submitted in previous years.

"This is testament not just to the hard work of the candidates involved, but also to the success of the overhaul of the exam process.

"We now have a strong pool of MWs with the experience to give students the guidance they need to tackle this last part of the exam, which for many had in the past proved to be the most frustrating."