Having passed the final stage of the notoriously difficult Master of Wine exam, two new MWs have been announced today, with one of them a specialist in pergola vine training and the other an expert on wine references in songs by the Grateful Dead.
The latest people to achieve the title of Master of Wine are US-born-and-based Erin Jolley and Italy’s Andrea Lonardi, who join Wojciech Bońkowski MW and Joshua Granier MW as the 2023 vintage of MWs, with the latter two announced in February.
There are now 502 people who have passed the exam since it first took place in 1953, with the total number of living MWs worldwide now amounting to 414, based in 31 countries.
Notably, Andrea becomes the second MW based in Italy, after Gabrielle Gorelli MW, who gained the title in 2021.
The top countries where MWs are based around the world are the UK (205), the US (59), Australia (27), France (18), New Zealand (15), Canada (10), and Germany (10).
News of their success makes for a welcome piece of positive news from the IMW after the recent loss of two of its prominent figures, with the death of the first female MW, Sarah Morphew Stephen in June – whose remarkable life you can read about here – and the tragic loss of Philip Tuck MW in a cycling accident last month.
Read on to find out more about the new Masters of Wine, including their specialisms following their in-depth studies for their pass-quality research papers – and many congratulations to Erin and Andrea.
Erin Jolley MW (US)
Erin’s career in wine began with sales in the city where she was born, Washington, D.C. She soon landed a position in the Barossa Valley, Australia, followed by rewarding years in San Francisco, CA and Denver, CO. In addition to wine sales, she has focused on importation with a specialty of developing new markets.
Erin currently resides in Miami, FL where her own company Drink the Rent, an importer of French wines, is based. She also manages key wine portfolios and direct imports for Maverick Beverage Company of Florida. She spends her free time in the water with her husband and 2-year-old daughter, soon to be joined by a son in September 2023.
Research paper: A study of wine references in the lyrics of two American artists, Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead, in songs from the 1960s and 1970s
Andrea Lonardi MW (Italy)
Andrea is a wine manager distinguished by his product-oriented approach, with experience in different regions and markets. This originates from global education and training, ranging from Italy, to France, to the US, with varied positions within the wine industry. Andrea started his career in marketing and sales for the largest Italian wine group (GIV), expanding sales of indigenous southern Italian grape varieties in the US market.
Andrea was promoted to viticulture director, responsible for over 1,000 hectares and 13 estates, from the Alps to Sicily. Through his leadership, Andrea pioneered many projects: developing stress indices for indigenous Italian grapes, engineering the first harvest-machine with satellite control, and modelling management indices.
Since 2012, Andrea has been COO within Angelini Wines and Estates (AW&E). In this role, Andrea oversees the business, impacting on marketing and sales, whilst leading incentives to innovate production and distribution: orchestrating a relaunch for the historic brand Bertani, reinstating a strong stylistic identity to Amarone and Valpolicella; zoning Montalcino through distinctive vineyard selection; and connecting with key international fine wine distributors.
Research paper: Pergola and VSP in Valpolicella: how labour demand and current challenges impact training system choices
About the MW exam and the IMW
The MW exam consists of three parts: the theory and practical exams taken at the end of stage two and the research paper submitted at the end of stage three. The RP is an in-depth study on a wine-related topic from any area of the sciences, arts, humanities, or social sciences. Only when an individual passes the third RP stage of the MW exam do they become a Master of Wine, which Erin and Andrea have done successfully.
Before new members have the right to use the title Master of Wine or initials MW, they must sign the Institute of Masters of Wine’s code of conduct. By signing this, MWs agree to act with honesty, integrity and use every opportunity to share their understanding of wine with others.