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VSPT joins principal supporters of the Institute of Masters of Wine

Chile-based producer VSPT Wine Group has become a principal supporter of the Institute of Masters of Wine, the first from Latin America.

VSPT Wine Group has signed on to be a principal supporter of The Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW). The company, a large player in South American wine, joins four other organisations at the top of the IMW’s supporter hierarchy. It is the first at that level based in Latin America.

The new partnership was announced on Wednesday, with the two parties celebrating their shared missions and values. Both committed to promoting diversity and excellence in the wine trade through the announcement. There is also particular hope that the collaboration will secure the IMW Latin American connections, expanding its global reach.

VSPT Wine Group, one of the world’s 20 largest producers, heralded creating “a dynamic synergy of wine and academic excellence.” According to Germán del Río, its International Business Director, “we envision a future where passion, expertise, and a dedication to mastery will enrich the palates and minds of wine enthusiasts worldwide.”

The announcement is further demonstration of the company’s international expansion plans. As a large exporter of both Chilean and Argentinian wine, the group has built its global presence this year. It has opened a new Shanghai office and launched a UK subsidiary in 2023 alone.

Meanwhile, the IMW was keen to emphasise the expertise the deal would bring, beyond the financial benefits. “As well as offering the possibility to further strengthen our connections with Latin America,” says Julian Gore-Booth, IMW Executive Director, “the VSPT Wine Group is a leader in sustainability and offers important expertise, learning and engagement for our members and our student community.”

The new position for VSPT Wine Group will help develop a range of activities from the IMW. Known for its brutally hard exams, the Institute is responsible for awarding the title of Master of Wine (MW) to those who meet its high standards. The daunting tasting exam has a pass rate of around 10%, cementing the title’s prestige in the world of wine. There are currently 413 MWs working around the world, with a further 350 students currently on the programme.

Alongside its work awarding the MW title, the IMW also runs a full programme of events open to all. These range from masterclasses on individual regions to a flagship symposium. The marquee event takes place every four years and brings MWs and other experts together in a packed four day schedule of tastings and seminars.

The IMW’s initiatives, both in education and events, make use of support from a range of industry bodies. Eight major supporters and 24 supporters contribute to its work, but the top tier of principal supporters numbers just five. VSPT Wine Group, as the fifth, joins Austrian Wine, AXA Millésimes, Constellation Brands and Champagne Bollinger.

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