The Institute of Masters of Wine welcomed seven new members last night at a reception during which several awards were announced.

Julia Harding MW took the Noval Award for Communication. Sponsored by the Port house’s owners AXA Millésimes, the award comprises a £1000 cheque, a trip to the property and a mixed case of Noval Port – including the iconic Nacional. Harding works for Jancis Robsinson MW.

Pierpaolo Petrassi, newly appointed senior product development manager at Tesco, collected the Robert Mondavi Winery award for his performance in the theory section of the exam, as well as the Viña Errazuriz Award for his Business of Wine paper.

Peter Mitchell, of Laytons Wine Merchants, and Greg Sherwood, general manager of fine wines for Handford Wines, were also inducted.

The evening highlighted several ‘firsts’, as Ulf Sjödin became Sweden’s first MW, and Barbara Philip Canada’s first female MW.

The Institute of Masters of Wine was established in London, England, in 1953, and now has 265 members from 22 different countries.

Written by Maggie Rosen