Blank Canvas GM wins the prestigious Quinta do Noval Award

Blank Canvas GM wins the prestigious Quinta do Noval Award

Blank Canvas General Manager and Co-Owner Sophie Parker-Thomson MW has won the prestigious Quinta do Noval Award 2021, announced at last week's Institute of Masters of Wine ceremony in the historic Vintners Hall in London. The prize is given to the best research paper (RP) by a new MW and judged by Christian Seely, managing director of AXA Millesimes, Quinta do Noval's owners.

Due to vintage happening in New Zealand, Sophie could not travel to London for the ceremony in person but was able to accept the award via video link from her home in Marlborough. Sophie said: ‘I am overwhelmed, and so grateful to receive the Quinta do Noval Award. This was a daunting paper to research and write but the significant public interest element and importance of this topic to the industry was undeniable.

I am truly honoured to have my RP recognised in this way.. My thanks to Christian Seely and AXA Millesimes for encouraging excellence in wine research, and I am so excited to experience the magnificent Quinta do Noval in person as part of my prize.

Christian Seely commented afterwards: "This was an excellent piece of research. At first sight, the very rigorous scientific approach seemed somewhat alarming, but it turned out to be compulsive reading, fascinating, with some original insights and thought-provoking ideas. Extremely well researched and rigorously argued, I thought it was outstandingly good, and for me was without question the best of the papers submitted."

Sophie wins a cheque for £1000, a framed print of Quinta do Noval, a trip to the iconic property in the Douro, and a case of wines and ports – including Noval’s fabled Nacional Vintage.

The RP is the final stage of the Master of Wine exam. It is an individual project on a topic chosen by the MW student, resulting in work between 6,000 and 10,000 words. Sophie's winning RP, What is the relationship between the use of Sulphur Dioxide and Biogenic Amine levels in wine? is available to download from the IMW website

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