Members of the Institute of Masters of Wine have elected Neil Hadley MW as the new chair of the organisation – the first Australasian elected to the position.
Neil, the 55th chair of the IMW, is General Manager, Export for family-owned Taylors/Wakefield Wines of the Clare Valley.
“I’m honoured to take up this prestigious position and am especially proud to be the first-ever Australasian MW in the role,” he says.
“We have plenty of challenges before us, but the opportunity to be an integral part of the team that faces and overcomes these challenges is really exciting and I am looking forward to making my contribution to this chapter in the IMW’s ongoing story.”
Neil will head up the IMW’s Council, a board of 14 international Masters of Wine, who are responsible for the governance and strategic direction of the IMW. There are currently 409 MWs working in 30 countries.
Neil has been an MW over half his life, passing the exam in 1993. At the time, he was the youngest member of the IMW at just 26 years of age.
His career in wine started in the UK wine trade, joining retailers Lay & Wheeler in 1984, after which he spent time travelling and working through the vineyards of Australia.
He returned to the UK in 1987 to take a position in education at Grants of St James’s School of Wine.
A few years later Neil moved permanently to Australia, and his career included marketing manager for winemaker Rosemount Estate, brand director for Penfolds wines and ultimately the group product development director within the Southcorp global marketing team.
After a stint at Villa Maria Estate in New Zealand, Neil joined Taylors/Wakefield Wines, where he has worked for the past 13 years.
Neil takes over the role of chair from Adrian Garforth MW, whose two-year tenure officially ended at the IMW’s annual general meeting earlier this week.