Pancho Campo: Master of Wine No More
Pancho Campo resigned yesterday from the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW). According to Siobhan Turner, the IMW’s executive director, he gave up his membership “in light of his move into more sports and music events and away from wine” (there was no mention of a desire to spend more time with his family). The IMW had been conducting a probe into Campo’s business practices, undertaken as a result of the controversy surrounding his work for The Wine Advocate and his dealings with some regional wine associations in Spain. According to Jim Budd, who had put a spotlight on Campo’s questionable conduct, the IMW had completed its investigation, and its board was due to meet this week to consider Campo’s case.
Via email, Siobhan Turner told me that 20 people have resigned from the IMW since its founding in 1953, a figure that includes Campo. I was surprised the number was that high; given the effort and money required to earn the Master of Wine designation, I had assumed that maybe just four or five people had ever quit or been defrocked. At any rate, the timing of Campo’s resignation—coming the same week that the IMW board was to consider his fate—certainly suggests that this was a case of jump or be pushed.