Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Pancho Campo: False claims regarding the Institute of Masters of Wine and the Wine Academy

Extract from front page of official programme for the 1st International Wine Symposium 

Extract from page 23 of the official programme of I Simposium Internacional del Vino: June 2004

The Wine Academy is the Institute of Masters of Wine representative in Spain  – untrue

Following on from today's earlier post about the false claims of an affiliation between CIE Marbella and Middlesex University in the UK, this post highlights further false claims, which were made in the official programme for the First International Wine Symposium held at Marbella – 4th and 5th June 2004. The Symposium was organised by Pancho Campo and Jancis Robinson MW was the keynote speaker.
In the programme for the First Symposium of Wine, which was held in June 2004 there is a claim in an article that The Wine Academy Marbella is both an official centre for training MW candidates and is the representative of the Institute in Spain. 

Relevant extract (page 23 of official programme): 
'Hay que destacar que en las instalaciones de The Wine Academy se impartirán los cursos y titulaciones del Wine & Spirit Education Trust de Londres, organización que es, además, el centro oficial para formarse de cara a obtener el prestigioso título de Master of Wine, ya que The Wine Academy ostenta la representación para España de esta institución.

Translation of the extract passage:
'We would like to highlight that courses and qualifications of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust of London will be imparted in the facilities of The Wine Academy, an organisation that in addition is the official centre for training in order to obtain the prestigious title of Master of Wine, as The Wine Academy holds the representation of this institution in Spain.' 

Comments on the claims by Siobhan Turner, executive director of the Institute of Masters of Wine:
'The Institute does not have any official training centres.  The study programme is self-directed, with residential seminars organised by the Institute in a number of different locations around the world.  We have not held any such in Spain.

The WSET Diploma is one of our preferred qualifications for entry onto the MW study programme, but, except for those who gain a Distinction, it is neither a necessary nor a sufficient qualification in and of itself.

I should add that this was not the first nor the last time that someone involved with giving WSET courses implied a direct link onto the MW programme from it – it is a fairly common event.  We have managed to deal with all those of which we’ve been made aware to our satisfaction.

We do not have official representatives other than the Institute’s employees and Council members or those officially appointed into specific roles – e.g. head of the Education and Exam Board, head of Exam Panel, etc. We have no 'representative for the Institute' in Spain, nor any other country.  The Institute has an official organisation in North America and in Australia, but these are parts of the Institute itself, and not representatives.'

Looks like Campo, The Wine Academy Marbella – precursor of The Wine Academy of Spain, and CIE Marbella are again mistaken as they were with Middlesex University.   

Before posting I invited Pancho Campo MW to comment. However, as yet I have received no response from him. 


Paco Jones said...

Mistake in the translation...

TWA represented and as far as I know still represent, in the way that they teach WSET courses, WSET organitation.

Personally, i don't understand your aim with all of this.

TWA move so much money, power, people around the world with 2 aim:

- Promote around the world the wine culture.

- As a private company, make money.

I don't understand your position.

Regards and good luck. You will need.

Lee Newby said...

Some WSET Institutes carefully mention the WSET “Diploma” is viewed positively as an entry requirement by the Institute of Masters of Wine.

From WSET’s website:

The Wine Academy of Spain SL
El Rosario 2, Edificion VidaRed,
Planta Baja, Local 1
Spain Paulina Campo
Tel: +34 952 830806
Email | Go to website

International Higher

It appears The Spanish Wine Academy does not offer the “Diploma” Program only up to the Advanced course. Neither of the Wine Schools in Spain offers the Diploma.

From the IMW site:

What are the prerequisites for the study programme?

The Master of Wine qualification is a professional one. For that reason, the Institute recommends that applicants hold the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma, or another wine qualification of at least the same level - for example a bachelor or masters degree in oenology. Applicants are also required to have at least five years of professional experience within the wine industry.

So I see Campo MW as over stepping his bounds.

Jim's Loire said...

Thanks for your comments.

Paco: I'm not doubting that The Wine Academy of Spain is WSET accredited. My post is about the unfounded claims made in respect of the Institute of Masters of Wine, although I'm not sure when TWA received WSET accreditation.

Lee – thank you for the clarification.

Anonymous said...

Mr Budd,

sounds like you are on a very personal crusade against Campo. You have implied many things and have been incorrect in some of your translations.
If you are so confident and determined to destroy someones career you have never met, why dont you instigate an official legal investigation that will approach the whole of campogate with a more pragmatic, less biased and zealous manner?
why should the people you contact reply to YOU? You are increasingly showing yourself as less of a journalist and more of a witch hunter.
Your sweeping generalisations and tendency to see things in black and white has blinded you. You are no longer in a position to comment or conduct an impartial investigation into Campo.
get a grip and start doing what you are good at......and being Hercule Poirit isn't one of them.

Jim's Loire said...

Anon. Thank you for your comments, which would carry more weight if you did not prefer to be anonymous.

I would be grateful if you would point out the errors in translation.

Pancho Campo and CIE Marbella made a number of substantiated or false claims in relation to The Institute of Masters of Wine and Middlesex University.

Put yourself in shoes of a young person who might have been persuaded back in 2004 to sign up for CIE Marbella under the impression that there was an affiliation with Middlesex University only to discover after paying and starting the course that no such affiliation had been arranged.

Jim's Loire said...

Anon. Regarding the two further comments which I have removed, they are utterly without foundation and are certainly libellous, so I'm saving you from an expensive legal error.

If you can provide any evidence to substatiate the claims you are making, I will restore your comments.

Jim's Loire said...

Anon: 'why should the people you contact reply to YOU?'

Of course Pancho Campo is not obliged to respond but it is right to offer him the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

I prefer to remain anon. Why would my comments carry any more weight if you knew my name? So should every journalist reveal their sources so that their articles carry more credibility? absolutely ridiculous comment you make. I'm not making any accusations against anyone. i am merely pointing out a few observations. It doesnt require my name. I have seen you previously make the same comment to anonymous contributors. Please dont offer the option of making anonymous comments on your website if that is the response you always send out to someone who is asking questions of your impartiality.

Regarding the claims re institute and masters of wine and CIE, what it states ( and you must account for nuances as a spanish speaker) is that they employ the methods.

regarding affiliations with Middlesex university: Do you have any concrete information on what negotiations were understaken with Middlesex university? Who negotiated? was the website or literatre published before any deal was reached? was maybe some preliminary deal reached and then maybe didnt go through at a later date? Perhaps a deal was expected to be done and didnt go through but the literature was published beforehand? this is normal practice in business to pre plan. sometimes things dont work out. Can you find proof of anyone who signed up to the the CIE and found themselves losing money?
The point here Mr Budd is that every iota of information you 'find' that appears it would assasinate Campos character, you publish. You are not looking into details and perhaps causing alot of damage without being privy to full information.
Please provide more comprehensive proofs.

Anonymous said...

Re: 'why should people contact you?'

perhaps they do not want to give you further publicity?

perhaps because you may talke out of context anything they may say.

perhaps because you have decided these are dishonest people and all your writings regarding them will portray them in such a light.

Perhaps because you are the editor in chief of your website and you may only publish what YOU want your readers to see.

If i were a figure with a public profile and a load of internet bloggers were writing many negative things, and then maybe i recieved a few e mails from a few of them, asking me to clarify or comment on something, I wouldnt give them the time of day, since you have done the damage already. I would prefer to revert to the legal system and do my talking in a court of law.

its not good enough to to say you will retract or apologise for something negative you may have written which turns out to be inaccurate. the damage is already done. the kind of damage to peoples livelihoods, families etc.....the kind of damage you do not see. Do you remember the case of that girl Johanna yates who was murdered in Bristol last year? her Landlord who happened to be an eccentric was villified by the media and numerous articles were published implying his guilt. He wasn't guilty, but the damage to his life on a daily basis was real.

It is far better to undertake a comprehensive and thorough investigation into claims and accusations, get all sides of the story and then publish.

Mr Budd, you are a jounalist of repute and far be it from me to give you lessons in journalism, but my point is, you have got too personal with this campogate affair.

sensationalism in the media is the staple (sadly) of many journalists today. many are inclined to publish things which sound juicy nowadays as it sells papers and leads to more clicks on their websites. Mr Budd, dont fall into that category.


Are Paco Jones comments any more credible than mine? You really think Paco jones is someones real name?

Jim's Loire said...

Anon. Thank you for your further comment. Please remain anonymous if that is your wish.

The Spanish translations are done by a long standing and fluent Spanish speaker. Furthermore:

'ya que The Wine Academy ostenta la representación para España de esta institución.'

This does not mean: 'they employ the methods'.

Regarding Middlesex University Pancho Campo claimed an affiliation as a done deal on a number of occasions as detailed in the previous post. It would have been a different matter if he had explained that CIE were negotiation with Middlesex University but that nothing had so far been agreed.

In addition the claim that a student with no A levels could obtain a place at Middlesex University is highly unlikely as explained in Pancho Campo's timeline on this blog.

You might also ask Pancho at which institution he completed his medical studies at the tender age of 21 and lastly the date of the Pink Floyd 'concert' in Dubai/UAE? Many thanks.

Jim's Loire said...


I have already made it clear that of course people don't have to respond to my questions/invitation to comment but it is right for me to offer them an opportunity to comment.

'I would prefer to revert to the legal system and do my talking in a court of law.'

That, of course, is Pancho Campo's right if I have libelled him.

Unfortunately you cannot blame me for claims that Campo has made, including those on the Institute of Masters of Wine website, that turn out to have no basis.

For example look again at the article on Campo in the official programme of the 1st International Symposium on Wine (June 2004). Look at his explanation how he came to leave Dubai and then compare it to the version he gave in September 2009 to speakers at WineFuture Rioja. There are some very significant variations here.

Campo is a dynamic impresario as the two editions of WineFuture and the Climate Conferences attest. Unfortunately he is his own character assassin.

Anonymous said...

I have known people to enter current Uk universities without A - levels. It is actually a very common phenomenon as some students prefer to take a vocational course or pehaps the international baccaluareate as a route into university. Some institutions can furthermore offer credits that facilitate in university entrance without the need for studying A levels. some institutions may even grant a place based upon a good interview. This is rarer nowadays.

This is my point mr Budd. you do not have all the info at hand and yet insist on making purportedly informed commments.

as for campos medical studies, or pink floyd concerts, you are the journalist; get digging....but do it with a torch please. Contact maybe the guitarist Dave Gilmore. then again you may not get a response from him; what would he be guilty of? You are losing your grip on journalistic integrity and throwing out other accusations instead of acknowledging your mistakes. It reminds me of the BBC anchor woman ( during UK riots) interviwing the black journalist Darcus Howe as a contributor from the race angle of the riots. suddenly out of nowhere she asks him ' you were a rioter wern't you?' or something to that effect. It was a totally irrelevant issue for that particular news piece. Please look it up on you tube. the point here is it was irrelevant and a downright stupid.

another word of advice; dont use former business partners, debtors, creditors, ex employees holding grudges, ex wives or competitors as your main sources of 'credible' information.
Dont use people displaying a hint of schadenfreude as i detected in jose penins article.

you write that you asked Robert Parker for a response. why on earth would he respond to you when your website links to another website positively rubbishing him (parkerstein etc). Once again you seem to want all the answers yet fail to empathise why these people should give you the satisfaction.

i dont know what Campo has done or not and neither do you. i have lied on my CV in the past, i have stated to employers that I have 7 years experience in a particular industry instead of the real 4. Does that make me a terrible person?? You dont know me to judge. i had a mortgage to pay and a family to support and needed the job i was more than capable of doing. i wonder how many people out there in the world there are who have never stated anything slightly false. I get the impression that you'll get a posse out after Panch campo if you suspected he had done 75 miles an hour in a 70 mile an hour zone.

lets get back to the original accustaion which began you on your witch hunt. Were inappropriate payments made?

should we not wait for the necessary authorities to finish their investigations? you are going into irrelevant things to cast aspersions on campo. forget the 'he said' 'she said ' business and get back to the facts on the ground.

Anonymous said...

Mr Budd,

thank you for your responses.

Maybe Campo is a guy on the make and trying to build a career. maybe he found himself suddenly thrust into the public arena and maybe certain white lies may or may not have caught up with him. god forbid i were ever to become primeminister and my past ex girlfriends catch up with me. the point here again is that i think you are seriously unfairly gunning for this guy more than you need to.
If he has done what you you alledge, then as you say, he is his own chracter assasin but until all the evidence is out there, we dont know.

with all due respect Mr Budd, all i am saying is that hold the automatic gunfire before you ruin peoples lives.

I have no affiliation with campo but i have followed your writings on the matter with interest. You have got progressively more obsessed and i feel lost your objectivity. this is eveident in your responses to pro campo bloggs and maybe you have got so caught up, you dont even see it.

peace and goodnight

Jim's Loire said...


Thank you for your further comments.

The evidence is already there:

No affiliation with Middlesex University.
Not the Institute of Masters of Wine representative in Spain. You have the IMW's word that no such post exists.
Pink Floyd did not play together between 29th October 1994 and 2nd July 2005. However, Roger Waters performed on 15th April 2002 at Creek Golf and Yacht Club, Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 15th April 2002.

Re Waters, in September 2009 Campo told those who were due to speak at WineFuture Rioja that: 'Unfortunately, due to the September 11th attacks on NY, it was impossible to get artists and athletes to travel to the Middle East. Sponsors pulled out and the business ended up closing down in early 2002.'

Clearly the business wasn't closed by mid-April 2002. Indeed it may never have closed. Instead Jackie Wartanian managed to carry on the business after Campo allegedly absconded with the cash.

Your fall back position that these are all white lies is clearly absurd.

Anonymous said...

Mr Budd,

I have no fall back position. i am merely stating that you are implying many things without full knowledge of anything. White lies or not, it is not my position to state what is true re campo and what isn't. I'm merely pointing out flaws in your journalistic integrity and once again stating that you are too personally involved in a vendetta against campo.

i previously posted comments which asks questions of your methods and you have chosen not to publsih them on this website. You seem to be judge and juror in your own kangaroo court.

Re jackie Wartanian. Maybe she continued the business using the same name after campo left? the acronym is the same but the letters stand for something else as far as i have seen.

please reference previous posts of mine regarding who you use as your journalistic sources. eg ex wives, business partners etc.


If you need a reminder which particular post, it is the one referencing Jose penin and using the example of the BBc journalists irrelevant questioning of black Journalist Darcus Howe.

Anonymous said...

Mr Budd,

thankyou for posting my comments today that i requested. It simply puts into context the type of harrassment journalism you are practicing and allows any readers to maybe at least think on a human level of the people you are attacking.

regarding the interpol case against campo which was subsequently dropped, it was simply a dispute between business partners. the law in dubai does not distinguish between a civil and a criminal dispute; a fact that has escaped your attention. you however overlook this in your previous writings without any understanding of the legal systtem.
for example, a friend of mine recently lost his job in the UAE and couldnt pay his mortgage. he left the country with his family as he knew he would be thrown into prison for failure to pay. Would you class him as a criminal or a man who was pragmatic about his chances of a conviction. it is very easy for the mortgage company to put his name on the interpol list too. this is how it is in the UAE.

So you see Mr Budd, not everythiong is black and white.

Jim's Loire said...

Anon. Thank you for your comments. The Dave Gilmore comment had gone into the spam box without my realising it.

In any case there is no need to ask Dave Gilmour as Pink Floyd played no concerts between 1994 and 2005, despite Campo's claims of organising a Pink Floyd concert.

Regarding your comments about Jackie Wartanian and Campo's Dubai conviction please note this extract from Charlie Hamilton's article from September 2009:

'According to court documents, Campo was charged with breach of trust on June 5, 2002, found guilty on June 1, 2003, and sentenced to one year in jail followed by deportation. The case revolved around a €600,000 (Dh3.2m) claim that Ms Wartanian had brought against Campo over fraudulent business dealings. Ms Wartanian's lawyer, Amna Jallaf, said a civil case had also been filed against Campo.'

Jim's Loire said...


'It simply puts into context the type of harrassment journalism you are practicing'

Intriguing that Pancho Campo has also accused me through a third party of harassment.

The only recent contact I have had with Campo is my email. There has been no harassment and I refer you to para 34 of the judgment in the Court of Appeal - Iqbal v Dean Manson [2011] EWCA Civ 123

'[34] The 1997 Act has not rendered such conduct unlawful. In general, press criticism, even if robust, does not constitute unreasonable conduct and does not fall within the natural meaning of harassment. A pleading, which does no more than allege that the defendant has published a series of articles that have reasonably caused distress to an individual, will be susceptible to a strike-out on the ground that it discloses no arguable case of harassment.'

Jim's Loire said...


Further to your comment about sources:

'please reference previous posts of mine regarding who you use as your journalistic sources. eg ex wives, business partners etc.'

I'm interested to see ex wives included in the list as I had only recently realised that Pancho Campo had been married before as he reveals in the article in the official programme for his first International Wine Symposium. He and his first wife, who was also his business partner, split after the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Perhaps like me you wonder whether anonymous who supplied details about Campo's tennis promotion career might have been his ex-wife or someone close to her.

Jim's Loire said...

An edited comment from another Anon. Edited to remove libel:

'Anonymous.....well said! Finally someone is balancing this "circus" that Budd and his gang have developed (embarrasing for the industry I must add.

Paco are right, using Google translator it is not serious journalism and indeed, the translation is WRONG! Anyhow, are you a certified journalist Mr. Budd?

Why have you involved Campo´s in-laws? Are you desperate? Your obsession with this man and his family is border line with being a pathology. You have reached a point by which your own obsessive-compulsive attitude is weakening all your arguments. I can tell you that numerous people have already started to question your accusations and Campo has a tremendous support from wineries and producers. One thing is for sure, you have made him a celebrity.

My last thought......I honestly believe that Campo and his family really care very little about your "crusade" against them?

Chances are that you will delete my post.......freedom of speech and true journalism? Allow me also so remain anonymous.'

Anon – given that the accusation that I removed is completely baseless, as you well know, I can well understand your desire for anonymity.

If you can provide any credible evidence to back up your accusations I will restore your post in its entirety.

Jim's Loire said...

Anon: 'Campo has a tremendous support from wineries and producers.'

Tremendous support – if you say so anon. However, all of the emails that are the crux of the evidence over cash for access were passed on by Spanish producers.

Jim's Loire said...

Anons making baseless, entirely unfounded and libellous comments:

Please see:

This matter has been dealt with. As I have already make clear on several occasions if you can provide any credible evidence to back up your accusations I will restore your comments that are currently lodged in my bloggers' spam folder.

If your objective is provide anonymous support for Pancho Campo MW by means of these baseless smears, the reverse is all too likely to be the case.