The World’s Newest Master of Wine is from Oliver, BC

Ross Wise, winemaker, Black Hills Estate Winery, is named to a select global cohort 

Black Hills Estate Winery winemaker Ross Wise is Canada’s newest master of wine. Only the seventh to be awarded the honour in Canada, and the fourth in British Columbia. 

After four years of intense study and arduous sampling of thousands of wines, Wise has now earned the title of master of wine (MW). The MW is a very prestigious title, only 396 people worldwide have achieved the status since the first exams began in 1953. MWs now exist in 30 different countries with only seven in Canada and 60 in total across North America.

“Working towards achieving the master of wine qualification has been an incredible experience. It has allowed me to greatly expand my horizons in the wine industry and connect with so many passionate wine people across the globe,” says Wise. “It is an intense program and requires a lot of hard work and commitment. I have been very lucky to have so many people supporting me throughout the journey, and I am absolutely thrilled to join the Institute of Masters of Wine!”

Ross Wise brings with him a breadth of expertise in his role as head winemaker at Black Hills Estate Winery since January 2019. Originally from New Zealand, Wise holds a Bachelor of Viticulture and Advanced diploma in Wine Science from Charles Sturt University in Australia. He has worked with renowned producers in New Zealand and Ontario before the cool climate wine industry in British Columbia drew his attention. 

After 16 years of winemaking, viticulture and consulting experience, Wise and his family settled in Oliver, British Columbia. Prior to Black Hills, Wise was head winemaker and general manager at Phantom Creek Estate. Wise is Canada’s 7th Master of Wine, adding to his WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits.

About Black Hills Estate Winery 
Founded in 1998, Black Hills Estate Winery produces wines exclusively from its estate vineyard on the Black Sage Bench, north of Osoyoos, British Columbia and will be releasing its 20th vintage later this year.

The vineyard microclimate is one of the hottest, driest, and sunniest sites in the South Okanagan, allowing the vines to yield flavourful grapes of balanced intensity. Using sustainable vinicultural techniques and thoughtful winemaking practices, the winery is well-known for its signature blend: Nota Bene, an age-worthy Bordeaux-style red blend produced in limited quantities from select barrels, now in its 20th vintage. Black Hills also produces a selection of stunning ultra-premium blends, such as Addendum, Per Se, and Ipso Facto, and varietally-labelled Viognier, Chardonnay, Roussanne, Syrah, Tempranillo and Carménère.

Surrounded by panoramic vineyard views, the Black Hills team welcomes wine lovers to visit their Wine Experience Center in Oliver. This stylish facility provides a unique, sit-down wine tasting experience guided by highly trained wine professionals. Annual summer events held at the facility are bold, exciting and fun. Members of the Black Hills Wine Club enjoy front-of-line access to limited-releases and wines not available to the public. To learn more, visit blackhillswinery.com and follow the conversation on social media.

About the Institute of Masters of Wine
The Institute of Masters of Wine is a membership organization with an unsurpassed international reputation. Its members – the Masters of Wine (MWs) – hold the most respected title in the world of wine. The IMW promotes excellence, interaction and learning across all sectors of the global wine community. MWs have proved their understanding of all aspects of wine by passing the MW examination, recognized worldwide for its rigour and high standards. In addition to passing the examination, MWs are required to sign the code of conduct before they are entitled to use the initials MW. The code of conduct requires MWs to act with honesty and integrity, and use every opportunity to share their understanding of wine with others. There are currently 389 Masters of Wine today, working in 30 countries. The membership encompasses winemakers, buyers, journalists, shippers, business owners, consultants, academics, and wine educators. 

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