Sophie is New Zealand's newest Master of Wine

Sophie is New Zealand's newest Master of Wine

We are thrilled to announce that after many years of hard work and study, Sophie has officially gained the prestigious Master of Wine qualification. Friday's announcement from the Institute of Masters of Wine saw Sophie named among ten new Masters of Wine from around the world, with the other nine all based in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Many consider the Master of Wine (MW) title as the most prestigious wine certification one can attain, with the blind tasting examinations notoriously averaging a 10% pass rate.

Sophie explains, “studying for the MW entails the highest highs and the lowest lows; it really is a journey in self-understanding, humility and knowing how far you can push yourself.”

In addition to the 36-wine blind tasting examinations, theoretical knowledge is examined across viticulture, winemaking, the business of wine and contemporary issues impacting the wine industry. Once successful in the theory and practical exams candidates must research and write a 10,000-word paper on a topic of choice that will ultimately benefit the industry. Sophie chose her research topic, “What is the Relationship Between the Use of Sulphur Dioxide and Biogenic Amine Levels in Wine?”, because of the significant public health interest surrounding the issue of wine intolerance. 

Fellow Master of Wine, Bob Campbell commented:

“I couldn’t be more delighted when I heard that Sophie had passed her Master of Wine exams. It is hard to imagine anyone more deserving. She lives, eats and breathes wine and has practical experience from vineyard to the marketplace and all stages between. Sophie also has a great palate and I hope that she will be able to spare a little time from her busy schedule to do a bit of wine show judging.”

Sophie was feeling extremely relieved and rather overwhelmed with the news she had finally achieved the Master of Wine title. She stated she "could not have done it without my amazing husband, walking wine encyclopedia and blind tasting buddy Matt, who has shared every single high and low with me and who has been absolutely instrumental in supporting this outcome, ever since we first started talking about the MW ten years ago."

Bob Campbell MW stated further, “Sophie is the 15th New Zealand based MW which gives us, according to my calculations, the second highest number of MWs per capita narrowly behind the UK where the MW qualification originated 65 years ago.”

Sophie joins 149 women MWs globally with the total number of MWs in the world now 418 in 32 countries.

The Institute of Masters of Wine press release can be read in full here

Press Coverage: 

The Real Review: New Kiwi MW
Stuff 'Kiwi named among ten new wine masters'
Mike Hosking Breakfast 'Ten new Masters of Wine including New Zealand's Sophie Parker-Thomson'
WineBlast Podcast with Peter Richards MW & Susie Barrie MW 'The Undeserved Hangover'
usinessDesk: 'Meet NZ's new Master of Wine, Sophie Parker-Thomson' 

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