Internationally renowned winemaker Oliver “Olly” Masters is the winemaker for Misha’s Vineyard and has been at the helm for winemaking since the first trial vintage in 2007! Forging some of New Zealand’s most consistently fine pinot noir over the past 30 years, Olly has carved a reputation as one of New Zealand’s leading winemakers and wine judges.
Olly’s credentials include an honours degree in Biotechnology from Massey University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology (Distinction) from Lincoln University. He has served as a senior wine judge and Panel Leader at most of New Zealand’s major national competitions for many years and was previously the Chair of the Bragato Wine Awards. His regular judging line-up includes the New Zealand International Wine Show, Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, and the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and over the last few years he has also judged at the Sydney International Top 100 and the Royal Adelaide Wine Show in Australia.
Starting his career in Martinborough in 1989, Olly has also worked in Hawkes Bay and Burgundy then joining Ata Rangi in 1994 as winemaker/viticulturalist then later becoming a partner. During his time there, his achievements included winning the Champion pinot noir at the prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition in London on three occasions as well as numerous accolades and trophies in Australasia.
Olly’s decision to join Misha’s Vineyard was made after seeing the vineyard and almost feeling a sense of obligation to make wine from such a spectacular site. After just four vintages, Misha’s Vineyard was named as one of New Zealand’s Top 20 Producers by Decanter (UK) with the report saying “It’s too early to decide whether the winery’s quality is due to a stunning vineyard site or the skill of ex-Ata Rangi winemaker Olly Masters. Probably a combination of both”.