Black Hills Estate Winery brings in new head winemaker

Ross Wise is taking over the position in January, 2019.

Black Hills Estate Winery has announced Ross Wise will be their new head winemaker beginning January 2019.

After 16 years of winemaking, viticulture and consulting experience, Wise and his family settled in Oliver, B.C. Wise was previously head winemaker and general manager at Phantom Creek Estates and holds a WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits, pursuing his Master of Wine.

“I’m really looking forward to joining the Black Hills team in January,” Wise said. “This is a great opportunity to be part of the next chapter of one of the Okanagan’s most recognized and respected wineries. The ability to focus on making premium red wines, such as Nota Bene, is a big draw for me.”

Black Hill Estate Winery began looking for a new head winemaker earlier this year, after Graham Pierce left the position to move into a new part-time role as a consulting winemaker. Pierce held the position for the last 10 years.

Related: Black Hills starts seach for a new head winemaker

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 producers in New Zealand and Ontario before the cool climate wine industry in British Columbia drew his attention.

“We are thrilled to have Ross join us at Black Hills,” said Glenn Fawcett, chief wine evangelist at Black Hill Estate Winery, in the release. “We conducted a wide-ranging international search for our new winemaker that resulted in several outstanding candidates, and Ross stood out for us. His passion for the craft and our Black Sage Road terroir, combined with his extensive experience, academic credentials, and endearing personality, made his selection a natural for us.”

Wise said in the release he is eager to get to know the Black Hills Estate vineyards to make wines that clearly reflect their origins.

“I hope to continue to elevate the outstanding quality of Black Hills wines, using precision and high attention to detail in the vineyard, combined with gentle and thoughtful winemaking.”

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