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Ray O'Connor MW

Ray O'Connor MW

Became an MW 2020

Based in United Kingdom

Nationality Irish

Languages English, French, Irish


Born and raised in Ireland, Ray found his passion for wine when working in a Dublin restaurant. On discovery of his new vocation, he applied himself wholeheartedly to wine studies and won the George O’Malley Trophy for the highest tasting paper in Ireland in the WSET Diploma exam before moving to London where he worked as a sommelier for Gordon Ramsay. The six years spent working as Commercial Manager for the International Wine Challenge enabled him to train his palate for the practical paper of the Master of Wine exam and was also selected for the AXA Millésimes scholarship. Over the years, Ray has been a wine judge, ran his own wine school and won the Young Wine Writer of the Year Award in 2007. Since 2013, he has been the Wine Director for Naked Wines U.K. and spends a large amount of time in wine regions around the world sourcing new winemakers, with a keen focus on quality control. His other passions largely revolve around running, music and Guinness.

Primary area(s) of work: Wine production, Trade, Strategy, Communication

Industry sector(s): Buying, Consultant, Educator, Events, Market access, Marketing, Off trade, PR, Project management, QA/QC, Wine business strategy, Wine buying, Wine judge

Wine region expertise: Austria, Bordeaux, Chile, Croatia, Italy, Provence, Rhone, South Africa, Tuscany

Specialisms: Economics of wine production, Legal compliance with authorised oenological practices, Maturation and blending, Production costs, P&L, Wine styling, Blending, Bottling, Bulk shipment, Packing and labelling, Sensory evaluation , Broadcasting, Direct to consumer, Distribution, Ecommerce, Events, Food and wine pairing, Identifying and meeting consumer demand, Marketing wine, PR, Routes to market, Starting wineries, Supplier/customer relationships, Wine judging