Select Page
Michael Palij MW

Michael Palij MW

Became an MW 1995

Based in United Kingdom

Languages English, Italian


Michael Palij is an adventurer, entrpreneur, and Master of Wine. A Canadian, Michael emigrated to the UK in 1989 after reading English and Philosophy at the University of Toronto and began his career in the British wine trade with legendary retailer, Oddbins. He was admitted to the Institute of Masters of Wine in 1995 at the age of 29. In 1992 Michael was appointed buyer for a chain of independent shops and made his first visit to Italy the same year. He promptly fell in love with both the country and its wines and established the import agency, Winetraders, which continues to import Italian wines from more than a dozen regions; its success has prompted expansion into both Spain and Germany.

Michael’s detailed knowledge of what is arguably the wine world’s most complicated producer combined led to the establishment, in 1994, of the wine school, Winematters, based in Oxford. Winematters is fully accredited with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) up to and including L4.

Michael was the founding fund manager for the Institute of Masters of Wine Endowment Fund. He is a keen cyclist, runner and mountaineer. He lives in Oxfordshire with his wife and two children.

Primary area(s) of work: Trade, Strategy

Industry sector(s): Agency/Importer, Business owner, Buying, Distribution, Project management, Sales

Wine styles: Prosecco, Still red, Still white, Still wines, Sweet wines

Wine region expertise: Abruzzo, Australia, Germany, Italy, Lombardy, Marche, Mosel, New South Wales, Pfalz, Piedmont, Rheinhessen, Sicily, South Australia, Tuscany, Victoria

Market expertise: Australia, Canada, Europe, Italy, North America, Oceania, Scandinavia, South East Asia, United Kingdom

Specialisms: Acquisition of vineyards, Commercial advice on vinyard establishment, Economics of wine production, Distribution, Financial and commercial structures, HORECA, Importation, Independent retail, Investment strategies, Routes to market, Supplier/customer relationships, Wine tourism