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

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

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