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Sophie Parker-Thomson MW

Sophie Parker-Thomson MW

Became an MW 2021

Based in New Zealand

Nationality New Zealander


Sophie is a wine producer and wine industry consultant based in Marlborough. Raised in the New Zealand wine regions of Gisborne and Central Otago, winemaking and hospitality were endemic to Sophie’s upbringing.

While gaining a law degree and admission to the bar, she felt the inevitable pull back to the wine industry, moving to Marlborough for the 2011 harvest where she met her now-husband, Matt. Together they founded their premium wine venture, Blank Canvas, in 2013, crafting small-batch wines from exceptional single vineyard sites in Marlborough, Central Otago and the Gimblett Gravels®, Hawkes Bay.

Their consultancy business, Kiwi-Oeno, provides comprehensive wine industry consulting services spanning vine to bottle. Sophie ordinarily travels multiple times a year to Europe for work, including for vintage.

A zealous advocate of the quality and sub-regional diversity of New Zealand and particularly Marlborough wines, sitting on the board of Appellation Marlborough Wine. Sophie is also New Zealand consultant and contributor to the World Atlas of Wine (8th ed.) and the Oxford Companion to Wine (5th ed.).

Current employer: Blank Canvas Wines

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

Industry sector(s): Business owner, Consultant, Educator, Events, Import/Export, International trade, Investments, Journalism, Marketing, Off trade, On trade, Project management, QA/QC, Sales, Wine business strategy, Wine buying, Wine judge, Winemaking

Specialisms: Acquisition of vineyards, Commercial advice on vinyard establishment, Environmental impacts, Establishment of vineyards, Harvesting of grapes, Life cycle of the vine, Regenerative, Startup and profitability, Sustainability, Economics of wine production, Maturation and blending, Processing of grapes, Production costs, Whole cluster fermentation, Winery design and construction, Legal compliance on authorised packaging and labelling, Packing and labelling, Quality assurance and control, Sensory evaluation , Brand protection, Branding, Distribution, Events, Financial and commercial structures, Importation, Independent retail, Intellectual property, Marketing wine, New business development, Restaurant wines, Routes to market, Supplier/customer relationships, Training, Wine and health, Wine labels, Wine laws and regulations, Wine judging