About The Chief Wine Specialist

About Your Wine Guy's Chief Wine Specialist

My name is Ross Chandler.

What began as a part-time job to earn some money while studying my degree soon developed into something much more.
Just before the Sydney Olympics way back in the year 2000 I started working with Australia’s largest direct marketer of wine, Cellarmasters Wines.
Later that year at a company dinner with some winemakers my fascination with the world of wine would start. During this dinner I was served the Leo Buring Riesling 1979 (at the time it was older than me) as well as the exceptional 1983 vintage and I still vividly remember the intense flavours and alluring aromas and being astounded that it was even possible for someone to make a wine that you could wait a generation to enjoy. I had no idea of the magic that can grow within the humble fruit that we call the (wine) grape. It was then and there that I caught the wine bug.

My next few years were spent improving my knowledge within the field of wine with Cellarmasters in-house training.
Their Bronze, Silver and Gold level accreditation very closely followed the extensive training provided within the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Certificates I, II and III.
Cellarmasters wine education team is led by highly respected wine educator Christine Ricketts who has been in the role for over 16 years and during that time has also been Fosters Group Limited’s Wine Educator for 10 years.

In 2007 I found that the University of Adelaide (home of the world famous Roseworthy Agricultural College) offers a Wine Marketing degree. For me this degree was what I had been looking for – a chance to improve my marketing knowledge while also getting the absolute best wine education that is offered in Australia.
My palate and sensory evaluation teacher was Jane Paull who is an export assessor for Wine Australia (21 years and counting) as well as continuing to be guest judge with the Australian Wine Research Institute’s (AWRI) exclusive Advanced Wine Assessment Course for more than 10 years. Jane also has numerous prestigious wineries in her portfolio of previous winemaking consultant roles such as Leeuwin Estate Wines, Houghton Wines and Capel Vale Wines.
My viticulture teacher Associate Professor Dr Peter Dry is a viticulture consultant at the AWRI as well as being a Member of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology, Adjunct Associate Professor University of Adelaide, Member of the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia, Associate Editor of the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research as well as the Associate Editor of the Australian NZ Wine Industry Journal. Dr Peter Dry has also authored and co-authored 100’s of scientific journals and numerous books on the subject. Peter is also an expert in the field of wine DNA and genealogy.

In late 2010 / early 2011 attended the Sydney Wine Academy to complete the Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s (WSET) Certificate I and II in International Wine and Spirits. I attained both including Certificate II - Pass with Distinction. I recently completed the Advanced Certificate III in International Wine and Spirits and achieved the top result of Pass with Distinction for both components of theory and blind tasting. These courses are very comprehensive and extremely well taught by people who are also incredibly passionate and knowledgeable such as Clive Hartley and Alison Eisermann MW (Master of Wine) and Annette Lacey who is also studying the
Master of Wine.

So there it is. I have been trained by some of the best in Australia and the world. Detailing my more than 11 years experience in the wine industry would take a bit long so here are just a couple of my highlights:
- Being selected for the Working With Wine Fellowship where a small group of just 100 from a field of over 400 wine professionals around Australia qualified for an invite to master classes conducted by outstanding winemakers including Miguel Torres (Torres Wines), Brian Walsh (Yalumba Senior Winemaker)
- Conducted and arranged successful wine tastings and stands – including stalls at large scale medical conference of more than 2200 delegates as well as hosting exclusive tastings in New Zealand’s South Island (Pinot Noir, of course) Central Otago region for Platinum Sports International Tours.
- Working with and getting to meet many of Australia’s great winemakers
- Wine education and training for staff with multiple weekly tastings
- Understanding that every person’s palate is different and being able to apply my extensive knowledge to find the right wine for both the right person and the right occasion.
- Benchmark tastings of Cellarmasters portfolio of wines against industry standards
- Evaluating and analysing wine entries from Cellarmasters in the Sydney Wine Show against top medal and trophy winners
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