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Tuesday, May. 25, 2010

Northwest welcomes another Master of Wine

Earlier this month, British Columbian educator Rhys Pender, 35, became Canada's youngest Master of Wine.

He joins another B.C. resident, Barbara Philip, as one of only four Canadians to earn the title of MW.

Pender, a native of Australia who lives in Cawston, B.C., leads Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) classes in the Okanagan Valley and conducts staff training. He also serves as a wine writer, judge and wine consultant.

Master of Wine certification has been earned by 281 people worldwide since the program began in 1953. The group of 30 in North America to receive MW status include Washington winemaker Bob Betz and the late David Lake.

Pender completed the program in six years.

“I am still in the relief stage right now, it is still hard to believe that I have finished and passed,” Pender said in a news release. “Fortunately the relief stage involves celebrating with lots of Champagne!”

Pender's formal induction is scheduled for November in London, England.