Michael Henley Master of Wie walking through the vineyard

Why 495?

495 Wine Select was founded by Michael Henley MW as a way to share remarkable wines — and the fascinating stories behind them — with anyone looking for a more enriched wine drinking experience. In Mike’s opinion drinking great wine is a fantastic way to enjoy a better life!

Michael Henley Master of Wine

Global know-how,
Kiwi mindset

Mike is the 495th Master of Wine in the world, a title gained through many years of hard work and study…and, of course, wine tasting. But his fascination with wine started in the most down-to-earth way you can imagine: working for a local bottle shop while in uni. Like so many wine lovers, his learning started with the labels, a tiny budget ($20 per week), and a curiosity that would take him from New Zealand to work vintages in South Africa, California, Marlborough, Oregon, Barossa Valley and Spain.

Time spent working with the Christie’s Auction House Fine Wine Department exposed him to the greatest wines of the world and drove his quest for more knowledge that culminated in his Master of Wine title. This was followed by periods working for some great New Zealand Wineries such as Craggy Range, Trinity Hill, Smith & Sheth and Pyramid Valley.

Now, he brings that knowledge to New Zealand wine drinkers, demystifying the complex world of wine so Kiwi wine lovers of all levels of interest can discover new favourites worth drinking, sharing, and cellaring.

“There’s always great wine, but is there a great story to go with that wine? The wines that really resonate are the ones I can remember for a reason, because of a story they tell.”