Winetraders was founded in 1997 by Michael Palij MW. A Canadian, Michael emigrated to the UK in 1989 after reading English and Philosophy in his home city of Toronto. He qualified as a Master of Wine in 1995 at the age of just 29. A career in retail was brought short when he was recruited as the wine buyer for Windrush Wines, in 1994, and sent on his first buying trip to Italy. He promptly fell in love with both the country and its wines and has subsequently visited Italy on more than 100 occasions. Michael is widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on Italian wine and is published internationally through Dorling Kindersley. He also writes the Italian sections of both the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (www.wsetglobal.com) core textbooks. In his opinion the value of education in promoting wine cannot be over-estimated and he continues to run a wine school in Oxford (www.wine-matters.com) as well as lecturing on Italy around the world. Michael lives in Oxford.