WSET honours latest graduates

The Wine and Spirits Education Trust held an awards ceremony in London last night to honour the latest diploma graduates and wine educators.

Jason Millar (centre) receiving the Vintners’ Cup

On the evening of 23 January, London’s Guildhall saw 500 members of the drinks trade gather to celebrate the graduates of the 2015/16 class.

Over 190 graduates of last year’s 460 Diploma students, from all over the world, were in attendance for the annual awards with a further 49 receiving prizes for outstanding academic achievement.

The winner of this year’s Vintners’ Cup and Scholarship Award, given to the student who achieved the highest aggregate mark across all units of the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits, was Jason Millar (pictured), retail director at Theatre of Wine.

He said: “I’m delighted to be awarded the Vintners’ Cup for 2016. The Diploma has been a great experience that has helped me gain a deeper understanding of wine and spirits, and expand my knowledge of the industry.”

In addition, three companies were jointly awarded The Riedel Trophy for the WSET Educator of the Year – Dragon Phoenix in China, the Hakkasan Group and the Napa Wine Academy.

The award recognises an individual or company that has made a significant contribution to the WSET courses and qualifications.

Ian Harris, WSET chief executive, said: “The academic year 2015/16 was the WSET’s most successful to date, with a record 72,171 exams taken globally, an increase of 17% on the previous year, marking 14 consecutive years of growth. “In the dynamic and ever changing world of wine and spirits, education is proving increasingly important, and through our qualifications and scholarships we are committed to nurturing talent to promote the future of the industry. We are so proud of all our graduates and scholarship winners and together hope to continue to inspire others towards deeper knowledge and achievement.”

The evening also saw the formal announcement of the appointment of Steven Spurrier as the WSET’s new honorary president. He takes over from Gérard Basset MW MS.

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