Over 500 of the most influential wine and spirits professionals in the world gathered on the evening of Monday January 23rd at the historic Guildhall, City of London, to celebrate the annual Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Awards and Graduation.

Hosted by WSET Honorary President, Gérard Basset and WSET Chief Executive, Ian Harris, the leading global provider of wines and spirits qualifications presented 49 awards in recognition of the outstanding achievements of the candidates for the past academic year 2015/16. The occasion attracted attendance from industry leaders and long-standing WSET supporters including Jancis Robinson, Laura Jewell and Joe Fattorini.

Hailing from the UK and USA to China and Japan, 191 of the year’s 460 WSET Diploma graduates assembled for the annual graduate procession, marking their achievement as one of only just over 9,000 people in the world to have ever held the globally recognized accolade.

The event also gave a stage to announce the appointment of WSET’s new Honorary President, Steven Spurrier, who will take over from Gérard Basset after three years in the role following the close of the ceremony.

Ian Harris, WSET Chief Executive, said, “The academic year 2015/16 was 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.”

Award highlights:

Vintners’ Cup and Scholarship Winner: Jason Millar, Retail Director, Theatre of Wine, UK

Awarded to the student who achieved the highest aggregate mark across all units of the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits

The Riedel Trophy for the WSET Educator of the Year: 3 winners:

Dragon Phoenix, China
Napa Wine Academy, USA
Hakkasan Group, UK, USA, Middle East

Awarded to the individual or company that has made a significant contribution to WSET courses and qualifications

The World of Fine Wine Scholarship Winner: Graham Kwok, Watson’s Wine, Hong Kong

The prize of an article published on The World of Fine Wine website and a two year subscription is awarded to an outstanding achiever from outside the UK who excelled in the examination and submitted the strongest essay application for this prize.

See the full list of graduates and award winners in our 2017 Yearbook on the dedicated microsite here

To learn more about WSET courses and find a local Approved Programme Provider visit the website at www.WSETglobal.com