Over 500 Diploma graduates, industry leaders, scholarship winners and their guests gathered at the City of London Guildhall for the event hosted by WSET Honorary President Gerard Basset MW and WSET Chief Executive Ian Harris.
Graduates and award-winners hailed from the UK, the Netherlands, Greece, Russia, the US, Canada, Hong Kong, China and Japan, representing the diverse reach and relevance of WSET qualifications.
Also in attendance to mark the occasion were many industry heavyweights and longstanding WSET supporters including Jancis Robinson MW, Laura Jewell MW, Tony Laithwaite and Marius Berlemann, Project Director at ProWein.
Award and graduation highlights
- Vintners’ Cup– Jingwei Sun. 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– Chris Powell, founder of The Local Wine School network. Awarded to the individual or company that has made a significant contribution to WSET courses and qualifications
- WSET Lifetime Achievement Award– Richard Paterson, Master Blender at Whyte & Mackay
- The inaugural IWC Sake Level Three Award– Adam Bekhor of WineWire. Awarded to the top student passing the WSET Level 3 Award in Sake.
- At 73 years of age, Sotiris Kollias of Greece became one of the oldest individuals to gain the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits.
- 47 scholarship winners and 124 Diploma graduates were in attendance.
2014/15 academic year numbers
- 61,452 candidates sat WSET exams
- 316 individuals gained their WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits.
“What impresses me most about our graduates and award winners this year is how diverse-a-group they are,” commented Ian Harris, “They come from all over the world and they work in education, wholesaling, PR and advertising, importing and consulting.
“Our youngest graduates are in their early 20s and the oldest in their early 70s. It shows just how relevant WSET is right across the wine and spirit industry and beyond.”