Over 500 of the most influential wine and spirits professionals in the world gathered last night 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 recognised 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.”