The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has announced the nominees for the WSET Outstanding Alumni Award.

Among the nominees is Michael Hill Smith DipWSET, Australia’s first Master of Wine (MW). Hill Smith is an international wine judge, producer, consultant and writer. In 1988, he became the first Australian MW and won the Madame Bollinger Tasting Medal. In 2008, he was awarded an Order of Australia for his contribution to the Australian Wine Industry. He is co-managing director of Adelaide Hills pioneers Shaw + Smith and Tolpuddle Vineyard in Tasmania and is a wine consultant for Singapore Airlines, alongside Oz Clark and Jeannie Cho Lee. He has featured in Decanter’s International Power List three times, is vice chair of Decanter Asia Wine Awards and co-chair of Decanter World Wine Awards.

The other nominees for WSET Outstanding Alumni Award 2017 are Sarah Jane Evans DipWSET, MW (UK); Jeannie Cho Lee DipWSET, MW (Hong Kong); and James Tidwell DipWSET, MS (USA).

The WSET Outstanding Alumni Award, sponsored by, was introduced last year to celebrate and nurture a WSET Diploma graduate who is notably contributing to the industry. The nominees have been chosen by the WSET International Alumni Advisory Board and Jancis Robinson MW. WSET Diploma graduates from across the world are invited to vote for who they think should win this industry honour.

“WSET Diploma graduates are achieving amazing things across all areas of the industry in all corners of the world,” says Ian Harris, WSET chief executive. “We’re proud to have nurtured so many successful individuals, and this award is a dedicated celebration of one graduate who is making outstanding contributions to the industry, chosen by our global alumni network including Jancis Robinson.”

The winner will be presented at the Awards and Graduation ceremony at the Guildhall, City of London, UK on 22 January 2018.

Hosted for the first time by new WSET honorary president, Steven Spurrier alongside Harris, the occasion is set to attract over 500 guests including industry leaders and influencers. WSET Diploma graduates, totaling 441, from around the world will be honoured, marking their success as one of just over 9,000 people in the world to have ever held the accolade, and outstanding candidates for the 2016/17 academic year will be presented with awards in recognition of their achievements.

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