The annual Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Awards were held at the Guildhall, City of London, on Monday 23 January. More than 500 wine and spirits professionals attended the event, where 21 graduates from Australia received the WSET Diploma.

Two of Australian WSET candidates were also honoured with notable awards. Caitlin Parker, sommelier at Rockpool Bar and Grill in Sydney, was awarded The Laithwaite’s Scholarship, and Ed Merrison from Shoreham, Victoria, was awarded the Fine Wine Partners Scholarship.

Hosted by WSET honorary president Grard Basset and WSET chief executive Ian Harris, 49 awards in recognition of the outstanding achievements of the candidates for the past academic year were presented at the event. The appointment of WSET’s new Honorary President, Steven Spurrier was also announced at the ceremony.  

“The academic year 2015/16 was WSET’s most successful to date, with a record 72,171 exams taken globally, an increase of 17 percent on the previous year, marking 14 consecutive years of growth. Australia in particular saw strong growth, with candidate numbers up 18 percent for the period. 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,” said Harris.

The WSET Level 4 Diploma is WSET’s highest qualification. The course develops an in-depth knowledge of wines and spirits, from production, regions and styles, and the global trade in wines and spirits. The Diploma is also viewed as the stepping stone to the Master of Wine qualification. Upon successful completion graduates receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin, and are able to use the post-nominal DipWSET and associated WSET certified logo.

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