WSET Announces Educator of the Year Award nominees

23 December, 2016

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust has announced the nominees for its annual Educator of the Year Award sponsored by Riedel.

An elite selection of WSET Approved Programme Providers (APPs) and individual WSET Certified Educators from across the UK and internationally have been hand-picked by WSET to be shortlisted for the award.

The winner will be decided by a panel of judges led by Ian Harris, WSET CEO, including Richard Bampfield MW, Laura Jewell MW of Wine Australia and Matt Knight of Riedel UK. The judges will be looking for the educator that has demonstrated clear dedication and growth in delivering WSET’s courses as well as innovation in wine and spirits education.

 The winner will be announced at the annual WSET Awards and Graduation on January 23.

WSET CEO Ian Harris said: “WSET is experiencing phenomenal growth and it is our Approved Programme Providers and dedicated educators across the world that allow us to meet the demand for wine and spirits qualifications. Whilst we highly appreciate the work of all our educators, the selected nominees have truly gone above and beyond and we look forward to celebrating the winner at our Awards and Graduation in January.”

UK Nominess

Berkmann Wine Cellars

WSET qualifications offered: Level 1 Award in Wines, Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits

Berkmann has seen a continual increase in WSET candidate numbers for the past four years. They also introduced their own Veraison training programme last year aimed specifically at the needs of hospitality clients and the importance of service skills backed by product knowledge.

Hallgarten Druitt Novum Wines

WSET qualifications offered: Level 1 Award in Wines, Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits, Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits

Hallgarten has two full time educators overseen by Beverly Tabbron MW and, as a business, strongly encourages employees to sit WSET courses. Its trade connections have enabled it to offer WSET qualifications wider within the hospitality sector.

Liberty Wines

WSET qualifications offered: Level 1 Award in Wines, Level 2 Award in Spirits, Level 2 Award in Wines & Spirits, Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits

Liberty Wines has a significant number of WSET Certified Educators in-house and the majority of Liberty staff holds a WSET qualification. Liberty Wine Academy offers different modules in tasting, service, sales, wine list navigation, and food and wine pairing in addition to WSET.

Fongyee Walker from Dragon Phoenix (China)

WSET qualifications offered: Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits, Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits, Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits.

As co-founder of Dragon Phoenix and mainland China’s first MW Fongyee has a very high profile, which she has used to promote wine education and WSET. As well as delivering a comprehensive offering of WSET qualification she also hosts WSET master classes in Hong Kong & Shanghai.

International Nominees

Hakkasan Group (UK, USA, Middle East)

WSET qualifications offered: Level 1 Award in Wines, Level 1 Award in Spirits, Level 1 Award in Sake, Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits, Level 2 Award in Spirits, Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits, Level 3 Award in Sake

Hakkasan has a comprehensive staff training programme across its group, which includes value-adding activities such as vineyard visits alongside WSET exams. Each restaurant has at least one WSET Certified Educator and the group saw strong growth in candidates over the last academic year.

L’Academie du Vin de Paris (France)

WSET qualifications offered: Level 1 Award in Wines, Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits, Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits

When L’Academie du Vin first started offering WSET courses in Paris, it was one of only two APPs in the city. Despite growing competition as more APPs open, it has managed to grow its student numbers phenomenally.  

Elisa Errea from The Wine Studio (Spain) - Individual Educator Nomination

WSET qualifications offered: Level 1 Award in Wines, Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits, Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits

Elisa is the lead WSET certified educator at The Wine Studio alongside four other educators. She is a strong advocate of WSET and has developed relationships with organisations not just in Madrid but around Spain, allowing WSET access to students in Rioja, Valladolid and Seville. 

Napa Wine Academy (US)

WSET qualifications offered: Level 1 Award in Wines, Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits, Level 2 Award in Spirits, Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits , Level 3 Award in Sake

WSET certified educator Christian Oggenfuss has expanded beyond California and now offers courses across the States with an impressive line-up of educators. Their client list includes major distributors, national retailers and hospitality businesses, and they have an online presence beyond their website including an online learning academy, blog, and strong social media profile.

Keywords: wset. riedel




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