WSET Celebrates Diploma Graduates at 2020 Ceremony

Educator of the Year Christian Oggenfuss and the rest of the Napa Valley Wine Academy team.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust hosted its annual Awards & Graduation Ceremony this week in London, a gathering attended by more than 600 global wine and spirits professionals.

Hosted by WSET Honorary President Steven Spurrier, alongside Chief Executive Ian Harris, the occasion saw The Wine Show presenter and WSET Alumnus Joe Fattorini open the ceremony with a keynote speech to the largest-ever-graduating class of Level 4 Diploma students.

This year, 665 new WSET Diploma graduates were honored, representing a 25% increase on the previous year. Graduates came from 30 different course providers across 18 countries.

“Our students are at the heart of WSET and the Guildhall ceremony is all about celebrating their success. With our largest-ever class of Diploma graduates this year, we now have over 10,000 WSET graduates globally,” says Ian Harris, WSET Chief Executive.” We also congratulate our scholarship and award winners who achieved outstanding results in their exams last year. Over the last 50 years more than one million students have taken a WSET qualification across 70 countries.”

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Following the graduate procession, outstanding candidates for the 2018/19 academic year were presented with awards and scholarships in recognition of their achievements.

Timothy Clark took home the 2020 Vintners’ Cup. He completed his Diploma at AWSEC Hong Kong and works for the Real English Drinks House, Hong Kong as Asia Brand Ambassador. 

The WSET Outstanding Alumni Award went to Ferran Centelles. This award, sponsored by JancisRobinson.com, celebrates a WSET Diploma graduate who has notably contributed to the industry.

Centelles is the Spanish wine specialist for jancisrobinson.com. He was a sommelier at the world-renowned elBulli restaurant from 2000 to 2011. He is currently Drinks Director at the elBullifoundation, and deputy manager and educator at Outlook Wine in Barcelona. Ferran completed his WSET Diploma in 2012, and published his first book about food and wine pairing called ¿Qué vino con este pato? in 2016.

The WSET Educator of the Year Award, in association with Riedel, recognized three winners in 2020. They were AccademiaVino of Italy, Napa Valley Wine Academy and Taiwan Wine Academy, Taiwan.

The full list of graduates and award winners are available here.

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