Greater China students win top awards at WSET ceremony

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Five students from Greater China won top awards and scholarships at WSET’s annual graduation ceremony this week, emphasising rising interest in wine in the region.

Image: SUN Jingwei (left), winner of the Vintner's Cup. Image credit WSET

Among these winners, SUN Jingwei from China won the Vintners' Cup, the top award for WSET Level 4 Diploma students of the academic year. SUN finished her studies with the highest aggregate mark among 315 students from all over the world.

Greater China is now the second biggest market for the UK-based WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust), which is helping to create younger and more knowledgeable wine drinkers.

‘It’s encouraging to see students from Greater China to achieve a top WSET award again,’ said Ian Harris, chief executive of the WSET. The Vintners' Cup for academic year 2011/2012 was awarded to Burgundy-based wine consultant HONG Mei.

Winning the top award ‘was unthinkable,’ said SUN Jingwei, who completed her Diploma study in one year and half. She was not able to accept the award in person at London’s historic Guildhall due to pregnancy.

The award gave her ‘strong motivations to pursue a career in wine industry', Sun told DecanterChina.com. She used to work full time in a private bank while studying about wine for pleasure.

Four Chinese students who completed the Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits studies and gained top marks were also awarded scholarships and prizes.

These prizes include the Decanter Scholarship, a £3000 award for top-performing self-funded Level 3 students to pay for their Diploma studies. This year the scholarship went to LIU Haoting of Veritas Wine in Hong Kong and LIU Song of Morish Wine in Mainland China.

WSET currently has 114 APPs (Approved Programme Providers) in Greater China. In the academic year 2014/2015, a total of 13,365 students from this area sat for a WSET qualification, said the London-based institution.

DecanterChina.com understands that the WSET is currently planning on establishing a new office in Hong Kong.

‘While you may feel overwhelmed or frustrated by your studies at times, relax and do not forget your wine study is for pleasure instead of pressure,’ concluded Sun.

(Edited by Chris Mercer)

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