The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) have joined forces in celebration of their 50th anniversaries to launch ‘The Future 50’, a new initiative that will recognise the next generation of top wine and spirits professionals.

The Future 50 awards will identify 50 of the global industry’s up-and-coming talent from all areas of the trade at a range of levels. From those working in product development, design and distribution to marketing, journalism, hospitality and everything in between, WSET and IWSC are calling on professionals across the industry to nominate themselves or impressive colleagues for the awards. Nominees must be under 40 years of age and can be working in any profession as long as they prove direct contribution to the industry.

The winners will be chosen by an illustrious panel of judges from around the world including Joe Fattorini (The Wine Show), Stephanie Macleod (Master Blender, Dewar’s), Christine Parkinson (Group Head of Wine, Hakkasan), Richard Paterson (Master Blender, Whyte & MacKay), Xavier Rousset MS (restaurateur), Ian Harris (CEO WSET) and Allen Gibbons (CEO IWSC). The main judging panel will be supported by a global regional advisory panel covering 17 countries and including Debra Meiburg MW (Hong Kong), Ian Dai (China), James Tidwell MS (USA) and Pedro Ballesteros MW (Spain).

Judges will be assessing nominees based on their achievements in the drinks industry in the last three years in a range of areas including, but not limited to, career, academia, social responsibility and innovation.

The final ‘Future 50’ will be announced in November 2019 ahead of IWSC’s annual Awards Banquet.

WSET Chief Executive, Ian Harris, says, “Both WSET and IWSC have reputations as the international benchmark for excellence in our fields. As 2019 marks 50 years of success for each of our organisations, it offers the perfect opportunity to emphasise the importance of developing new talent through education and awards to secure an equally prosperous future for the industry. At WSET we are delighted to be looking to the future and showcasing the next generation of talent in the wines and spirits industry through our joint Future 50 project.”

IWSC Chief Executive, Allen Gibbons, says “The IWSC and WSET are both founded in 50 years of heritage and unparalleled industry expertise, but the Future 50 is as much about looking ahead as it is about looking backwards. As we set our sights on the next 50 years, it’s important to identify and recognise the key players who are going to be setting the trends for decades to come. The Future 50 is our way of demonstrating support for those who will be driving forward the top quality standards that have been set across the industry – from brands, to products, to venues – and ensuring that the drinks world continues to innovate and advance.”

Nominations are open until 14th March 2019. Please visit Future 50 website

to view more details or to enter a nomination.

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WSET Media Contact: IWSC Media Contact (W Communications):
Carolyn d’Aguilar Rachel Watt
0207 089 3873 07963 000 727

Notes to Editors

About the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET)

• Set up in 1969 and celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, WSET is the largest global provider of qualifications in the field of wines, spirits and sake.

• WSET offers qualifications across four levels, from one-day beginner courses through to an expert level diploma. Courses are available in more than 15 languages and over 70 countries and are open both to industry professionals and interested enthusiasts. Qualification levels 1 to 3 are recognised by the UK Government (Ofqual) and all WSET qualifications have a strong reputation worldwide as the industry standard for knowledge.

• In the last academic year (2017/18) 94,822 candidates sat for a WSET qualification, and since 1969, WSET has awarded more than half a million individuals a WSET qualification.

• For more information about WSET, please visit

About the International Wine & Spirit Competition
• Now in its 50th year, the IWSC continues to be as relevant today as when the organisation was founded in 1969, playing an integral role in identifying upcoming wines and spirits trends and spotting key newcomers even before they hit the public eye.

• Established in 1969, The International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) was the first competition of its kind, set up to seek out, reward and promote the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs. Now in its 50th year, the IWSC’s relentless pursuit of excellence underpins every aspect of the competition today – allowing it to be recognised internationally as a badge of quality.

• The IWSC is set apart by the formidable reputation of its judging process. Panels are made up of carefully selected industry experts including Master Distillers, Masters of Wine, wine and spirit buyers and sommeliers; WSET qualified educators and respected wine and spirit journalists. Every single wine and spirit is blind tasted and assessed on its own merit within the context of its class.

• Currently receiving entries from over 90 countries, the IWSC is truly international in its reach and recognition. Its global partners work to promote winners to both trade and consumer audiences throughout the year.

• For more information, please contact: Amy Garcia,, 020 3176 6461

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