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Nominations open for WSET & IWSC ‘Future 50’ Awards

Published:  12 February, 2019

A new award has been announced that will recognise and celebrate leading lights in the wine and spirits industry.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) have teamed up in celebration of their 50th anniversaries to launch ‘The Future 50’, a new initiative to 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 product development, design and distribution to marketing, journalism, hospitality and everything in between.

Industry professionals can nominate themselves or deserving colleagues for the awards, so long as they are under 40 years of age and can demonstrate a “direct contribution to the industry”.

Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges 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 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).

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

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

“Both WSET and IWSC have reputations as the international benchmark for excellence in our fields,” said WSET chief executive, Ian Harris. “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, said 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 14 March 2019 and can be made at

The Future 50 is the latest event to mark the WSET’s 50th birthday. In January it launched its first global ‘Wine Education Week’ and announced a commemorative book edited by David Wrigley MW, featuring contributions from some of the industry’s most famous names, which is set to be published later this year.