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New Zealand Winegrowers and WSET sign up for global partnership

Published:  28 August, 2019

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust has a new financial backer in the form of New Zealand Winegrowers, which has become one of the educator’s corporate patrons.

The New Zealand association will come on board as a bronze corporate patron, providing “essential funding” to the WSET which will help to develop its courses and qualifications worldwide.

The partnership comes on the back of strong growth in interest in wine education in New Zealand.

Through its seven approved programme providers in the country, the WSET reports a 24% surge in the number of candidates over the last year.

This reflects the “growing demand across all major wine producing areas worldwide for wine education”, the organisations said in a joint statement.

WSET chief executive Ian Harris added: “We’re honoured to welcome such an influential generic body as New Zealand Winegrowers to our international Corporate Patrons network. New Zealand plays an important role in the global wine industry, bringing its delicious wines to millions of consumers worldwide. We look forward to working with them and supporting each other in achieving our business goals.”

New Zealand Winegrowers is the national organisation for the country's grape and wine sector, and is believed to be the only unified national winegrowers industry body in the world.

Wine exports from the country are currently valued at $1.83bn, as per export figures for the year to the end of June 2019, while wine is New Zealand’s sixth largest export good.

As part of the partnership, the WSET will support New Zealand Winegrowers in its educational aims and key export markets, which now total 100 globally.

Philip Gregan, CEO, New Zealand Winegrowers, tipped his hat to “the huge contribution” made by WSET over its 50-year history, having been established in 1969.

Its training and educating are helping to form “the future leaders and influencers of the wine industry, as well as making wine accessible and enjoyable for consumers right across the globe” he said.

Top photo shows vineyards belonging to North Canterbury wine brand Mt Beautiful