Our first WSET Outstanding Alumni Award

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Now that we have a photographic record of the handover, we are delighted to record that the winner of the first-ever JancisRobinson.com-sponsored WSET Alumni Award is Isabelle Legeron MW, pictured right at the annual WSET awards ceremony in London last month with me and WSET Honorary President Gérard Basset OBE MW MS. 

Since so many members of our team are alumni of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust's excellent courses (three of us having gone on to become Masters of Wine) we have instituted an award that recognises the great achievements of WSET alumni. 

Last year a long list of possible award winners was drawn up by the WSET with input from me, and from this the WSET International Alumni Advisory Board came up with the following short list:  

  • Maureen Downey of Chai Consulting, San Francisco, dubbed 'The Wine Detective'
  • Joe Fattorini, presenter of The Wine Show
  • Kenichi Ohashi MW and sake master of Tokyo and the International Wine Challenge, 2016 IWC Personality of the Year 
  • Yang Lu, wine director for all Shangri-La hotels and resorts

WSET Diploma graduates then voted and the winner was natural wines supremo Isabelle Legeron, founder of RAW wine, the UK’s largest artisan wine fair, which has expanded to include annual events in Berlin and New York. She has hosted her own TV shows, including That Crazy French Woman and Journey into Wine, four seasons of which were broadcast to 120 countries in 20 different languages.

Brava, Isabelle!

By the way, at the awards ceremony someone managed to get a picture of all five of us WSET Honorary Presidents plus CEO Ian Harris. Below we are, left to right, Michael Broadbent MW, Hugh Johnson OBE, me OBE MW, Gérard Basset, who has more letters after his name than you can shake a stick at, Steven Spurrier (the next Honorary President, taking over from Gérard) and Ian Harris.