South African Wine Education Centre shortlisted for WSET Educator of the Year

The International Wine Education Centre (IWEC) and owner Cathy Marston are delighted to announce that they have been shortlisted for one of the most coveted titles in the world of international wine – the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s Educator of the Year 2014.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is the largest wine education provider in the world, operating in 62 countries via a network of more than 600 approved education programme providers. In the last 12 months alone, more than 56,000 people sat a WSET exam in one of 19 different languages.

The IWEC is based in Cape Town and was the first WSET-approved programme provider in Africa, Run by Cathy Marston AIWS, the IWEC offers WSET Levels 1 to 3 in wines and spirits as well as two levels of stand-alone spirits courses. All the courses are taught by Cathy and a team of qualified lecturers including SA’s two resident Masters of Wine. The IWEC was established in 2012 and offers the only internationally-recognised wine courses available in Southern Africa.

The WSET Educator of the Year award is given to the organisation which has made a significant contribution to WSET courses and qualifications in the past year, whilst achieving superlative results in WSET programmes and demonstrating innovation in education. During the past year, the IWEC has (amongst other things) expanded operations into Johannesburg, has facilitated and supported the launch of WSET’s flagship qualification, the Level 4 (which is the main requirement for studying Master of Wine), in South Africa as well as been heavily-involved in the PIWOSA Women in Wine initiative aimed at providing quality education and qualifications for previously-disadvantaged women working in the wine and hospitality industries.

Cathy Marston says “It’s a tremendous honour to be considered for this prestigious award and it’s a real ‘shot in the arm’ for WSET in South Africa. As a newcomer to the wine education market in SA, it hasn’t always been easy to explain the numerous benefits of WSET, but as South African wines grow their overseas presence, the need for wine personnel with internationally-recognised qualifications is becoming increasingly important. We have had amazing support from the SA wine and hospitality industries as well as from the public at large, and I hope this nomination will encourage many others to find out why WSET wine courses are considered the gold standard of wine education around the world.”

The WSET Educator of the Year award will be announced at the WSET Awards and Graduation Ceremony which will be held at the Guildhall in the City of London on Monday 26th January 2015. The award will be presented by the new Honorary President of WSET, Gerard Basset OBE MS MW MBA, who replaced Jancis Robinson OBE MW as from last year.