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.