Wine Australia will bring eight of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s (WSET) top graduates from around the world into some of Australia’s wine regions in March for a full immersion into Australianwine, as part of the Wine Australia/WSET scholarship program.

The recipients of the scholarship, announced in London earlier this week, are from Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Canada, Sweden, the USA and Australia, and were selected based on their exceptional performance as part of WSET’s Diploma or Level 3 Awards programs.

Wine Australia’s Regional Director, Australia, Asia & Emerging Markets, Aaron Brasher said the trip would give scholarship participants a first-hand experience of the quality and diversity of Australian wines and create passionate advocates.

“This scholarship program and its associated visit to Australia will give participants the opportunity to experience the regions, meet the people and hear the stories that make Australian wines stand out on the world’s stage,” Mr Brasher said.

“All the participants have a strong theoretical knowledge of grape growing, wine making and wine appreciation and some have also worked in wineries, but this trip will give them the chance to get dirt under their fingernails, taste our wines and experience the hard work, innovation and passion that goes into creating our high quality and diverse wines.

“In educating these scholarship recipients and providing a first-hand experience of our top drops, we’re also creating ambassadors for Australian wine, who will take their experience and taste for Australian wines back to their jobs, customers, families and friends when they return home.

“Wine Australia’s support of this scholarship is part of our commitment to invest in and educate some of the world’s emerging key influencers through the WSET – the leading provider of wine knowledge and education around the world.”

The scholarship winners will have the chance to taste the wines and explore the wine regions of the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Tasmania and the Yarra Valley from 17 to 25 March 2013.

Scholarship winners include:

Ms Amanda Parker, General Manager, The Fine Wine Centre, at Berry Bros & Rudd (Hong Kong)
“I feel honoured to win such an amazing scholarship. Being an Australian that has lived and worked in Asia for the last 10 years, there is still so much to be communicated about the complexities and the uniqueness of the wine industry there. I look forward to experiencing the intricacies of the regions: the variations in soil, climate, the people and their philosophies, enabling me to rely on personal experience rather than theory to enthuse and excite Asian wine lovers.”

Ms Jennifer Brook, Wine Educator, International Sommeliers Guild and Wine Boutique Sales Associate, Bin 905 Distinctive Wines and Spirits (Canada)
“I am a huge proponent of Australian wine and am so excited by the quality of wines I have seen and tasted, especially from some of the small scale/boutique producers of the country. There is a great diversity in Australian wine production that can, of course, be learned about ex-situ, but nothing compares to being there on the ground and seeing it yourself. I am so excited to take it all in! As a wine educator, I aim to bring back a wealth of knowledge that I can utilise in the classroom to better convey the diversity, direction and impetus of the Australian wine industry today.”

Mr Niklas Bergqvist, Freelance Sommelier and Wine Educator (Sweden)
“As I believe is the case for a lot of Swedish wine lovers, rich and smooth Barossa Shiraz was one of my first wine loves and a bottle of Magill Estate was the first really expensive wine I bought. With time, my preferences turned towards more refreshing and elegant styles of wine. Lately, I have been fortunate to sample older vintages of great Shiraz, Cabernets and stickies, and a lot of fantastic and interesting wines from diverse varieties and origins, and thus I do have great expectations of finding many future wine loves during this visit to Australia”.

Ms Lisa Mroz, Founder and Director of Collabria Inc (USA)
“I’m looking forward to experiencing Australia at a deeper and more meaningful level. I expect to dive deeper into the soils, topography, geography, wines, people, history and regions that make up the Australian wine industry. And have lots of fun stories to share upon my return home.”

Ms Kylie Javier Ashton, Restaurant Manager, Momofuko Seiobo at The Star (Australia)
“I feel extremely fortunate and humbled to be the recipient of the Wine Australia travel scholarship. Working in the hospitality industry, I have a great passion for food and wine and I am constantly trying to challenge my perceptions and palate to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of wine. This immersion trip will afford me the opportunity to learn from Australia’s great winemakers and share these experiences with my peers and colleagues.”

Ms Kate Swain, Store Manager, Vintage Cellars (Australia)
“I can’t wait to see the beautiful wine regions of Australia and experience them behind the scenes. The opportunity presented to us lucky WSET scholars by Wine Australia is truly first class and I am sure we will all learn so much from the experience. I expect this trip will give me an opportunity for incredible life experiences and personal growth as well as some interesting anecdotes to share with my co-workers and customers when promoting Australian wine during my career. I already love Australian wine and consider myself an ambassador for the industry – but this trip will take my knowledge and passion to the next level!”

Ms Hong Min Luo (Amber), Brand Ambassador, Treasury Wine Estates (China)
“I am so lucky to get recognition by WSET and Wine Australia. This prize will help me to continue my passion for learning and promoting wine culture in China. I will cherish this scholarship and the opportunity to get deep into the birth place of Australian wines and explore Mother Nature’s best and Australian wine making. I will utilise my know-how of Australian wines to encourage more Chinese to love and enjoy it!”

Mr Seah Wei Lien (William), Area Manager, Wine Trade Asia Pty Ltd (Singapore)
“It is my greatest honour to be selected from a pool of very talented applicants to attend, for what me and my industry peers believe, is a wonderfully enriching and educational trip to Australia. I deeply and sincerely thank Wine Australia and WSET for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity. During this trip, I will be able to gain incredible knowledge and insights into the Australian wine industry. I am also looking forward to understanding how and why Australian wines are so amazing and what it takes to achieve the international recognition that the wines are enjoying now. With that experience and knowledge, I am sure that I will feel more capable and able to impart my knowledge to as many people as possible.”

~ ENDS ~

Media enquiries:

Louisa Aherne, Manager, Communications & PR, Wine Australia

Phone: 02 9361 1263 or 0409 859 960, email:

Notes for editors:

The Wine Australia/Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) scholarship awards eight leading WSET Diploma and Level 3 Award graduates every year. Recipients have the opportunity to travel to some of Australia’s wine regions as part of an immersion and education visit, hosted by Wine Australia. The scholarship is part of Wine Australia’s support of WSET as a Gold Corporate Patron. The WSET is the largest global provider of qualifications in the fields of wines and spirits. WSET qualifications are formally recognised by the UK Government and have a strong reputation worldwide. WSET courses are currently available in 58 countries and in 15 languages and in the last academic year (2011/12) 43,254 people sat a WSET exam. For more information about the WSET, our qualifications and where to study, please visit:
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