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Newsletter : January 2021

I'm writing this whilst on holiday in Queenstown. It is POURING with rain and the wind is howling across Lake Wakatipu. Happy Summer 2021!!

It was time to relaunch the website and our new look, The Wine School, is now up and running. If you'd like to book a course with us, you will need to create a new account to do so. If you have any problems with this, then please don't hesitate to get in touch. 

Despite 2020 being a year most of us would rather forget, we should be proud of our acheivements. Students continued to enrol onto WSET courses, applied themselves well and passed their exams in sometimes difficult circumstances. We are currently awaiting the results of the October 2020 Diploma exams and I am confident we'll be congratulating a record number of new graduates.

I think our exam success is in no small part due to the high performance and quality of the team at The Wine School. Ronald Wortel's personalised mentoring and online tutoring continues to be a key service and diffentiator for us. Our new website will now allow us to track student learning more closely and we will be offering this service to all our students. I'm convinced that this extra tutor time, in addition to classroom learning, will be what gives NZSWS students that extra edge.

Josh and Maciej continue to deliver exemplary tuition in Wellington and have received outstanding feedback from students.

In other news, The Wine School is very pleased to welcome Blenheim-based Sophie Parker Thompson to the team. Sophie has passed her closed book Master of Wine papers (theory and practical) and has just submitted her Research Paper (fingers crossed, we hope New Zealand will soon have a new Master of Wine!). With growing numbers of students in the South Island, Sophie will be an important part of the teaching team.

We are also very excited to launch WSET Spirits Level 1 and Spirits Level 2 qualifications. Our tutor, Ben Leggett, is the owner of Elemental Distillers and it would be hard to find someone who knows more about his subject than Ben. As one of our Diploma students wrote: "The breakthrough came during the 2 days workshop with Ben Leggett, spirit level, blog author and gin maker. It was amazing to hear Ben talking about various spirits, describing the differences in styles, and helping with tasting skills. This was a fascinating adventure, which ignited my passion for spirits. From this moment, learning about spirits was much easier and I could even say that it became truly enjoyable."

Lastly, we welcome back Gillian to the team. Most of you will know Gillian was an integral part of the development of NZSWS and administration, finance and accounting is her domain. We look forward to her ongoing contribution. She can be reached at [email protected]

Details of all courses are on our website We'll be adding new ones from time to time so always worth checking to see where we will be teaching next!