Vintners' Cup success for Mary Wright


We are delighted to announce that Mary Wright was crowned The Vintners’ Cup winner for 2021 at the annual WSET graduation ceremony last night. For the first time, the ceremony to recognise the achievements of the graduates who achieved their WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines in 2019/20 was held virtually.

Due to COVID restrictions, The Vintners’ Cup was the only award presented during the event. It is awarded to the student who achieves the highest overall mark across all units of the Diploma in each academic year. Mary, who works as Sogrape Iberia Estates Ambassador at Liberty Wines, comments, “I am absolutely thrilled to have been awarded The Vintners Cup and Scholarship and am grateful to The Vintners for their very generous study grant. I'm looking forward to a trip to the vineyards of South America in the hopefully not-too-distant future.”

David Gleave MW congratulated Mary, saying, “The only person who was surprised that Mary won this award was Mary herself.  The rest of us knew her intelligence, curiosity and tremendous work ethic would see her come out on top.”

Mary has excelled throughout her studies. She was also awarded The McNie Tasting Trophy, The Freixenet Copestick Prize and The Graham’s Port Prize during her Diploma studies, and The Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino Scholarship at Level 3. Mary explains, “These prizes significantly helped to develop my understanding of Iberian wines and I’m really thankful to the WSET for the opportunities they have given me to visit the wine regions of Spain and Portugal. These experiences have been invaluable in my new role promoting the Sogrape Iberian estates.”

She adds, “I am really grateful to Liberty Wines for sponsoring my WSET studies and for all of their support throughout the course. David Gleave did a series of insightful tasting masterclasses for staff and many other colleagues were very generous with their time, helping me with practice tastings and very diplomatically explaining why some of my wildly incorrect conclusions in blind tastings were so wrong.”


Strategies for WSET success

Lawrence Francis concluded his recent ‘Interpreting Wine’ podcast series looking at WSET Diploma studies by interviewing Mary Wright. She reflects on the strategies that brought her success, outlining the step-up in detail and focus required, as well as many of the practical tips she employed as part of her award-winning performance.

This will be particularly useful for anyone thinking about embarking on Level 4 studies, or those who are part-way through the programme, but the tips can be applied to wine exams at any level.


Ep 442: Mary Wright DipWSET, WSET Diploma student summit 2021, (5/5)

Episode outline

  • Origin Story
  • Transition from Level 3 to Level 4
  • Broader reflections on the Diploma
  • Tips and advice from award winning exam performance
  • Attendee Question 1: Solo theory learning for D3
  • Attendee Question 2: Recommended order for theory/tasting in D4/D5
  • Attendee Question 3: Overcoming exam jitters
  • The McNie Tasting Trophy and The Freixenet Copestick Prize