Come Thursday 7th of May, Fiji’s tourism industry, specifically in the area of Food and Beverage, will
see the dawn of a new era in wine knowledge training. Victoria Wines and Spirits in conjunction
with Villa Maria Wines of New Zealand is partnering with New Zealand’s leading provider of
internationally recognized Wines and Spirits Educational Trust (WSET ®) wine courses.
This partnership allows for the delivery of WSET Level 1 Award in Wines by Master of Wine Ms Jane
“The Wine & Spirit Educational Trust certificates are the most widely accepted international
measures of wine competence and a great stepping stone for the career wine waiter or sommelier –
and even for the enthusiastic wine lover!” says Liam Hindle, Managing Director for Victoria Wines
The WSET Level 1 wine course is being conducted in 3 satellite training rooms around Fiji. There are
80 registered participants who will undergo a full day intensive course covering wine profiles and
food matching which will end in a supervised examination. The qualification aims to provide the
basic product knowledge and skills in the storage and service of wines required to prepare a person
for their first job in wine hospitality or retail. The Level 1 also is an interest based course for those
not directly in the food and beverage industry but rather those with an interest in or love for wine.
Victoria Wines have over the last few decades made immeasurable contributions towards the wine
and spirits sector in Fiji; most significantly the development and training of wine and spirits
knowledge to the local sector within the food and beverage industry.
“Bringing WSET to Fiji is a milestone for local upskilling and training as this qualification will set
apart those who have attained the certification against those who have not. We also envisage
rolling out Levels 2 and 3 in 2016 and possibly the Level 4 Diploma should our pass rates meet the
criteria.” Explained the Training and Development Manager, Ms Julianne Verma
More about the course facilitator, Ms Jane Skilton MW, Auckland and Wellington
Jane began her wine career in London over 25 years ago and passed the WSET ® Diploma in 1988,
gaining both the Frescobaldi and Cognac scholarships. She passed her Master of Wine examination
in 1993 and now takes an active role in IMW activities; she is a member of Council, on the IMW
Exam and Education Committee and is the co-ordinator of the annual Australian IMW Educational
She moved to New Zealand in 2000 and founded the NZ School of Wines and Spirits, teaching the
Wine and Spirit Education Trust qualifications and general wine courses to trade and consumers.
Her recent appointment to Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand as Wine Education Director means she will
divide her time between Auckland and LCB’s brand new central Wellington campus. She sits on the
Advisory Board of Le Cordon Bleu NZ.
Jane is the wine editor for Food Magazine and contributes to a number of wine publications both in
New Zealand and overseas. She enjoys judging both national and international wine shows.
The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) was founded in 1969 to provide high quality wine
education to the UK trade. Today, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust is the largest global provider of
qualifications in the field of wines and spirits and teaches both the trade and interested
consumers. WSET courses are currently available in 60 countries and in the last academic year
(2013/14) 56,125 people registered to sit a WSET examination.
NZSWS was established in 2006 to provide these internationally recognised Wine and Spirit
Education Trust ® qualifications in New Zealand and now in Fiji.