Zhuyun is our Chinese-speaking course educator. Originally from Shanghai, she is now a WSET Certified Educator and shares her passion for wine with our students. Today, she tells us about her journey into wine education.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Zhuyun SUN, I was born and raised in Shanghai. I worked in the finance industry for over 8 years across China before finding my true passion in the world of wine. I pursued a Master’s Degree in Wine Management at the Burgundy School of Business and obtained my WSET Diploma in London to build on my wine skills and knowledge. Then, I started working as a consultant in French and Swiss wine regions and have been a wine judge in international competitions for many years. Nowadays, I curate authentic wine experiences in France and Switzerland to accompany epicureans in their discovery of magical places.
What brought you to the world of wine?
The one word answer is: Luck!
My wine journey started by chance when a friend of mine called and asked if I could take her seat in a WSET Level 1 Award in Wine course that she registered for but could not attend. Little did I know back then that saying yes would change my life. At the time I was working in the finance industry in Shanghai and dealing with numbers and data everyday, I did not know anything about wine when showing up to this class! Yet, after one day of class, learning about the main grape varieties and tasting incredible wines, I was hooked and wanted to know more.
Can you tell us more about your own experience with the WSET?
After taking my WSET Level 1, I knew I wanted to continue learning about wine thanks to the Wine and Spirit Education Trust programs. Coming from an analytical background, the systematic approach to tasting and structure were really helpful for me to understand the relationships between winemaking, grapes, and wine regions. I took my WSET Level 2 in Shanghai a few months later and continued with the Level 3 in Dijon.
My greatest achievement was of course obtaining my WSET Diploma in London after 2 years of intense studying and many tastings! This was really a turning point in my life and career because I began the program as a Master’s student and got my certificate when starting my entrepreneurial adventure.
Why did you decide to become a wine educator?
I am very grateful to the amazing educators and mentors I have had throughout my wine education journey and I think learning from them was a great source of inspiration for me. To name a few, LU Yang, the first Master Sommelier of China, was my WSET Level 3 Educator and Steve Charters Master of Wine was my tutor for my Master’s thesis and a great support during my Diploma studies. Both of them are so eager to share their knowledge with wine enthusiasts and their structured approach has convinced me that becoming a WSET Educator was the best way to help students become wine experts with applicable knowledge. I wish to follow their footsteps in sharing my experiences with students and helping them grow.
What is your favorite part in teaching about wine?
There is a Chinese saying that goes “It is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books” and has guided my learning journey about wine. I have been fortunate to travel to many wine regions around the world to experience authenticity and learn from local experts, but it turns out that my students also have tons of fun and interesting stories to share about wine!
Thanks to the WSET’s structured and systematic approach, once students master the content, there is nothing better than sharing real life experiences together and putting the content in light with what we’ve tasted and seen. You could say that my mission is to ensure that students have the right toolbox to understand and enjoy wine in a positive atmosphere!
Why did you choose to join École V?
Becoming a wine educator at École V seemed like the natural evolution of my career at this point. My work motto is the following: “Authentic Depth, Global Breath’ so when I met the École V team and realised that we both strive to introduce the world of wine to all wine amateurs across the world, I knew our collaboration made sense. I am glad that we are working together to offer the WSET courses to new students coming from broad horizons!