Diploma in Wines & Spirits
Unit 1: The Global Business of Alcoholic Beverages

Candidate Case Study Brief for the written closed-book theory exam - 12 March 2019
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March 2019 – The ups and downs of the Sherry Market

Sherry’s fortunes have varied over the years. In the days before the light wine boom, Sherry was a big seller in markets such as the UK. However, in the last three decades there has been a marked reduction in both production and global sales. Despite this downward trend, the quality of the wines has improved significantly.

Sherry is widely acknowledged as being one of the great wines of the world for its complexity and diversity. There are now signs of this being recognised by a wider audience. An increased engagement with consumers has resulted in a growing interest in some Sherry styles such as en rama and VOS. The reasons for the increase in popularity of some styles of Sherry are numerous and proof that negative trends can be reversed with innovation and hard work.

The impact of this changing market for Sherry has been wide ranging. There have been developments in the vineyard, bodega, boardroom and marketing department. The Sherry industry has made many changes over the last thirty years and is now in a very different shape as a result.


Candidates are reminded of the need to research the topic thoroughly using the course materials, trade/general press and other industry sources. Answers in the Unit 1 case study examination should show clear evidence of critical analysis of source material and well-reasoned personal commentary, together with relevant examples to support the points made.

Candidates are advised to read the Study Guide for further guidance on the Unit 1 case study and how to prepare for the examination.

Candidates must address all required sections in the examination and gain a minimum overall mark of 55% to qualify for a pass grade.

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