The Taylors Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships, Internship & Mentorship Programmes have been set up in association with Liquid Icons and the Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation, of which WSET CEO Ian Harris is a Trustee. The foundation hopes to increase diversity in the wine industry by creating the opportunity for black and ethnic minority students to study for its top qualifications.
There will be two annual Taylors Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships for aspiring black and ethnic minority students wishing to undertake the Masters of Wine (MW) and Master Sommelier (MS) programmes. These scholarships, open to candidates from all over the world and each worth up to £55,000, will cover all course and examination costs, as well as loss of earnings during work placement internships. The scholarship programme includes a short academic course at one of a selection of leading wine education institutions, including UC Davis Department of Viticulture & Enology (California), the KEDGE Wine School (Bordeaux), and the OIV. This will be followed by a 12 month internship programme with a top fine wine domaine including Château Cheval Blanc, Château d’Yquem, Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Colgin Cellars, Dom Pérignon, Domaine Baron Thenard, Domaine des Lambrays, Domaine Laroche, Heitz Wine Cellars, Liber Pater, Opus One, Ruinart, and Weingut Egon MüllerChateau d’Yquem, among others. The judging panel for The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships is comprised of Nina Basset FIH, Rajat Parr (Sandhi Wines), Carlton McCoy MS (Heitz Cellar), Clement Robert MS (The Birley Clubs / Annabel’s) and Jancis Robinson OBE MW. The judges will also provide ongoing mentorship to the Golden Vines Diversity Scholars during their academic journey.
Applications for the scholarships open on 8 March 2021, and all details can be found at liquidicons.com. The application process has been devised in association with the Institute of Masters of Wine and the Court of Master Sommeliers (European Chapter).
Liquid Icons, the company founded by the late, great Gerard Basset OBE MW MS and Lewis Chester DipWSET, is also hosting the Taylors Port Golden Vines Award Ceremony, Dinner & After-Party at Annabel’s, London’s preeminent private members’ club, on Thursday 7 October 2021. The event and accompanying Fine Wine & Experience Auction is a not-for-profit, with all profits going to the Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation to fund two flagship Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships. The ‘Golden Vines’ will be awarded to the world’s best fine wine producers as voted by members of the global fine wine industry from the polling carried out in the annual Gerard Basset Global Fine Wine Report: liquidicons.com. The event is crafted as the ‘Oscars’ of fine wine.