Liquid Icons, the fine wine research company founded by the late Gerard Basset OBE MW MS and Lewis Chester DipWSET, has announced the launch of The Golden Vines Awards that will fundraise for diversity and inclusion-related wine education globally.
The Golden Vines Awards will recognise the ‘star performers of the fine wine industry’ and raise funds for The Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation with the aim of raising over £1m for the headline Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship, internship & mentorship programmes, among others.
The ceremony will take place on October 7 at Annabel’s Private Members’ Club in Mayfair and is expected to be a lavish affair, with a star-studded line-up of guest performers as well as a live auction.
In total, seven awards will be handed out to the shining stars of the wine industry, with categories including Best Fine Wine Producer in Europe, Hall of Fame Award, Innovation Award and Best Rising Star Award.
The winners will be voted for by leading members of the global fine wine industry and independently adjudicated by Deloitte LLP.
The money raised from the evening will go towards creating opportunities for students from BAME / BIPOC communities to have access to all levels of wine education.
Speaking yesterday as the virtual launch, Lewis Chester said the fine wine industry is at ‘ground zero’ when it comes to diversity, with only three BAME / BIPOC Master Sommeliers globally.
The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship, Internship & Mentorship Programme will include two scholarships for aspiring black and ethnic minority students wishing to undertake the Masters of Wine (MW) and Master Sommelier (MS) programmes – open to candidates from all over the world.
These scholarships, worth up to £55,000 for each scholar, will cover the entirety of their course and examination costs, as well as loss of earnings during their work placement internships.
The Golden Vines Awards event will aim to raise enough money to support these internships. The full list of categories can be found at liquidicons.com.
Every award winner will be given The Golden Vines Award Trophy, designed and produced in collaboration with Amorim Cork.
Richard and Patricia Caring will support the event’s charitable fundraising efforts by providing Annabel’s location and services for the event on a pro bono basis.
Marc Almert, the 2019 ASI Best Sommelier of the World and the 2020 Michelin Sommelier of the Year, will be the Head Sommelier on the night. Guest chef Mauro Colagreco of the 3-star Michelin restaurant Mirazur in Menton, France – number 1 of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2019 – will be creating the menu.
The application window for The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships opens on 8 March 2021, and all interested applicants should apply online at liquidicons.com.