The Golden Vines Awards will raise money to fund wine education programmes for black and ethnic minority students

04 March, 2021

The Golden Vines Awards will celebrate the star performers in the fine wine industry when the inaugural ceremony takes place in London on October 7.

All proceeds will go to the Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation, which promotes greater diversity and inclusion within the wine trade.

There will also be a high-profile charity auction taking place on the night. The organisers aim to raise more than £1 million, which will pay for wine lovers from black and ethnic minority backgrounds to complete professional education courses.

Some of the money raised will be used to fund two scholarships for black and ethnic minority students that want to take the Master of Wine and Master Sommelier programmes.

These scholarships are worth up to £55,000 apiece, and the programme offers work placements at famous producers such as Château Cheval Blanc, Château d’Yquem and Dom Pérignon.

Liquid Icons, a fine wine research and content production founded by the late Gerard Basset OBE MW MS (pictured) and his friend Lewis Chester, created The Golden Vines Awards.

The ceremony will honour the best fine wine producers in Europe, the Americas and the rest of the world. There will be an overall winner, plus a rising star award, an innovation award and a Hall of Fame award.

The ceremony will take place at Annabel’s in London on October 7, featuring wines donated by Dom Pérignon P2, Egon Müller, Domaine Baron Thenard’s Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine de la Romanée Conti (sponsored by Corney & Barrow) and Château d’Yquem.

The wines will be served in glassware and decanters sponsored by Riedel. 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 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2019 – will create the menu, and it will be sponsored by San Pellegrino.

The voting process for the awards will be independently adjudicated by Deloitte.

Nina Basset, Gerard’s wife, will join Rajat Parr, Carloton McCoy MS, Clement Robert MS and Jancis Robinson OBE MW on the judging panel for the Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships.

These judges will also provide ongoing mentorship to the Golden Vines Diversity Scholars during their academic journey.

The application window for The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships opens on 8th March 2021, and all interested applicants should apply online at

Liquid Icons expects that the Golden Vines event and associated charity auctions will raise more than £1 million for The Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation.

The online auction will be open to fine wine lovers and collectors around the world, as well as guests on the night. It will feature typically large formats of fine wine from the world’s top estates and a “money can’t buy” experience for between 6-10 guests, typically a tour, tasting, lunch or dinner with the owners and/or head winemaker and a stay at the wine estate where the estate can accommodate guests.

The event will also feature a separate live auction held by Christie’s of non-wine related auction lots, principally donated from sponsors and friends of the charitable cause.

The vast proportion of funding will be directed at diversity and inclusion-related wine education programmes from introductory level upwards in collaboration with The Roots Fund, HUE Society, Wine Unify, Wine on Wheels, UC Davis School of Enology & Viticulture in the USA; BAME Wine Professionals, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust in the UK; the University of Reims, the Kedge Wine School in France; The Africa Wine Club in West Africa; and the intergovernmental wine organisation, The OIV, among others.

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