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Gérard Basset Foundation announces 14 funding grants to fuel diversity in the wine industry

The Trustees of the Gérard Basset Foundation have awarded funding grants to 14 institutional and community partners to fund diversity wine education programmes after raising over £1,200,000 at the Golden Vines awards ceremony and related auctions.

The Golden Vines awards ceremony and dinner was held at Annabel’s Private Members Club on 7 October 2021.

The charity auction comprised 73 auction lots with estimates ranging from a few thousand pounds to £150,000, drawn from some the world’s most prestigious fine wine estates & spirit distilleries, with each lot containing either a large format or a rare bottle. It also offered participants the chance to bid for a series of select experience including VIP tours and tasting, lunch or dinner with the owners and a stay at the winery or distillery.

The trustees of the foundation include Basset’s widow and son, Nina and Romane Basset along with Lewis Chester DipWSET, Ian Harris MBE, CEO of WSET, and Jancis Robinson OBE MW.

The 14 grants awarded to global partners are in addition to the headline Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships, worth £55,000 each, and awarded to Angela Scott DipWSET and Dr Erna Blancquaert in October, as well as the Golden Vines Master of Wine & Master Sommelier Scholarships, worth £12,500 each and awarded to Mags Jango DipWSET and Winnie Toh.

Nina Basset, Trustee of the Gérard Basset Foundation, commented: “With the unprecedented success of the Golden Vines – organised by our partner, Liquid Icons – the Foundation has been able to distribute significantly more funds than we could have imagined to further the cause of diversity & inclusivity in the wine industry and – from next year – the spirit & hospitality sectors.

“We received 23 applications for funding globally, with the Trustees choosing to fund 14 of these submissions from the UK, Europe, North America, Africa and Australia. However, this is just the start. 

“We hope to be able to put larger sums to work in future years thanks to the generosity of the enormous number of fine wine estates and rare spirit distilleries who are supporting the Foundation through their participation in the Golden Vines Fine Wine, Rare Spirit & Experience Auction, the next edition of which will go live on 1st October 2022.”

Grants have been awarded to the following institutional and community partners for the calendar year 2022:

  • Africa Wine Academy, Ghana, Africa
  • Be Inclusive Hospitality, London, UK
  • The Hue Society, chapters spread across the USA
  • International Sommelier Guild, Global
  • KEDGE Wine School, France, with campuses in Bordeaux, Paris, Marseille and Dakar, Senegal
  • OIV MSc in Wine Management, Global
  • Okanagan College Foundation, in partnership with Vinica Education Society, Okanagan Valley, Canada
  • Pinotage Youth Development Academy, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • The Roots Fund, USA
  • The Two-Eighty Project, Northern California, USA
  • University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Wine Empowered, NYC, USA
  • Wine on Wheels, NYC, USA
  • WSET Australia

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