“The Industry at the top level is disappointingly devoid of diversity” according to Nina Basset, as she passionately spoke about the contributions of her late husband, Gerrard Basset MS MW OBE at the announcement of Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation in a press conference yesterday.

Lewis Chester, in charge of Liquid Icons, a company he founded in 2014 with late Gerard Basset specialising in fine wine research and content production company, introduced The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship, Internship and Mentorship program aimed to support Black and ethnic minority students wishing to undertake the Masters of Wine (MW) and Master Sommelier (MS).

The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship 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.

The 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 which will be with one of the top fine wine icons, Château Cheval Blanc, Château d’Yquem and Opus One to name a few. There will also be provision for academic courses at the UC Davis Department of Enology & Viticulture, the Kedge Wine School, and the OIV.

” Through the Golden Vines Diversity scholarships, we wish to create role models which will encourage other people from BAME or BIPOC communities to take wine education even at the basic or introductory levels which our other programmes will help fund,” added Lewis Chester.

Along with the launch of the Diversity Scholarships, was the announcement of The Golden Vines Awards Dinner and After Party and a Golden Vines Fine Wine and Experience Online Auction fundraising auction event, on the 7th October 2021 at Annabel’s Mayfair Private Members’ Club, the funds of which will support various Diversity and Inclusion scholarship programmes globally. These awards will be given to the world’s best fine wine producers, as voted by leading members of the global fine wine industry, in the report produced by Liquid Icons, with polling opening from 8th March 2021 on the Liquid Icons website.

The award ceremony, is scheduled to be held at Annabel’s Private Members’ Club, in Mayfair, London on 7th October 2021.



The Golden Vines Award Categories, independently adjudicated by Deloitte LLP, are:

  1. The Golden Vines Best Fine Wine Producer in Europe Award
  2. The Golden Vines Best Fine Wine Producer in the Americas Award
  3. The Golden Vines Best Fine Wine Producer in the Rest of the World (Australasia, Africa, Asia & Middle East) Award
  4. The Golden Vines World’s Best Fine Wine Producer Award
  5. The Golden Vines World’s Best Rising Star Award
  6. The Golden Vines Innovation Award
  7. The Golden Vines Hall of Fame Award – awarded to a living individual for extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the production of fine wine, or for outstanding service to the world of fine wine

The Golden Vines Fine Wine & Experience Online Auction will be available to fine wine lovers and collectors around the world through charity software ( There will be also be a live auction on the evening of the Awards Dinner, conducted by Christies for the guests.

The online auction will feature typically large formats of fine wine from the world’s top wine estates and a ‘money can’t buy’ experience for 6-10 guests, typically a tour, tasting, lunch or dinner with the owners and/or head winemaker and a stay at the wine estate.

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