Having raised over £1,200,000 at the Golden Vines Awards Ceremony & Dinner and related auctions, held at Annabel’s Private Members Club on 7 October 2021, the Trustees of the Gérard Basset Foundation have awarded funding grants to 14 institutional and community partners to fund diversity & inclusivity wine education programmes globally. These grants 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: to fund WSET Level 1 and 2 exams for 350 students in Ghana.
• Be Inclusive Hospitality, London, UK: to set up ‘Club Thrive’ with the aim of providing networking, educational and career opportunities to BIPOC hospitality professionals.
• The Hue Society, chapters spread across the USA: Hue Society is one of the leading diversity wine community groups in the USA, championing diversity in the world of wine, with chapters spread across the USA. Funds will contribute towards the Hue Society’s educational and mentorship initiatives.
• International Sommelier Guild, Global: One of the world’s leading providers of sommelier education, with a truly global reach through their live and virtual courses. Funding will go towards a suite of bursaries aimed at all levels of the ISG’s curriculum and courses for students from a diversity background.
• KEDGE Wine School, France, with campuses in Bordeaux, Paris, Marseille and Dakar, Senegal: One of the leading academic institutions to provide wine education, with a focus on the business aspects of the wine world. To fund 12 students taking the KEDGE 5-day Sommellerie program, promoting social diversity as all candidates will be underprivileged and unable to pay for the program; additional funding to be used to create a bursary for the KEDGE Wine and Hospitality Management MSc, conducted in partnership with the No. 1 hospitality school in the world, the École Hôtelière de Lausanne, with the student being selected
from KEDGE’s Dakar campus.
• OIV MSc in Wine Management, Global: Foundation providing matching funds to the OIV to create a bursary fund for one diversity student to take the OIV MSc course.
• Okanagan College Foundation, in partnership with Vinica Education Society, Okanagan Valley, Canada: to create an ‘Indigenous Viticulture Scholarship Program’ for six indigenous Canadian students to take Okanagan College’s viticulture certificate program, in collaboration with indigenous mentors and the indigenous community.
• Pinotage Youth Development Academy, Stellenbosch, South Africa: to contribute towards the PYDA’s ‘Wine and Marketing program’. PYDA provides education for 18–25-year-olds from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, changing the lives of over 450 students to-date.
• The Roots Fund, USA: The Roots Fund is one of the leading community wine groups in the USA promoting diversity and inclusion in the world of wine, primarily through educational and career opportunities. Funds will go towards the ‘Stay Rooted in Education’ initiative, which provides support to BAME/BIPOC individuals seeking to achieve certification in a variety of wine qualifications.
• The Two-Eighty Project, Northern California, USA: funding 5 apprentices on the Two-Eighty Project’s viticulture apprenticeship program. All students come from BAME/BIPOC/LGBTQ+ backgrounds.
• University of Adelaide, Australia: funding towards an ongoing research project into the Indigenous Australian fermentation practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (ATSI for short). ATSI researcher training programmes with a view to commercialise yeast strains by producing indigenous beverages. Any commercial benefit would be put towards the improvement of the economic situation of ATSI communities at large.
• Wine Empowered, NYC, USA: to fund 5 students undertaking Wine Empowered’s study course. All students must either be women or BIPOC students.
• Wine on Wheels, NYC, USA: to fund Wine on Wheels’ new ‘SOLERA Project’. This includes funding for 20-30 disabled students who will benefit from an interdisciplinary program providing them with industry training, as well as general life skills. Programme to be conducted in collaboration with some of NYC’s most renowned sommeliers, chefs and winemakers.
• WSET Australia: funding towards WSET project in collaboration with National Indigenous Culinary Institute, providing ATSI apprentices in the hospitality industry with WSET Level 1 and 2 courses.
Lewis Chester DipWSET has assumed the role of Honorary President & Head of Fundraising at The Foundation stepping down from the board of Trustees, commenting: “The person principally tasked with raising funds should not also be responsible for spending those funds; to avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest, I shall be leaving it to the board of Trustees to determine how to spend the Foundation’s monies, while I focus solely on raising them”. The Foundation now has 4 Trustees: alongside Nina Basset FIH is her son, Romané, Ian Harris MBE DipWSET and Jancis Robinson OBE MW are responsible for determining which projects to fund and ensuring that the Foundation’s mandate is fulfilled.