MW and MS scholarships aim to address lack of diversity in wine sector

Global representatives from the fine wine sector have revealed plans to launch and fund two Master Sommelier (MS) and Master of Wine (MW) scholarships for BAME students, worth up to £55,000 for each scholar.

The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship, Internship & Mentorship Programme will include two scholarships for aspiring black and ethnic minority students wishing to undertake the MW and 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 Internship programme includes a set of diversified work experiences with some of the world’s top wine domaines including, but not limited to, Château Cheval Blanc, Château d’Yquem, Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Colgin Cellars, Dom Pérignon, Domaine Baron Thenard, Domaine des Lambrays, Domaine Laroche, Heitz Wine Cellars, Liber Pater, Opus One, Ruinart, and Weingut Egon Müller, among others, as well as academic courses at UC Davis Department of Enology & Viticulture, the Kedge Wine School, and the OIV.

The judging panel for The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships is comprised of Nina Basset FIH, Rajat Parr (Sandhi Wines), Carlton McCoy MS (Heitz Cellar), Clement Robert MS (The Birley Clubs / Annabel’s) and Jancis Robinson OBE MW. The judges will also provide ongoing mentorship to the Golden Vines Diversity Scholars during their academic journey.

The programme was announced this week at the launch of the Golden Vines Awards and fundraising event that will support various diversity and inclusion-related wine education funding programmes globally. Liquid Icons, founded by the late Gerard Basset OBE MW MS and his friend Lewis Chester DipWSET, launched the awards in association with The Birley Clubs. The Golden Vines Award Ceremony, Dinner & After-Party will be held at Annabel’s Private Members’ Club, London’s pre-eminent private members’ club, in Mayfair, London on October 7 2021.

The not-for-profit Golden Vines Awards event 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 funding diversity and inclusion-related wine education programmes, including the headline Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship, Internship & Mentorship Programmes.

The Golden Vines Awards will be awarded to the world’s best fine wine producers as voted by leading members of the global fine wine industry in the Gerard Basset Global Fine Wine Report produced by Liquid Icons, with polling opening from March 8 2021.

The Golden Vines Award Categories, independently adjudicated by Deloitte LLP, include: The Golden Vines Best Fine Wine Producer in Europe Award, The Golden Vines Best Fine Wine Producer in the Americas Award, The Golden Vines Best Fine Wine Producer in the Rest of the World (Australasia, Africa, Asia & Middle East) Award, The Golden Vines World’s Best Fine Wine Producer Award, The Golden Vines World’s Best Rising Star Award, The Golden Vines Innovation Award and 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.

Related articles: