24 Mar 2021

The ASI is delighted to announce our support for The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships in association with Liquid Icons and the Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation. Particularly because the launch of these Golden Vines scholarships is in line with the approach of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale which recently created a committee dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

Liquid Icons, the fine wine research and content production company founded by the late, great Gerard Basset OBE MW MS and Lewis Chester DipWSET, are hosting The Golden Vines Award Ceremony, Dinner & After-Party at Annabel’s Private Members Club, London’s preeminent private members’ club, on Thursday 7th October 2021. The event and accompanying Golden Vines Fine Wine & Experience Online Auction are not-for-profit, with all profits going to the Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation to fund two flagship Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship, Internship & Mentorship Programmes.

The Golden Vines will be awarded to the world’s best fine wine producers as voted by members of the global fine wine industry from the polling carried out in the annual Gerard Basset Global Fine Wine Report. The event is crafted as the ‘Oscars’ of fine wine. The ASI encourages all members working in the fine wine trade to complete the survey to support the The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships and other diversity & inclusion-related initiatives. The Report survey takes less than 5 minutes to complete and can be accessed at

The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships, Internship & Mentorship Programmes will fund two  aspiring black and ethnic minority students wishing to take the Master Sommelier (MS) and/or Masters of Wine (MW) programmes. The Diversity Scholarships will be worth up to £55,000 for each scholar to cover the entirety of their course and examination costs, as well as loss of earnings during their work placement internships.

The Internship programme includes wineries from some of the world’s top fine wine estates in the Northern & Southern Hemisphere 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. The Internship programme will also include short academic courses before Scholars begin their estate internships, at leading wine education institutions including: UC Davis Department of Viticulture & Enology (California, USA), The Kedge Wine School (Bordeaux, France), and The OIV. The Judging Panel awarding the Diversity Scholarships comprises: Nina Basset FIH (Gerard Basset’s widow), Carlton McCoy MS (CEO of Heitz Vineyards), Rajat Parr (Founder of Sandhi Wines), Jancis Robinson OBE MW and Clement Robert MS (Head of Wine & Beverages at the Birley Clubs).

The Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation has chosen to fund diversity scholarships as the fine wine industry is shamelessly lacking in diversity. For example, there are a very small number of BIPOC MSs (mainly in USA) and no black MWs. The Foundation hopes to make a difference to the world by creating the opportunity for black and ethnic minority students to study for the top qualification in the wine industry.

Any BAME/BIPOC wine professionals, wherever they reside, with the requisite qualifications to apply for the MS and/or MW programmes (or currently on these programmes), who wish to apply for the Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships should apply online during the application window which begins on 8th March 2021 and closes on 16th April 2021 at

I am please to add that The Gerard Basset Charitable Foundation intends on funding a diversity and inclusion wine education programme with the ASI for our Diploma Certification Exam. We will reveal details of this programme later in the year.