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Forty-two Black and ethnic minority students apply for two Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships

Forty-two Black and ethnic minority students apply for two Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships

Forty-two wine students from 23 different nationalities applied for the Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship, including students originating from Colombia, French Polynesia, Georgia, Iran, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria, Peru, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago and Zimbabwe.

29% of the applicants identified themselves as Black and 71% as ethnic minorities (including indigenous peoples). 62% were female candidates. 67% of the students indicated an interest in applying for both the MW and the MS programmes, whereas 24% specified an interest in applying only for the MW programme and 2% in applying only for the MS programme. The average age of the applicants is 36 years of age.

The Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships programme has been designed to find and promote future role models from BAME/BIPOC communities globally to reach the very top levels of the wine industry and stand as torchbearers, encouraging students from these communities to consider a career in wine.

“To have 42 students apply globally for the inaugural Golden Vines Scholarship programme wildly exceeded our expectation, especially given the high level of wine education candidates require to qualify, and provides an intense level of competition to win these incredible diversity scholarships,” said Lewis Chester, a trustee of the Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation.

“By offering these diversity scholarship opportunities, we have been able to attract Black and ethnic minority students to consider spending the next 3+ years studying for some of the hardest exams on the planet which they otherwise might not have had considered attempting, propelling them to the very top of the industry,” he added.

All applicants will now be invited to undertake a tailored 2-3 hour ‘Introduction to the Course’ Zoom session to give an insight into the study programmes through a tasting and discussion with MWs/MSs involved in delivering education for the Institute of Masters of Wine and the Court of Master Sommeliers (European Chapter). These sessions are an opportunity for applicants to ask any questions, understand the respective programme structure and learn about the outstanding learning as well as networking opportunities that exist within the Institute of Masters of Wine and the Court of Master Sommeliers (European Chapter) student communities. These Zoom sessions will take place between 19-30 April 2021.

By 7 May 2021, applicants will learn whether they have been accepted for an interview by the panel of judges. If accepted for an interview, the applicant’s interview will take place on or before 21 May 2021. The applicant will then hear if they have been awarded a diversity scholarship by 28 May 2021.

The judging panel for the Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships is comprised of Nina Basset FIH, Rajat Parr (Sandhi Wines), Carlton McCoy MS (Lawrence Wine Estates), Clement Robert MS (The Birley Clubs / Annabel’s) and Jancis Robinson OBE MW who has been selected as the lead judge by her colleagues on the panel. The judges will also provide ongoing mentorship to the Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship winners during their academic journey.

The Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship, Internship & Mentorship Programme includes 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. These diversity scholarships, worth up to £55,000 for each scholar, will cover the entirety of their course and exam 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 and establishments, as well as wine school courses globally.

The not-for-profit Golden Vines Awards will recognise excellence in 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 Ceremony & Dinner will take place at Annabel’s Private Members Club in London on Thursday 7 October 2021.

IMW news release announcing support for the Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships on 9 March 2021


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Notes to Editor:

About the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW)
The IMW is a membership organisation with an exceptional international reputation. For almost 70 years, its members – the Masters of Wine (MWs) – have been at the forefront of leadership and expertise in the world of wine. The IMW’s mission is to promote excellence, interaction and learning across all sectors of the global wine community. MWs prove their comprehensive understanding of wine by passing the MW exam, recognised worldwide for its rigour and exacting standards. In addition to passing the exam, members must sign the code of conduct before they are entitled to use the initials MW. This requires them to act with honesty and integrity, and use every opportunity to share their knowledge of wine with others. Today, there are 416 Masters of Wine working in 31 countries. The membership encompasses winemakers, sommeliers, buyers, journalists, shippers, consultants, academics, educators and more. There are 379 students from 41 countries in the 2020-2021 MW study programme.

About Liquid Icons
Liquid Icons is a fine wine research and content production company founded by two friends to “do stuff in wine” – the late, great Gerard Basset OBE MW MS and Lewis Chester DipWSET. We create first-class original content and research about the world’s greatest fine wines and spirits. Our work encompasses motion picture, industry research, recognition and celebration of wine and spirits excellence, charitable and fundraising activities, as well as educational initiatives.

About the Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation
Set up to honour the legacy and memory of Gerard Basset OBE MW MS by addressing the wine industry’s most pressing issues through education, training & mentorship, the Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation comprises a multidisciplinary team of industry-leading professionals as its Trustees: Nina Basset FIH, Romané Basset, Lewis Chester DipWSET, Ian Harris MBE DipWSET, and Jancis Robinson OBE MW.

About Taylor’s Port
Taylor’s is one of the first historic Port wine lodges, having been established in 1692. A family company since its foundation, it has been dedicated exclusively to the production of high-quality Port wines, from the planting of the vine and harvesting the grapes for fermentation, ageing and bottling of the various styles of Port wine. The family’s commitment to the future of Port wine is also demonstrated in its determination to preserve and, where appropriate, improve the unique environmental, social and economic aspects of the Douro region through the promotion of sustainable viticulture.

Taylor’s is mainly recognised as a benchmark for Vintage Port, its classic Vintages attracting the highest scores and auction prices. The house was the creator of the modern LBV (Late Bottled Vintage), a style pioneered by the Taylor’s and it is the most sought-after brand of LBV. Taylor’s also pioneered the first Dry White Port with the launch of Chip Dry and was the first to commercialize of the Single Quinta Vintages. The House is also recognized as the most important producer of Aged Tawnies and has one of the most extensive reserves of cask aged Port wines.