42 wine students from 23 different nationalities applied for the Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships programme, which 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 torch bearers, encouraging students from these communities to consider a career in wine.
Applicants included 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.
Lewis Chester DipWSET, on behalf of the Diversity Scholarships organiser, Liquid Icons, and Trustee of The Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation, commented: “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. 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.”
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 examination costs, as well as loss of earnings during their work placement internships.