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Fine wine auction raises more than £1.2m for Gerard Basset Foundation

The Golden Vines  Fine Wine, Rare Spirits and Experience Auction has smashed its £1 million target and is on track to raise nearly  £1.3 million for the Gerard Basset Foundation.

Gerard Basset OBE, MS, MW, MBA, OIV, MSc (1957-2019

The charity auction comprised 73 auction lots with estimates ranging from a few thousand pounds to £150,000, drawn from some the world’s most prestigious fine wine estates & spirit distilleries, with each lot containing either a large format or a rare bottle. It also offered participants the chance to bid for a series of select experience including VIP tours and tasting, lunch or dinner with the owners and a stay at the winery or distillery.

Successful bidders can also take advantage of special promotional flying rates either by private jet through the official jet sponsor, VistaJet, or on commercial flights, via the official airline sponsor, Virgin Atlantic.

The organisers said that although the auction itself raised £1.05 million, cash donations have continued to pour in, and they are hopeful that the final sum might climb as high as £1.3m.

The proceeds go to the Gerard Basset Foundation, the UK registered charity founded in memory of the popular and generous master sommelier who died in 2019, and will be used to boost diversity & inclusion in wine education programmes globally.

Each Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships is worth £55,000 and is awarded to a BIPOC student wanting to study for their Master of Wine or Master Sommelier programme.

So far, 23 applications for funding have been received from partners as far afield as the US<  Canada, UK, France, Ghana, South Africa and Australia.

The trustees of the foundation include Basset’s widow and son, Nina and Romane Basset along with Lewis Chester DipWSET, Ian Harris MBE, CEO of WSET, and Jancis Robinson OBE MW.

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