There is still time for UK-based sommeliers to send in their application for The Gerard Basset Travel Scholarship – an annual travel bursary created in honour and fond memory of the late Gerard Basset OBE, MS, MW, MSc (OIV).
Commencing in 2020, The Gerard Basset Travel Scholarship #gerardscholarship (brainchild of Nina and Romané Basset, along with Ronan Sayburn MS and Tim Atkin MW) will see £5,000 awarded on an annual basis to a UK-based Sommelier to enable them to visit a winemaking country of their choice and explore its regions, winemakers and wine personalities.
Entrants for the award are invited to submit a written statement of up to 500 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by 16 January detailing why they are applying for the scholarship, how they plan to spend the money, and how they see it benefiting their future careers. A judging panel, including Nina, Romané, Ronan, Tim and Laura Rhys will then select a short-list of three candidates for interview in order to decide on an eventual winner. The panel will then help with contacts and suggestions to ensure the winner’s eventual trip is as rich and comprehensive in content and experiences as possible.
Nina comments, “We’ve already had some really strong applications through from a number of Sommeliers who evidently have a real passion for wine. And just about everyone has a different wish-list region or country they would like to visit, which would come as no surprise to Gerard who had so many personal favourite wine places! He believed that travelling to a region really was the best way to learn about it, which is why we we’ve set up this award. Education and inspiring young Sommeliers was so important to Gerard, and the travel bursary will enable this to carry on in his name.”
An inaugural fundraising dinner will take place at 67 Pall Mall on 1 February 2020. Fifty guests will be invited to purchase a ticket and bring along a wine of their choice to share on the evening. A modest percentage of the ticket price will go towards the food, with 67 Pall Mall sponsoring the other elements of the event. The remainder of the ticket price will be put towards the bursary fund.
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