Dr Erna Blancquaert on winning Golden Vines MW Scholarship

Wednesday, 27 October, 2021
The Buyer, Richard Siddle
This month has marked a breakthrough moment in the wine industry’s challenge to drive more inclusion and diversity in the sector with the first Golden Vines events, set up in memory of the late Gerard Basset MW MS. The first Golden Vines Awards ceremony and auction helped raise a vital £1.2m to invest in future diversity projects.

One of which is the Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships to help fund two people to study for the Master of Wine and Master Sommelier programmes. Here in the first of two profiles of the winners, Dr Erna Blancquaert from South Africa and Angela Elizabeth Scott from the US, we talk to Dr Blancquaert about her background in wine and her studies and research at Stellenbosch University.

The Golden Vines initiative was set up by Lewis Chester of Liquid Icons and the late Gerard Basset’s wife, Nina Basset, to help drive real change when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the wine industry.

The inaugural Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships received 42 entires from black and ethnic minority students from 23 countries who were looking to take advantage of £55,000 investments to help them study for either the Masters of Wine and Master Sommelier programmes.

The scholarships have been designed so that they cover all the training, support materials and examination costs needed to potentially complete the MW and MS courses, as well as help cover any loss of earnings during their work placement internships.

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Dr Erna Blancquaert
Dr Erna Blancquaert

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