Super-somm Gerard Basset, who left us two years ago after a battle with cancer, was known for many things. But chief among them were his astonishing ability to learn and his unmatched track record at nurturing talent.
By the time of his death, Gerard had almost as many letters after his name as in it, being a Master Sommelier, a Master of Wine and an MBA in Wine Business.
But he also had a huge roster of devoted sommeliers who he had nurtured to the top of their profession.
So it is fitting that the new charity that bears his name – the Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation – should be focusing on both of these things: learning and raising up.
The charity is to provide travel bursaries, scholarships and mentorships to fund learning and development opportunities for young professionals. There is to be a specific focus on diversity and inclusion.
Gerard’s widow, Nina, said she hoped it would ‘continue Gerard’s legacy for many years to come.’
The foundation’s trustees include Nina Basset and their son Romané, along with critic Jancis Robinson, Ian Harris from the WSET, and Gerard’s long-term friend and business partner, Lewis Chester.
Exact details of what will be on offer and how to apply are still being finalised, but will be unveiled at the start of March.
The Sommelier Collective has been told that the scholarships will be ‘significant’.
So watch this space – we’ll keep you informed as things develop.