Golden Vines applicants – Oscar Marulanda

Oscar Marulanda in a restaurant in his native Colombia

In his application for the Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Scholarships, Colombian Oscar Marulanda described himself primarily as ‘the son of a cleaning woman’ and observed how difficult it was to gain experience of a wide range of wines in Colombia. He has worked for wine importers, luxury hotels, as restaurant manager with responsibility for wine selection and for more than 10 years as a Latino entrepreneur spreading the culture of wine. He has been offered a Wine Scholar Guild scholarship.

I have always been characterised by being persistent, resilient and highly committed. If my intelligence or creativity is not enough to achieve the task, my discipline, persistence and determination should be sufficient. Since I heard from Gerard Basset in 2007, he was always an example to follow and that is why I have studied different complementary topics to be as complete professionally as he was.

Knowing about this scholarship was like a dream come true since it is a way of connecting with his legacy even without having been able to meet him. Colombia gastronomically has enormous potential and my dream is that, with all the knowledge and responsibility that being a Master of Wine will give me, I will be able to show the world of wine how to highlight the food and ancestral recipes of thousands of communities and people around the world starting in Colombia.

With knowledge and tradition, MWs do wonders and with creativity and a lot of knowledge I will be able to praise great wines, thus eliminating gastronomic barriers and encouraging diversity, not only of gender but of cultures, customs and races.

In general, I have always been self-taught and when I have had the opportunity to have a teacher or tutor I have made the most of their knowledge to the maximum. So this is a golden opportunity that I do not want to miss since I will be with the best and I want to be one better. I am currently developing a teaching programme for work teams and low-income people who do not have access to the privileged information of wine, its service and how to make this industry a lifestyle rather than a way of trying some free drinks.

I know that a good salesperson is always very useful in any establishment and many times such people do not have resources. But some information that helps improve their situation and that of their families never hurts. I have already done this in the past and I have seen families prosper but I want to take it to a higher level to be able to do it permanently. This scholarship would give me a major push to achieve my goals.