Online auction for Golden Vines diversity initiative

Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships logo

Snag yourself an unrepeatable wine experience in aid of the best of causes.

Bidding opens today for an auction of 73 hard-won passports to luxury in aid of the Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships. It closes on 7 October when the identity of the two main winners will be revealed.

See the online auction catalogue and marvel at the audacity and rarity of the lots – some of them offering liquids that are almost impossible to buy. The man behind all this, Lewis Chester of Liquid Icons, explains his motivation in the introduction to the catalogue:

‘This brings together some of the greatest wines in the world in order to make the world of wine a fairer place.

‘For diversity and inclusivity, the wine world is close to starting from scratch. In over 20 years of attending wine events, I can count on one hand the number of persons of colour I have met.’

He has worked incredibly hard to garner these luxurious lots from the great and the good of the wine and spirits worlds. They include not just the awe-inspiring liquid icons themselves but many a once-in-a-lifetime experience to go with them.

The catalogue kicks off, for instance, with a double magnum of Cheval Blanc 2006 plus dinner and an overnight stay at the château for up to 10 (not six, as originally stated) people. Bids in the region for £30,000 to £60,000 are anticipated. As Chester points out, ‘I hope that you will bid generously. Your winning bids will give you profound pleasure. They will give invaluable assistance to young people seeking to make a career in the fabulous, fascinating world of wine.

You may remember our series about 12 of the candidates for this admirable initiative to increase diversity in the world of wine by offering various scholarships to applicants from around the world. As chairman of judges I was struck by the drama of the stories of how these people from very different ethnic backgrounds fell in love with wine as a profession.

As explained in Two plus 10 scholarships announced, we were also able to award 10 Wine Scholar Guild Scholarships as well as offering to pay MW course fees for UK wine professional Mags Janjo and MS course fees for Winnie Toh, sommelier in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

But the prizes for the two overall winners of the Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships are even more ambitious than this and include an incredible array of opportunities with some of the world’s great wine producers, as well as course fees for either the MW or MS qualification. See full details in Two scholarships worth £55,000 envisaged. With my fellow judges, Nina Basset (widow of the late Gerard Basset MW MS OBE), Raj Parr, Carlton McCoy MS and Clement Robert MS, and the man behind all this, Lewis Chester of Liquid Icons, we can’t wait to announce the winners.

But all of these ambitious plans depend on raising sufficient funds via this auction, so please bid and bid generously! Here’s that link to the catalogue again.