The Gerard Basset Travel Scholarship 2021 is open for applications from UK-based sommeliers to further their careers through travel.
The scholarship was founded in 2020 to honour the memory of the late sommelier and was set up by his wife Nina and son Romané with wine experts Ronan Sayburn and Tim Atkin.
Entrants to the scholarship have been invited to submit a written statement of up to 500 words detailing why they are applying, how they plan to spend the money, and how they see it benefiting their careers.
A judging panel, including Nina and Romané, Sayburn, Atkin and sommelier Laura Rhys, will then select a shortlist of three candidates for interview to decide on an eventual winner.
Winner of the inaugural scholarship, L'Enclume sommelier Lise Donier-Meroz, had to postpone her planned trip to South America due to coronavirus and will embark on it once circumstances permit in as ecological a way as possible, a challenge she set herself "to give health and respect to our planet Earth".
Entrants should send their submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org before 28 May 2021.
Nina said: "Education, mentoring and inspiring young sommeliers was something very dear to Gerard, as anyone who met him will know. He always maintained that travelling to the wine regions of the world broadened his mind, his knowledge and wine experiences better than any other form of study ever could.
"Of course, in these current times travel is something we are all missing, but the world will open up again and we will all be able to travel more freely once more. We want to ensure Gerard's legacy lives on, which is why in 2021 we have established the Gerard Basset Wine Education Charitable Foundation and this scholarship is one of a number that we are offering to wine students and definitely an award that Gerard would have approved of wholeheartedly."
This year's fundraising dinner at 67 Pall Mall will take place at a later date. Fifty guests will be invited to purchase a ticket and bring a wine of their choice to share on the evening. A small 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.
Photo: Mirentxu Bellet