One of the wine industry’s top charity events, The Golden Vines® Awards are set to come to Florence this October 14-17.
Following a successful launch last year at Annabel’s, London, The Golden Vines® Awards celebrate fine wine with Michelin-starred chefs, VIP entertainment, and rare wines and spirits to support diversity and inclusion in the hospitality industry.
The awards were created by Lewis Chester DipWSET and the Liquid Icons team to honour the legacy of Chester’s friend and business partner, Gérard Basset OBE MW MS, who passed away from cancer in January 2019. When Basset discovered that he had terminal cancer, the need to create something lasting that would help create a lasting legacy for his lifetime achievements became a goal for the company. In 2020, following the newly named Gérard Basset Global Fine Wine Report results, which follow an annual survey completed by leading fine wine professionals globally, Chester decided to take the winners in the report to create The Golden Vines® Awards, celebrating the best in the industry. The awards now run as a not-for-profit event with all proceeds going to the Gérard Basset Foundation.
“Florence exudes history, culture and beauty. Coupled with worldwide recognition of Tuscany as the land of fine wines, it is, without doubt, the perfect host city for our second official year of The Golden Vines® Awards,” comments Lewis Chester. “Since confirming Florence for 2022, we have received endless support from numerous key figures of the city, including Allegra Antinori, Massimo Ferragamo and Dario Nardella, the Mayor of the city, amongst many others, further assuring us that we made the right decision.”
What to expect at The Golden Vines® Awards
The celebrations in Florence begin on Saturday, October 15 with the Dress to Party gala dinner, where guests can savour dishes from Davide Oldani, chef patron oftwo Michelin star restaurant D’O, near Milan, and Matteo Lorenzini, executive chef of Tuscany’s Osteria di Passignano. Legendary group Alessandro Ristori & The Portofinos will take to the stage for the evening.
The awards ceremony will take place on October 16 in the spectacular setting of the Salone dei Cinquecento at the Palazzo Vecchio. The phenomenal three-Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana will curate the gala dinner. Marc Almert, the 2019 ASI Best Sommelier of the World as well as the 2020 Michelin Sommelier of the Year has chosen the wine pairings for the dinner, which will include some of the finest and rarest wines in the world including Dom Pérignon Rosé 2008, Dom Pérignon P2 2004, Krug Grande Cuvée, Krug Vintage, Dom Ruinart, Trimbach Clos Sainte Hune 2012, Emidio Pepe Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2004, Château Cheval Blanc 2005 in magnum, Solaia, Château d’Yquem and Taylor’s Port 1970 in magnum. Guests can expect live entertainment from internationally recognized artist Celeste, who has received accolades such as the Brit’s Rising Star Award 2020 and the BBC’s Introducing Artist of the Year 2019. Joining Celeste on the stage for the evening, Sekou Sylla is a rising musician, who has already performed on BBC Music’s Introducing stage at Glastonbury and was handpicked to perform at Brooklyn Beckham’s wedding.
Another highlight of the night will be the auction of 100 lots, including large formats and old vintages of some of the world’s most prestigious wine brands and exclusive tastings and stays in chateaux and historic cellars. The goal is to raise over £1.2 million to finance wine education programs related to diversity and involvement, such as Taylor’s Port Golden Vines® Diversity Scholarship, Internship & Mentorship Programs, Dom Pérignon Golden Vines® Master of Wine & Master Sommelier Scholarships, Hennessy Golden Vines® Diversity Scholarship in Spirits, and other scholarships for education programs, curated by Golden Vines®.
Tickets are on sale for £6,000, including one place at the main gala evenings on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16. VIP tickets are available for £10,000 per ticket, including a seat for the main gala evenings on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 as well as the first choice of the VIP events across the weekend, Saturday October 15 – Monday October 17.