Gérard Basset Foundation Bursary 2024


Winners of the Gérard Basset Foundation, WSET Diploma in Wines Bursary

The International Wine Education Centre is delighted to announce the first winners of the Gérard Basset Foundation, Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma in Wines Bursary. Although there are other initiatives in Africa which enable historically-disadvantaged students to access high quality wine education, this is the first time that such awards have been made for the flagship WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines.

As Cathy Marston from the International Wine Education Centre (IWEC) says “Although much work has been done on improving diversity and inclusion in the South African wine world, we felt that there was a lack of wine-knowledgeable individuals from historically-disadvantaged communities at a high level in the industry. Helping people gain the WSET Diploma will give them the in-depth knowledge, skills and confidence to take on senior roles, instigating a trickle-down effect via example, mentorship, advocacy and exposure.”

The recipients of the 2024 Gerard Basset Foundation, WSET Diploma in Wines Bursaries are Nomonde Kubheka and Tinashe Musora.

Nomonde is the Curriculum Lead at the Pinotage Youth Development Academy (PYDA) and manages this programme assisting talented young people to prepare for meaningful employment opportunities in the wine and tourism sector. In this role, she witnesses first- hand the transformative power of education in shaping the lives and careers of aspiring wine professionals. Nomonde says “Winning the Gérard Basset Foundation Award means that I will not only be investing in my personal development but will also be able to cascade the acquired knowledge and skills to the talented individuals I work with at the PYDA and beyond. I aim to inspire and nurture the next generation of skilled and passionate contributors to the South African wine industry.”

Tinashe works as a tasting room ambassador at Creation Wines in Hermanus. Born in Zimbabwe, he has lived in the Hemel-en-Aarde since he was a small child and has strong ideas about being able to give back to his local wine community. He says “I want to share the same light and knowledge that was given to me when I was still a novice and knew nothing about wine. Working in the Hemel-en-Aarde has taught me to treasure every opportunity that comes my way and this award is the next step for my career. I am going to be imparting information and knowledge to others, helping them better understand and appreciate wine.”

Romané Basset from the Gérard Basset Foundation says “Since beginning our work at the Foundation we have been delighted to see the transformative power of wine education. It is therefore an incredible honour for us to partner with the International Wine Education Centre in this first ever initiative to grant WSET Diploma awards for disadvantaged students in South Africa. We wish Nomonde and Tinashe the best of luck with their courses and cannot wait to follow their progress and hear from them how they get on.” Each award is worth R105,000 and the recipients will invest a further R30,000 themselves as part of their commitment to this journey. The lucky students join the latest intake of the WSET Diploma course which starts in April 2024 and will finish in October 2025. During this time, they will undertake 6 units including viticulture and vinification, the business of wine, fortified and sparkling wines, wines of the world as well as a research project. They will be assigned mentors who are recent graduates and who can help and advise them on their journey.

For more information on WSET courses, please go to www.thewinecentre.co.za or contact Cathy Marston on cathy@thewinecentre.co.za.