2022 Golden Vines® Award Winners of the World’s Finest Wine Producers Announced at Gala Ceremony in Florence, Italy

17 OCTOBER 2022 | FLORENCE, ITALY – The winners of the 2022 Golden Vines® Awards and 2022 Golden Vines® Diversity Scholarships in wine and spirits were awarded at this year’s world-class 3-day fine dining and entertainment experience in Florence from 14 – 16 October 2022.

Organised by Liquid Icons, the Golden Vines® Awards recognise the ‘star performers of the fine wine industry’, as well as raising funds for the Gérard Basset Foundation with the aim of financing diversity and inclusion-related education programmes in wine, spirits & hospitality . Last year’s initiatives and the inaugural Golden Vines® Awards Ceremony, held at Annabel’s Private Member’s Club in London, raised over £1.2 million to support this cause.

The winners of the 2022 Golden Vines® Awards announced and awarded in Florence on Sunday 16 October were:

  • The 2022 Golden Vines® Best Fine Wine Producer in Europe Award: Szepsy Winery, Tokaji, Hungary
  • The 2022 Golden Vines® Best Fine Wine Producer in the Americas Award: Ridge Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains, California, USA
  • The 2022 Golden Vines® Best Fine Wine Producer in the Rest of the World Award: Penfolds, South Australia, Australia
  • The Gucci Golden Vines® Sustainability Award: Louis Roederer, Reims, France
  • The Casa Ferreirinha Golden Vines® Innovation Award: Wine-Searcher, New Zealand
  • The VistaJet Golden Vines® World’s Best Rising Star Award: The Sadie Family Wines, Swartland, South Africa
  • The Robb Report Golden Vines® World’s Best Fine Wine Producer Award: Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Burgundy, France
  • The Macallan Golden Vines® Hall of Fame Award: István Szepsy, Tokaji, Hungary
  • The SGC Golden Vines® Honorary Award: Becky Wasserman, “the late Burgundian pioneer”, Beaune, France
  • Liquid Icons Wine & Hospitality Entrepreneur Award: Grant Ashton, Founder & CEO, 67 Pall Mall, UK

“To mark the second year of these prestigious awards, launched in September 2021 at Annabel’s Private Members Club, we decided to introduce a new award category for sustainability reflecting future-facing contributions to global fine wine and spirit craftsmanship,” Lewis Chester DipWEST, Co-Founder and CEO of Liquid Icons, the fine wine research and content production company founded by Lewis and his friend, the late, great Gérard Basset OBE MW MS.

“We are absolutely delighted to recognise such an extraordinary calibre of fine wines, their producers, protagonists and industry supporters with The 2022 Golden Vines® Awards,” comments Lewis.

943 leading fine wine professionals from 106 countries completed detailed surveys for The 2022 Gérard Basset Global Fine Wine Report, as well as voting for the winners of The Golden Vines® Awards. The Report is based on more than 135,000 data points deconstructed from over 35,000 responses received from the contributors. Those who voted included 56 Masters of Wine, 32 Master Sommeliers, 72 Advanced Sommeliers and 250 DipWSET qualification holders. Those polled in the survey averaged at least 14 years of fine wine experience. The voting poll was independently adjudicated by Deloitte LLP, in accordance with the voting rules published on Liquid Icons website. Master of Wine, Master Sommelier and Advanced Sommelier qualification holders were verified by the Institute of Masters of Wine as well as the Court of Master Sommeliers (European and American Chapters).

Each winner received a trophy in a specially-designed and produced trunk-case by Golden Vines® sponsor, Gucci. The trophy – in the shape of a giant ‘popped’ champagne cork – was produced by Amorim Cork and royal-warrant holders Grant MacDonald , with artwork from Ethopian-Italian artist RED, and the creative direction of famed artist and Golden Vines Artistic Director Shantell Martin.

During the awards ceremony hosted by Ronan and Storm Keating, at Palazzo Vecchio Salone dei Cinquecento, Florence’s historic town hall, guests were treated to a 5-course dinner cooked by 3 Michelin-star chef & winner of S. Pellegrino World’s Best Top 50 Restaurants , Chef Massimo Bottura and his team from Osteria Francescana. The paired menu included Dom Pérignon P2, Dom Pérignon Rosé, Trimbach Clos Sainte Hune, Château Cheval Blanc, Château d’Yquem en Magnum and Richard Hennessy cognac. Multi-award winning and internationally recognised artist Celeste headlined on the night supported by up-and-coming young artist Sekou Sylla, who performed on BBC Music’s introducing stage at Glastonbury this year.

As a formal handover at the end of the Closing Gala Dinner, Massimo Bottura presented a Golden Vines® Baton to Loïc Pasquet of Liber Pater, the world’s most expensive wine on release, and Akrame Benallal on behalf of Alain Ducasse and himself, who jointly will be serving the dinner alongside Liber Pater at the 2023 Golden Vines® Awards in Paris.

On Saturday 15 October, Jarret Buffington from Australia, Sandeep Ghaey from United States and Carrie Rau from Canada were officially awarded their 2022 Taylor’s Port Golden Vines® Diversity Scholarships worth £55,000 each and Jian Cio from Portugal was awarded the newly introduced Hennessy Golden Vines® Diversity Scholarship in Spirits including £55,000 and a 12-month internship programme at Hennessy Cognac and examination costs for a Level 3 WSET qualification in spirits. During this evening, held at Tepidarium Del Roster, auctioneers Zachys hosted a live auction featuring money-can’ t buy luxury experience lots.

About Liquid Icons:

Liquid Icons is a fine wine research and content production company founded by two friends to “do stuff in wine” – the late, great Gérard Basset OBE MW MS and Lewis Chester DipWSET. We create first-class original content and research about the world’s greatest fine wines and spirits. Our work encompasses motion picture, industry research, recognition and celebration of wine and spirits excellence, charitable and fundraising activities, as well as educational initiatives.


About the Gérard Basset Foundation:

Set up to honour the legacy and memory of Gérard Basset OBE MW MS by addressing the wine industry’s most pressing issues through education, training & mentorship, the Gérard Basset Foundation comprises a multidisciplinary team of industry-leading professionals as its Trustees: Nina Basset FIH, Romané Basset, Lewis Chester DipWSET, Ian Harris MBE DipWSET, and Jancis Robinson OBE MW.


About the 2022 Taylor’s Port Golden Vines® Diversity Scholarships

47 aspiring black and ethnic minority students from 18 countries wishing to undertake the Masters of Wine (MW) and Master Sommelier (MS) programmes applied for the scholarships. These scholarships cover the entirety of the scholars’ course and examination costs, as well as loss of earnings during their work placement internships. The Internship programme includes a set of diversified work experiences with some of the world’s top wine domaines including Château Cheval Blanc, Liber Pater, Château Smith Haut Lafitte, and Château d’Yquem in Bordeaux; Dom Pérignon and Ruinart in Champagne; Domaine Baron Thenard, Domaine des Lambrays and Domaine Laroche in Burgundy; Weingut Egon Müller in Germany; Symington Family Estates and Taylor’s Port in Portugal; Colgin Cellars, Lawrence Wine Estates (Heitz Wine Cellars, Stony Hill Vineyard, Ink Grade Estate & Burgess Cellars) and Opus One in California; Klein Constantia and Vilafonté in South Africa; Bodega Catena Zapata in Argentina; Lapostolle Clo s Apalta and Vina Vik in Chile; and The Macallan distillery in Scotland. The programme also includes a Masterclass with Marc Almert (the 2019 ASI Best Sommelier of the World), a 2-day specialist cork course at Amorim, work placement at Annabel’s Private Members Club & The Birley Clubs, as well as academic courses at UC Davis Department of Enology & Viticulture, the WOW Wine School (Porto), the Kedge Wine School, and the OIV.

The Judging Panel comprised: Nina Basset FIH, Rajat Parr (Sandhi Wines), Angela Scott (recipient of one of 2021’s inaugural Taylor’s Port Golden Vines® Diversity Scholarships, working towards her MW), Clement Robert MS (The Birley Clubs / Annabel’s) and , Head Judge, Jancis Robinson OBE MW. The judges will also provide ongoing mentorship to The Golden Vines Diversity Scholars during their academic journey.

About the 2022 Hennessy Golden Vines® Diversity Scholarship in Spirits Scholarships

16 applications were submitted in 2022. The applicants come from a total of 11 different countries, comprising more than 12 different nationalities and ethnicities. More than half of all applicants were women. The Hennessy Golden Vines® Diversity Scholarship is worth £55,000, and will cover not only the costs of the Scholars’ WSET in Spirits Studies, but will also enable the Scholar to partake of an intense and varied 12-month Internship and Mentorship Programme with Hennessy in Cognac.

The winner was chosen by a Judging Panel comprising: Ian Harris MBE DipWSET for the Gérard Basset Foundation, and Julien Pepin Lehalleur and Maurice Richard Hennessy.

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Jorge Oliveira

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