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October 20, 2022updated Oct 21, 2022

Florence Flourishes for the 2022 Golden Vines Awards

In addition to celebrating success, the awards also raised a huge amount for the Gérard Basset Foundation.

By Toby Louch

Dubbed “The Oscars of the Wine World,” each year The Golden Vines Awards celebrates some of the greatest icons in the field of vinification. This year’s event took place in Mark Twain’s “City of Dreams,” Florence, Italy.

The three-day fine dining and entertainment extravaganza recognized the “star performers of the fine wine industry” while raising money for the Gérard Basset Foundation, with the aim of funding diversity and inclusion programs within wine, spirits and hospitality.

Featuring stellar names like Dom Pérignon, Krug, Chateau d’Yquem, Taylor’s Port, Hennessy and The Macallan, The Golden Vines Awards reads like the who’s who of oenology and distillation.

Jarrett Buffington Golden Vines
Jarrett Buffington collecting his Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship / ©Liquid Icons

Gilded age dining for a good cause

Over the celebratory weekend, attendees experienced some of the finest culinary delicacies. On October 15, guests enjoyed the Golden Vines Dress to Party Gala Dinner, which took place at Tepidarium Del Roster. The remarkable late 19th century gilded age greenhouse played home to a live auction that featured money can’t buy experiences.

Throughout the evening, three Taylor’s Port Golden Vines Diversity Scholarships worth $62,000 each were awarded to BAME/BIPOC students who are studying for the Master of Wine or Master Sommelier programs. Additionally, this year the newly introduced Hennessy Golden Vines Diversity Scholarship in Spirits was also awarded, also worth $62,000.

Inside the Art Nouveau greenhouse, guests were treated to a five-course banquet by two-Michelin-star chef Davide Oldani and one-Michelin-star chef Matteo Lorenzini from Osteria di Passignano. The food was paired with an incredible list of wines, naturally.

The evening was topped off with a stylized old-school “rock n roll” set from Alessandro Ristori and his band The Portofinos bringing a chic 1950s crescendo to the evening.

Ronan and Storm Keating Golden Vines
Ronan and Storm Keating presented the award ceremony / ©Liquid Icons

Food and wine fit for a king

On Sunday 275 guests attended the historic 15th century Palazzo Vecchio Salone dei Cinquecento “Hall of the Five Hundred” for the Golden Vines Awards Ceremony and Closing Gala Dinner. Hosts Ronan and Storm Keating led the evening as attendees dined on a five-course dinner by three-Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura.

Bottura’s three-star restaurant Osteria Francescana is regarded as one of the best restaurants in the world, residing permanently at the forefront of all gastronomic lists of excellence. Those present were in for a treat, to say the least.

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Massimo Bottura Golden Vines
Massimo Bottura greets his dinner guests / ©Liquid Icons

The food was paired with wines including Dom Pérignon P2, Dom Pérignon Rosé, Trimbach Clos Sainte Hune, Château Cheval Blanc, Château d’Yquem en Magnum and single malt double cask whisky from The Macallan.

The highlight of the evening and the weekend as a whole was the award ceremony itself which celebrated the stars of the wine and spirits world. Winners received a trophy shaped like a giant champagne cork and housed in a specially designed and produced trunk by event sponsor Gucci.

The star-studded event also featured performances from award-winning British-American singer Celeste, supported by the up-and-coming young artist Sekou Sylla.

At the end of the gala dinner, Bottura passed the Golden Vines Baton to Akrame Benallal, who alongside Alain Ducasse will serve the dinner at the 2023 Golden Vines Awards. Next year will see the awards hosted in the birthplace of modern gastronomy, Paris. 

Hall of the Five Hundred Golden Vines
The awards ceremony on Sunday was hosted in the “Hall of the Five Hundred” / ©Liquid Icons

Full list of this year’s winners

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, Beaune, France

— Liquid Icons Wine & Hospitality Entrepreneur Award: Grant Ashton, 67 Pall Mall, United Kingdom.

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