Owner of Terravina, currently the only person in the world to hold the combined titles of Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, Wine MBA and World's Best Sommelier
Gerard Francis Claude Basset OBE, MS, MW, MBA, is the owner with his wife, Nina, of Hotel Terravina, a New Forest Hotel near Southampton in Hampshire, United Kingdom. According to a December 2008 interview with The Independent, he is currently the only person in the world to hold the combined titles of Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, Wine MBA and World's Best Sommelier.
Basset attended the Lycée Albert Camus in Firminy, France. After training in Lyon, he moved to England to start his career as a sommelier, quickly becoming Head Sommelier at Chewton Glen, the Michelin-starred hotel in Hampshire. In 1989 he qualified as a Master Sommelier and in 1998 as a Master of Wine. In 1992, he also won Best International Sommelier for French Wines (Paris). He has subsequently been ranked in 2nd place in the World's Best Sommelier Competition on three occasions, until he won the title upon his sixth attempt in 2010.
In 1994 Basset co-founded Hotel du Vin with partner Robin Hutson, by opening their first hotel in Winchester. The chain grew to six hotels before selling to MWB Group in October 2004.
Basset published his first book in 2000 that focused on wine tasting designed for wine students called The Wine Experience edited by Kyle Cathie. In 2007, Basset opened Hotel TerraVina in the New Forest near Southampton with his wife Nina. Basset serves as the Worldwide Vice President at the Court of Master Sommeliers and is Director of the Academy of Food and Wine Service.
Basset was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to the hospitality industry, and selected as the Decanter 2013 Man of the Year.