<?xml version="1.0"?>\n<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2013\/05\/00000592b-StevenSpurrier_justinetrickett_5718.jpg"><h2>Steven Spurrier DWWA 2013 Chairman<\/h2><em>Decanter<\/em>\u00e2\u0080\u0099s Consultant Editor joined the wine trade in London in 1964 and later moved to Paris where he bought a wine shop in 1971, and then opened L\u00e2\u0080\u0099Academie du Vin, France\u00e2\u0080\u0099s first private wine school in 1973. Steven staged the historic 1976 blind tasting between wines from California and France, the judgment of Paris and in the 1980s he wrote several wine books and created the Christie\u00e2\u0080\u0099s Wine Course with then senior wine director Michael Broadbent, a veteran <em>Decanter<\/em> columnist. In 1988 Steven returned to the UK to focus on writing and consultancy, with his clients including Singapore Airlines. He has won several awards, including Le Personalit\u00c3\u00a9 de l\u00e2\u0080\u0099Ann\u00c3\u00a9e (oenology) 1988 for services to French wine and the Maestro Award in honour of California wine legend Andr\u00c3\u00a9 Tchelistcheff (2011) and is president of the Circle of Wine Writers as well as founding the Wine Society of India. Steven is currently hoping to make his own wine, Bride Valley Brut from his vines in Dorset.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2013\/05\/0000058a9-GerardBassetMSMW_justinetrickett_5200.jpg"><h2>Gerard Basset MS MW DWWA 2013 Guest Vice-Chair<\/h2>Gerard Basset MS MW qualified as a chef and sommelier in his native France before moving to England in the mid-1980s where he embarked on a career as a sommelier. He has been named Best Sommelier in the UK several times, as well as Best International Sommelier for French Wines in 1992 and Best Sommelier of Europe in 1996; in April 2010 Gerard realised his long-held dream of becoming the Best Sommelier in the World and was also awarded the Catey Special Award. In 2010 and 2011 the IWC and then Harpers made him Personality of the Year. 2011 also saw Gerard named Industry Legend by <em>Imbibe Magazine<\/em> and receive an OBE awarded by The Princess Royal at Windsor Castle. Gerard is the only person in the world to be simultaneously a Master Sommelier, Master of Wine and hold a Wine MBA. Gerard also has an obvious flair for business; in 1994, he co-founded the Hotel du Vin which was sold in 2004 after having successfully opened six additional hotels. In 2007, with his wife Nina, he opened Hotel TerraVina in the New Forest.