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Gerard Basset leads line up for Discover the Origin masterclasses around the UK

Published:  28 February, 2014

The UK on-trade is for the last time going to have the chance to literally Discover the Origin of some of the most iconic drink and food products produced in the European Union with a series of masterclasses featuring some of the trade's most well known figures including Gerard Basset MW, MS.

For the sixth and final time the part EU-funded Discover the Origin programme will give sommeliers, restaurateurs and members of the UK on-trade and catering sectors the chance to better understand the history of five products from protected European areas including the wines of Bourgogne and the wines and Ports of Douro. 

The first of a series of masterclasses that will be taking place around the country over the coming months is being held on March 4 at the Westbury Hotel between 11am and 12.30pm when wine writer Jane Parkinson will take a tutored look a the wines and Port of the Douro valley in Portugal. 

Parkinson will delve into the provenance and characteristics of three fine Douro Wines and four Ports, offering pairing suggestions for each. Delegates will also have the chance to sample the food products under the Discover the Origin programme, Parma Ham and Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese.

Basset has signed up to host two masterclasses later in the year with an assessment of Bourgogne wines and how well they match with food which will be held in London on May 21 and Manchester on May 22 between 3pm and 4.30pm. They will be co-hosted with a representative of Bourgogne and the Douro respectively.

DTO hamper

Wine critic and writer, Susy Atkins, has also signed up for the 2014 masterclasses. She will look at Bourgogne wines in Brighton on July 7 and where she will be hosting on-site sessions at 11.00am, 3.00pm and 4.30pm. This will be followed on July 8 with sessions on Port and Douro wines also in Brighton on July with on-site sessions at 11.00am, 3.00pm and 4.30pm. She will do a further session of Bourgogne wines in Exeter on September with another series of on-site sessions. 

You can register for any of the sessions by emailing

Harpers has teamed up with Discover the Origin to give away a luxury hamper worth £100, containing examples from each of the five PDO area. A winner will be picked from the delegates that register for the first masterclass taking place on March 4.

* Discover the Origin is a campaign funded by the EU, Italy, Portugal and France to raise awareness of five PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) products.