Alliance of Women in Washington Wine creates $5,000 scholarship

By on January 26, 2022
Miriah Falce, enologist for Cairdeas Winery in Manson, Wash., helped launch the social media program last year for the Alliance of Women in Washington Wine. She received a science degree at the University of New Mexico prior to graduating from Yakima Valley College’s acclaimed winery technology program in 2020. (Photo courtesy of the Alliance of Women in Washington Wine)

Last year, women won six of the seven scholarships awarded by the Washington Wine Industry Foundation.

This year, the Alliance of Women in Washington Wine has launched its inaugural scholarship, and it totals $5,000. It will be awarded to a female student pursuing a program linked to either viticulture or enology, and the scholarship also will be facilitated by the Washington Wine Industry Foundation.

“Coming together as a group, elevating each other, and helping mentor young women into the industry are what we are all about, and this scholarship is one way of delivering on the mission,” said Kristin Scheelar, associate winemaker for E. & J. Gallo’s Columbia Winery and a board member of the Alliance of Women in Washington Wine.

Funds for the scholarship were raised in March 2021 during Women’s History Month via partnerships with more than a dozen wineries, wine merchants and social media organizations.

The deadline for women to apply is Monday, April 25, and criteria includes maintaining a 3.0 GPA at a university, community college or technical school in the Evergreen State, as well as residency in Washington state for at least the past two years.

Vicky Scharlau, executive director of the Washington Wine Industry Foundation, added, “Scholarships open more doors for students into the Washington wine industry. Those students are our future and the more we can invest, the more will be returned. With the vision of a thriving wine industry, scholarships like this one help build a powerful cohort of the future.”

There are a number of scholarships that the Washington Wine Industry Foundation will be working to award this year, and the values range from $1,000 to $10,000. They include the Walter J. Clore Scholarship, Horse Heaven Hills Scholarship, George and Susan Carter Scholarship, Albert Don Memorial Scholarship and the Foundation Fund Scholarship.

Since 2002, the WWIF has presented more $350,000 in scholarship funding to more than 220 students. A year ago, six of the seven scholarships were awarded to women with ties to Washington State University.

A key fundraising event for those scholarships is the Washington Wine Industry Foundation Party & Auction, which is Feb. 9, 2022 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick. It is part of WineVit — the Washington Winegrowers Association’s annual meeting that’s Feb. 7-10.

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the President and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for a decade. He is a frequent wine judge at international wine competitions throughout North America and orchestrates 10 Northwest competitions each year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.