The Wine Society of Texas Announces 2021 Scholarship Grant Program
The Wine Society of Texas will provide up to $5,000 in assistance to worthy students or individuals pursuing wine and winery education, internship, field study, research work, grape growing, wine making and marketing in the state of Texas.
On Monday, March 15th the Wine Society of Texas (WST), a 501c3 non-profit educational organization announced that it will be accepting applications for its annual Scholarship Grant Program. To apply for the grant, individuals must be: (a) attending institutions in the State of Texas studying viticulture and oenology, or (b) pursuing winery internships in Texas, or (c) involved with Texas winemaking or field studies / wine education, or (d) involved in promoting the education of grape growing and wine making in the State of Texas. Grants may be given based on the quality of requests in the amount totaling up to $5,000. The scholarship program is consistent with the founding idea of WST and its continuing mission to help promote Texas winemakers and grape growers, enhance the appreciation of wines, foster the knowledge of oenology and viticulture, and support charitable activities.
According to Ms. Shirley Choate, WST President, “The year 2020 was incredibly challenging for our organization as well as other organizations and businesses, due to the pandemic. It kept us from having various events such as local WST Chapter fund raising events and various statewide wine events to raise funds for scholarships. Even with all these challenges, we are still committed to supporting talented individuals, attending Texas institutions, who will be the future of the wine and hospitality industry in Texas as the appreciation and reputation of Texas wines continues to grow both locally and nationally. The WST Scholarship program offers financial assistance for tuition, books, or for related travel expenses for individuals registered or in a program of study with a Texas university or college offering accredited courses in viticulture or oenology. Financial assistance can also be provided for winery internships in Texas or for Texas winemaker studies. We are proud to be able to support and give assistance in 2021.”
WST has awarded over $97,000 in grants for 18 years. The awards have been used for a variety of purposes - research for the Texas wine industry including Pierce’s disease, Wine Symposium and Conferences, financial assistance for students pursuing Viticulture, Horticulture, Winemaking or Hotel Management programs, wine sommelier studies, wine marketing and authors of books on the Texas Wine Industry.
The WST will be accepting applications up to June 1, 2021. All applications must be returned by this date, fully completed and with all necessary documents, to The Wine Society of Texas. Applicants are required to fill out the WST Scholarship Application, which will be reviewed by the WST Scholarship Committee. The committee may recommend a single or multiple awards depending on the quality of applications received. All decisions will be final and applying does not guarantee receiving a grant. The WST scholarship award(s) will be announced on or about July 1, 2021.
Wine Society of Texas 2021 Applicant Criteria and Requirements
- Applicant must be a student at an accredited Texas college or university in the areas of winemaking, grape growing, vineyard management, wine marketing, or any other fields of study related to the Wine Industry.
- Applicant could be employed in the Texas wine industry (winemaking, grape growing, vineyard management, marketing or in the hospitality industry (sommelier or restaurant management) in Texas while continuing their education in the Texas wine industry
- If currently enrolled in a Texas college or university, applicant must have completed one year of study and maintained a minimum 2.5 GPA.
- Applicants are required to provide certified records of previous education.
- Applicants are required to submit a letter of recommendation(s) from a professor, educator, or current employer.
- Applicants are required to complete all parts of the application to be considered.
- All finalists will be required to participate in a 15 minute interview.
2020 Scholarship Recipients
$2,500 James F. Whitley Founder’s Grant is awarded to Tiffany Brooke Farrell
Ms. Farrell is pursuing a winemaking certificate from Texas Tech University. She will also be pursuing a professional certificate in wine business from Tech. She has a Bachelor of Science in Professional Microbiology from Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Master of Science in Hydrologic Services from Boise State. She is currently winemaker/outside sales manager for Haak Winery. She serves as Director at Large for the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. She wants to continue as a passionate Texas Winemaker and be recognized as a go to professional in the field.
$2,500 Russell Kane Grant is awarded to Sarah Timmons
Ms. Timmons is currently completing her graduate degree in
Interdisciplinary Sciences, focusing on Viticulture, Wine Marketing, and
Business at Texas Tech University. She is also working to obtain her
WSET Level 1 certification. Upon graduation her personal goals are to assist
her parents and co-owners in the growth of their new High Plains, winery,
Adelphos Cellars. She will also be working to form a Wine Society of Texas
chapter in Lubbock.
Mrs. Timmons has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Horticulture from Texas Tech.
$2,500 Paul and Merill Bonarrigo Grant is awarded to Aaron W. Essary
Mr. Essary is working to complete his graduate study in Enology from Texas A&M University. His research is centered around high pH juice, must and wine. His long-range goal includes obtaining a Ph. D in Enology/Viticulture and continuing his research centered around high pH juice. Ultimately, he plans to own his own vineyard and boutique winery.
Aaron is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University with a degree in Plant Biology.
$2,500 Jim Evans Grant is awarded to Rachel Sampson
Ms. Sampson is working to obtain her Master of Science in Horticulture from Texas A&M University. After obtaining her degree her
immediate plan is to become an AgriLife Viticulture Program Specialist and provide guidance to viticulture professionals and prospective grape growers throughout Texas and neighboring states. After becoming a specialist, she plans to operate an agri-tourism farm with the objective to connect consumers to their food source and to educate emerging farmers on proper vineyard and orchard management techniques.
Rachel is a graduate from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor of
Science Degree in Agriculture.