Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Jump Start Their Winemakers Scholarship

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More than $4,000 raised toward scholarship fund during successful wine trail event

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The wine business in Northern Michigan has grown incredibly in recent years. It’s vital to the future of our industry that we help train well-qualified people to do the jobs that all this growth creates.

The 25 wineries of the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail raised just over $4,000 toward their new Leelanau Winemaker Scholarship Program during the Spring Sip & Savor wine tour held May 4 and 5. The event, which was a huge success with more than 1,000 attendees, donated a portion of revenues to the scholarship fund. The annual event, one of the Peninsula’s four signature wine trail events, will continue to be the main source of funding for the scholarship.

The scholarship was recently initiated by the vintners of Leelanau Peninsula and will provide financial assistance to regional students interested in pursuing careers as winemakers and vineyardists. An educational path to earn certificates or associate degrees in viticulture or enology will be provided through a strategic partnership with the Viticulture Enology Science and Technology Alliance(VESTA).

"The education and training that students receive from VESTA is invaluable in the wine industry,” states Michelle Norgren, National Center Director of VESTA. “The Leelanau Peninsula Scholarship is a great initiative by the vintners to ensure that the region's viticulture talent continues to thrive.”

John Crampton, owner of Willow Vineyards and a Leelanau winemaker for over 20 years agrees, “The wine business in Northern Michigan has grown incredibly in recent years. It’s vital to the future of our industry that we help train well-qualified people to do the jobs that all this growth creates.”

VESTA provides students access to online coursework and hands-on field experiences with area vineyards and wineries, and is a collaboration between educational, government and industry institutions across the nation. The Leelanau vintners will continue to work closely with VESTA to create regional opportunities for students. Students interested in applying for the scholarship should watch for upcoming information at lpwines.com.

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The Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association (LPVA) is a nonprofit collaboration of regional winemakers founded in 1998. The LPVA consists of 25 winery members located in the Leelanau Peninsula AVA. The Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail is the state’s oldest and largest. The purpose of the association is to promote regional wines and wine destinations of its member wineries. Learn more at http://www.lpwines.com.

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Andy McFarlane
Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail
231.421.1172
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