Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association Announces Bruce Simpson Winemakers Scholarship

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Four $1,000 scholarships available to students interested in pursuing careers in Michigan as winemakers and vineyardists.

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The wine business in Northern Michigan has grown incredibly in recent years, shares John Cramptons. “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 are offering four $1,000 scholarships for the 2014/2015 school year. The scholarship was initiated by the vintners of Leelanau Peninsula and will provide financial assistance to regional students interested in pursuing careers as winemakers and vineyardists.

The scholarship is named in honor of the late Bruce Simpson, winemaker and owner of Good Harbor Vineyards of Lake Leelanau. Simpson was one of the original winemakers on the peninsula. Simpson’s wife, Debbie, and children, Sam and Taylor, have taken over reigns of the winery. Since Simpson opened his winery in the 1980s, the region has grown tremendously.

“The wine business in Northern Michigan has grown incredibly in recent years,” shares John Cramptons, owner of Willow Vineyards. “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.”

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). 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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Matt Gregory, President

Lorri Hathaway, Director
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