Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan (PRWEB) August 26, 2014
The Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association (LPVA) awarded its first-ever recipients of the Bruce Simpson Winemaker Scholarship. The scholarships were presented on Tuesday, August 19. Four recipients will each receive $1,000 for the 2014/2015 school year. The recipients are Kurtis Berry, Dawn Stemo, Alexis Bogdanova-Hanna and Ashley Nitz.
The financial assistance benefits Michigan students interested in pursuing careers as winemakers and vineyardists in northern Michigan. The recipients were selected by the LPVA Scholarship Committee chaired by Jay Briggs, winemaker of Forty-five North Vineyard & Winery.
“The education and field work provided through the viticulture program is vital training for the skills needed in the industry,” states Briggs. “We are thrilled to assist students in fulfilling their passions.”
The LPVA developed the scholarship program 2013. Funding for the scholarship is provided by a donation of $5 per ticket from the LPVA’s Spring Sip & Savor wine trail event. The event takes place the first weekend in May along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail and typically attracts 1,000 participants, raising roughly $5,000 per year. The LPVA plans to grow the scholarship in the future with additional revenue sources.
The scholarship is named in honor of the late Bruce Simpson, former winemaker and owner of Good Harbor Vineyards of Lake Leelanau. Since Simpson opened his winery in the 1980s as one of the original four wineries, the region has grown tremendously now boasting 25 wineries on the small peninsula. Today, Good Harbor Vineyards is operated by Simpson’s wife, Debbie, and children, Sam and Taylor.
"We are excited for the first presentation of the Bruce Simpson Winemakers Scholarship,” shares Taylor Simpson. “Education was always a top priority for both my father and grandfather. My father would have been delighted to see the growth and success of the LPVA and its further support for the viticulture and enology programs through scholarships to students who want to advance their careers in the Michigan wine industry."
For more information about the scholarship program, visit http://www.lpwines.com/scholarship.