Scholarships + Sabbatical

Cultivating Talent

We’re looking for future industry experts. Bring your unique perspective and passion to our field, and we may be able to help by providing funding.


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Scholarships Introduction

Applications are now being accepted for awards applied to the 2018-19 academic year. Scholarships are available to students pursuing certificates, undergraduate degrees, or post-graduate degrees in viticulture, enology, or related disciplines. Applications must be received in our office by Saturday, March 31, 2018.


Foundation Fund Scholarship

The Foundation Fund was endowed in June 2013 by the Board of Directors. Several family funds, including the Charles Lill, Michael Manz, Glenn Coogan and John Farmer funds, plus the Industry Need and Rainy Day Funds, were combined to create the initial endowment. With this larger endowed fund, WWIF can make a bigger impact on the industry’s need for an educated workforce. Individual gifts and dedicated auction revenues continue to grow the endowment. The number of awards is determined annually, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

Walter J. Clore Scholarship

The Walter J. Clore Scholarship was established in 1997 by the Washington Winegrowers Association in honor of Dr. Clore’s grape research. Working with growers, Dr. Clore and his colleagues published information on grape varieties, diseases, insects, mineral nutrition, irrigation, cover crops, weed control and climatological effects, including winter injury.  He tested various trellis designs, which eventually led to the widespread adoption of mechanical harvesting.  Each year, Winegrowers members raise the funds for this scholarship at their annual convention.  The number of awards is determined annually and scholarships range from $500-$2,500.

Horse Heaven Hills Scholarship

The Horse Heaven Hills Wine Growers offer up to two $2,000 scholarships for students who are residents of Benton, Klickitat or Yakima counties and interested in the study of viticulture and/or enology. Preference will be given to students with a parent employed in the Washington wine industry. The scholarship was established by members of the group who are dedicated to promoting education of the grape growing and wine producing industry in Washington.

 George and Susan Carter Scholarship

The George & Susan Carter Scholarship was established in 2017 as an endowed fund in honor of WSU researcher and winemaker George Carter and his wife, Susan.  George Carter worked side by side with Dr. Walter Clore and the two were close friends. As part of his day-to-day activities, Carter developed a system for classifying American, European and hybrid grape varietals. In recognition of his wine making accomplishments, Carter was elevated to a Supreme Knight in the International Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine. This scholarship was established to assist students of limited means to attain associates, bachelors and graduate level degrees in viticulture and enology and will offer one (1) $1,000 auto-renewing scholarship per year.


See how Carina Ocampo, Zach Cartwright, and Allison Baker have used their WWIF Scholarships to pursue their V&E interests.

Read scholarship success stories


We’ve gathered a list of other scholarships related to this industry.

See other industry scholarships


Austin Morrell

Clore Scholarship, the Horse Heaven Hills Scholarship, and the Foundation Fund Scholarship

Austin will be starting his junior year at WSU this fall with a focus in Viticulture and Enology. He has extensive experience in both the vineyard and the cellar including driving tractor and spraying weeds out in the field, working the bottling line at Barnard Griffin Winery, conducting research with Dr. Markus Keller, and making wine with his dad at Lonesome Spring Ranch. This summer he will serve as a viticulture intern for Hogue Cellars.

Arunabha Mitra

Clore Scholarship

Arunabha is a PhD candidate in Plant Pathology at WSU. After completing his Master’s degree at the University of Hyderabad, India, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in research. Believing viruses are one of the most intriguing microorganisms, his research focuses on grapevine viruses with an emphasis on Grapevine Leafroll Disease, one of the most economically important groups of viruses affecting wine grape cultivars.

Curtis Merrick

Foundation Fund Scholarship

Curtis is pursuing a Master’s degree in Food Science at WSU. His research focuses on the strains of Lactobacillus plantarum native to Washington state vineyards and how their activities affect the quality of wine when intentionally added to promote malolactic fermentation. He hopes to offer new options to winemakers when choosing bacterial strains for this kind of fermentation.

Margaret McCoy

Foundation Fund Scholarship

Margaret is a PhD candidate in Horticulture at WSU. Her research focuses on vineyard management, identifying equipment and fungicide programs to control powdery mildew. She is passionate about agriculture, soil, sprayer technologies, and improving viticulture practices in Washington.

Vincent Hewitt

Foundation Fund Scholarship

Vincent graduated from Walla Walla Community College this spring and will start at WSU this fall in the Viticulture and Enology program. Previously on track to become a chemical engineer, Vincent discovered winemaking and his passion for math and chemistry came alive under this new focus. He looks forward to taking what he learns about vineyard management and winemaking to his family’s newly established winery and vineyard.

Devyani Gupta

Clore Scholarship, the Foundation Fund Scholarship, and the Carter Scholarship

Devyani will graduate from Walla Walla Community College in the spring of 2018 with an Associates of Applied Science in Viticulture and Enology. She holds a BA from Whitman College in Psychology and hopes to draw on her community outreach and research background as she advances in the wine industry. She looks forward to vineyard and harvest internships this summer and fall with Seven Hills Vineyard and Figgins Family Wine Estates.

Emma Gunderson

Foundation Fund Scholarship

Emma is enrolled at Big Bend Community College pursuing an Agricultural Transfer Degree. This summer she will volunteer at Cave B Winery to learn more about the industry and she hopes to eventually own a winery.

Rachel Ensign

Foundation Fund Scholarship

Rachel will be a sophomore in WSU’s Viticulture and Enology program this fall. She plans to focus her studies in wine business management and hopes to use her degree to increase the quality and visibility of Washington wines and enhance their standing in the world market.

Katherine East

Foundation Fund Scholarship

Katherine is a PhD candidate in Horticulture at WSU. Her primary area of interest is the interaction of plant and other organisms and her graduate research focuses on root-knot nematode in Washington vineyards with a focus on applied research and finding practical solutions to management questions.

Lacey Desserault

Clore Scholarship, the Horse Heaven Hills Scholarship, and the Foundation Fund Scholarship.

Lacey will begin her studies this fall pursuing Agriculture and Food Science at WSU. Lacey hopes to use her degree to be an advocate for agriculture and help farmers and winemakers alike be informed and prepared.

Zachary Cartwright

Foundation Fund Scholarship

Zachary is a PhD candidate in Food Science at WSU with a focus in Wine Microbiology. Zachary is researching solutions to decrease the viability of Brettanomyces bruxellenses, a spoilage yeast affecting red wine production. Outside the lab, he works as a disc jockey and yoga teacher.

Robert Beezer

Foundation Fund Scholarship

Robert is pursuing a Master’s degree in Food Science at WSU where he is researching the production of indole during fermentation in pear juice. Indole is an organic compound causing off-odors commonly encountered in wines that have gone through atypical aging. Robert’s passion for wine started during his time working at the K&M Wines tasting room. As a biochemistry and molecular cell biology major, he loves applying his education to understanding enology topics.

Bill Powers Sabbatical

In honor of Bill Powers, his family and associates developed the Bill Powers Sabbatical Fund to enable a degreed professional currently employed in the Washington State grape or wine industry to undertake a sabbatical in an established wine-producing region of the world to learn about an aspect of wine grape growing and/or winemaking that will further their professional career and benefit the Washington grape and wine industry.


The sabbatical awards up to $5,000 to one individual currently working in the Washington state grape or wine industry with five years of experience in viticulture or enology. Funds may be used for travel, room and board, and other education-related expenses.


Your career in the wine industry starts and grows here.

WWIF offers a variety of scholarships appropriate for every stage of life.

Download scholarship application


Download sabbatical application  

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