It would stand to reason that a group of vintners focused on promoting the quality of grapes and wines produced in their appellation would be interested in investing in the education of homegrown future wine industry professionals.
Appellation St. Helena, the marketing organization for grape growers and wineries located in the St. Helena, California growing region, is doing just that, awarding a scholarship annually to a St. Helena High School graduate planning to study viticulture/enology.
In 2004, the vintners who had worked together to get the St. Helena AVA approved established a group to promote the growing region, today called Appellation St. Helena.
“We are committed to encouraging local young people to pursue careers in viticulture and enology,” said Katie Simpson, Appellation St. Helena’s President. “The wine industry, and agriculture on the whole, continue to be a vibrant part of California’s lifestyle and economy and we’re happy to support young people who are opting to get involved.”
In April, students submitted applications which were reviewed by a committee of Appellation St. Helena Board members.
The board awarded the scholarship to Kaylee Moura, a graduate of St. Helena High, who will major in Agricultural Business at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The winner was active in FFA during her four years at St. Helena High and Senior Class President. She also worked in the community at Silverado Orchards, The Station, Meadowood, Crisp Kitchen & Juice, Auberge du Soleil, and BottleRock. Moura’s scholarship is the eighth awarded by the organization.
Moura’s work with FFA included developing an agriscience project that focused on vineyard management.
“Our project evaluated the effectiveness of cover crops in vineyards which burned in the Glass Fire,” she said. “Our goal was to find the best cover crops to prevent erosion and increase water retention,” she explains.
Appellation St. Helena’s Board of Directors consists of Katie Simpson, President; Eric Risch, Vice President; Seth Goldfarb, Secretary; Mike Spiegel, CFO and at-large members Lesley Russell, Myriah Mutrux, Jack Pagendarm, George Watson, Dave Yewell, Torey Battuello, Paige Cole, Julia Jinks and Sylvia Taplin.