PULLMAN, Wash. — Buy a case of wine to help WSU students and maybe check one (or more) names off your holiday gift list this year.
Now through December, Chateau Ste. Michelle will donate $3 per wine case sold, up to $50,000, to help fund scholarships, research, faculty, and equipment for WSU’s Viticulture & Enology program.
The 14th annual “Raise a Glass, Fund a Scholarship” program supports Northwest universities with grape-growing and winemaking degrees.
Kyler Magnus studies Viticulture & Enology at the WSU Tri-Cities campus. WSU’s V&E program has given him the groundwork to succeed in the wine industry.
“Through the Raise a Glass scholarship, I was able to spend a summer working with Dr. Piao in the WSU Wine Science Center and experiment on various bacteria strains,” Magnus said. “This provided me with insight into the microbiological side of winemaking and gave me hands on experience with wine analysis tools. I am so thankful for Chateau Ste. Michelle and their commitment to giving back to Washington State University through this fundraiser.”
WSU launched the V&E program in 2002. The partnership with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, which started in 2008, has brought the program over $550,000 to date.
“These funds provide huge support for our students in many ways,” said Thomas Henick-Kling, director of the V&E program. “They support students in their general studies, in their research internships and on field trips, and allow students opportunities to participate in industry and scientific meetings.”
The Washington wine industry is the second largest premium wine producer in the country, with over 750 wineries and more than 350 wine grape growers statewide.
“Local Viticulture and Enology programs are critical to help the Washington wine industry continue to thrive and produce world-class wine for decades to come. The Raise a Glass program is even more meaningful this year, as we want to help support our local restaurants who are still recovering from the challenges of COVID-19,” said Juan Munoz-Oca, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Chief Winemaker.
Bernadette Gagnier, a Ph.D. student in the V&E program, said the scholarships received from fundraisers like Raise a Glass have improved her mental health by helping her worry less about how to pay for graduate school.
“Fundraisers like this, that support scholarships for students, show that the industry cares about the personal wellbeing of students. It allows us to focus on the research that will benefit the Washington wine community,” she said.
To learn more about WSU’s Viticulture & Enology program, visit the V&E website.
— WSU CAHNRS