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Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation Donates $10 Million To Napa Valley College

September 15, 2021

The Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation is donating $10 million to expand and update the teaching facilities of Napa Valley College (NVC) and its Viticulture, Wine and Technology (VWT) program. Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator, announced the donation this morning, as part of the Scholarship Foundation’s efforts to help educate the next generation of American winemakers and grapegrowers.

“If there was ever an educational institution poised for significant contributions to the growth of the California wine industry, this is it,” said Shanken. “It is our hope that the door for learning opens wider for young adults from all walks of life, providing a path for future leaders in the wine industry.”

Napa Valley College’s VWT is one of the largest wine technology college programs in the country, serving more than 800 students annually, most of whom already work full-time in the wine industry. The campus sits adjacent to the Napa River, just south of downtown Napa, and includes a five-acre vineyard and commercial winery.

The VWT looks at the wine industry from three different angles: agriculture, food science, and marketing and hospitality. Two-year associate degrees are offered, as well as certificate programs in particular specialties.

The Wine Spectator Wine Education Complex will consist of three buildings on the south end of the NVC campus. The school will construct a brand-new sensory classroom. And two existing buildings will be upgraded, including a modern instructional wine laboratory and a wine sales training facility, which will include a tasting room for hospitality instruction.

“This is a great, big, wonderful gift,” said Dr. Ron Kraft, president of NVC. He added that initially the school planned to update the facilities in three stages. “But with this generous gift, we’ll be able to move forward all at once.”

Over the past four decades, the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation has provided grants and scholarships to a variety of wine-related and culinary programs. To date, more than $30 million has been raised, thanks in great part to the generosity of vintners around the world, who donate the wine for Wine Spectator’s Wine Experience, as well as the thousands of wine lovers who attend. Wine Spectator has more on the donation and the future of wine education at NVC.

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