The wine and winegrape industry is under constant change with production influences, changing consumer demand and a growing base of viticulture knowledge.
Keeping up is no easy task, but what if an experienced winemaking or winegrape-growing employee could take a sabbatical to learn more? Those are hard to come by, given the competitive nature of the industry, but the Washington Wine Industry Foundation has such a program.
The 2020 Powers Sabbatical is designed to allow an employee to take a sabbatical in an established wine-producing region of the world to learn more about winegrape growing and winemaking. It’s a unique industry opportunity for one lucky employee.
Created on behalf of the Powers family, the foundation is now accepting applications for the 2020 Powers Sabbatical. The award is up to $5,000 annually to a wine industry professional for a professional break designed to further his or her knowledge and career; the sabbatical would benefit the Washington grape and wine industry. Deadline for application is April 30.
Bettering the industry
Bill Powers, for whom this program is named, had an insatiable desire to find new practices to grow better winegrapes, according to the foundation. In 1990, Powers transitioned his own enterprise to become the first certified-organic winegrape vineyard in Washington. He was later inducted into the Legends of Washington Wine at the Walter Clore Center.
To honor the late owner of Badger Mountain Winery, his family and associates created the Bill Powers Sabbatical Fund.
To be eligible for the award, recipients must be under 50 years old and must have at least five years of experience in viticulture or enology. Award funds may be used for travel, room and board, education-related expenses, and/or reporting-related expenses.
You can apply for the 2020 award and learn more about application criteria at washingtonwinefoundation.org/sabbatical. The foundation manages other scholarships and since 2002 has awarded more than $300,000 to 200-plus students in the grape and wine industry.