Michigan Wine Collaborative Announces Scholarship Winners

Three students receive funding to continue their wine education

After months of planning, raising money, and reviewing applications, the Michigan Wine Collaborative’s Inclusion and Expansion Committee has chosen its inaugural scholarship recipients.

Three students — Antoniues Gregory, Carmen Davis, and Misha Byrd — have received scholarships totaling $3,000 to help fund their wine education.

Gregory received $1,500 to continue his participation with the Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance, or VESTA. Byrd and Davis are both participants in the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, a nonprofit that awards wine- and spirits-related certifications. They each received $750.

Awarding these scholarships, earmarked for students of color pursuing wine-related studies, is one way the Collaborative is working to make the Michigan wine industry more inclusive.

“When I first started my journey to become a winemaker, … there weren’t too many [people of color] that I knew or could look up research on that were in the Michigan wine industry that held the title I’d aspired to achieve,” Gregory says via email. “As I’ve become more connected through the [Collaborative], I’ve realized that there is a community out there that looks like me and has a passion for wine just like I do.

“All in all, with the help of the [Inclusion and Expansion] Committee, I want to be someone future generations can look up to and have an experience and blueprint for them to use to mold their own wine journey.”

A significant chunk of the scholarship funding was raised through sales of The Dream, a semisweet white wine blend produced by Chateau Chantal and sold in stores across Michigan.

Following the success of The Dream, the Collaborative has already planned the release of The Dream 2.0. This new wine will be a Charmat-method sparkling Riesling, and the Collaborative will be working with a few different wineries on its production: St. Julian Winery, Left Foot Charley, Lake Michigan Vintners, and Drew Ryan Wines. Additionally, the Collaborative will also be producing 25 cases of a sparkling rosé made in the méthode Champenoise to be auctioned off.

The next round of scholarships will be awarded on Dec. 8. To make a donation to the scholarship fund, visit mwc.wildapricot.org/donate.

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