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Wine bottles from the Grape to Glass Gala

Annual scholarship fundraiser returns

This May Yakima Valley College’s Vineyard and Winery Technology Program welcomed the return of its annual fundraising extravaganza, raising $11,000 to support scholarships for future professionals in the industry.

The Grape to Glass Gala—A Winemaker’s Dinner included dinner, beer and wine tasting, live music and a silent auction with all proceeds benefitting YVC student scholarships.

Student Lorenzo Sanchez said the support provided by this annual event is essential to helping students like him complete their degrees and succeed in Washington’s wine industry. He noted the scholarship money has helped eased the financial burden on him and his family.

“I am honored to be a recipient of the vineyard and technology scholarship,” Sanchez said. “I will make sure I use that money wisely to continue to help my childhood dream of graduating college.”

Funds raised from the Grape to Glass Gala are disbursed annually in December, for use in the winter and spring quarters.

“The Grape to Glass Gala is a unique opportunity to raise scholarship funds for the next generation of students, as well as showcase current students and alumni.”

—  Agriculture Department Chair Trent Ball

“Student wines made as part of the Vineyard & Winery Technology program are paired with a dinner, and alumni also display their professional handiwork,” said Ball. “It is a celebration of current and past student success, and an occasion to support future students.”

Being able to award these funds during a time when fewer scholarships are available is critical for YVC’s students according to Ball.

“The awarding of funds at this time happens when there are very few scholarship opportunities, so this provides a bridge for students at a time of need,” said Ball.

This year’s dinner was prepared by Bon Vinos Bistro & Bakery. The event highlighted the “Rising Stars” in the local wine industry and included pairing dinner with wines from YVC’s Yakima Valley Vintners but also featured beers and wines produced by alumni of the program. In collaboration with YV-Tech Culinary Arts Program, students assisted the caterer with dinner service.

Yakima Valley Vintners produces 400-700 cases of wine annually and its student-crafted wines have garnered more than 185 awards over the last 13 vintages, most recently won five awards at the Seattle Wine Awards ranging in gold and double gold medals.