When wine is stored in oak barrels some of the alcohol seeps through the grain of the oak staves and evaporates over time. The evaporating alcohol has come to be known as the “Angel Share,” alluding to the belief that guardian angels watch over, and perhaps share, the wine as it ages.

“Angel Share” is how the state’s wineries and grape growers give back for the benefit of industry scholarships, education, outreach, and research.

This year, the 13th annual Angel Share Auction raised nearly $120,000 for industry good works through the Washington Wine Industry Foundation with $42,500 donated specifically for the Foundation’s scholarship fund. The highest bidder of the night was Judith Fong giving to the scholarship fund.

Over 450 industry leaders attended the Feb. 6 event held at the Three River Convention Center in Kennewick.  Led by auctioneer Jeff Randall from Stokes Auction Group, “Angel Share” featured over 100 lots with unique items including a thousand-yard challenge for four to spend a day on the Mercer Canyons Ranch firing range with a US Marine Corps former sniper and a seven day cruise for two.

The next day, students receiving industry scholarships were honored at a special Awards Lunch sponsored by the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers. Nearly $12,000 was given out in scholarships in 2013 for students in undergraduate and graduate programs in the wine industry. Scholarship recipients were: Allison Baker from WSU, Clore Scholarship; Adam Bright from WSU, Clore and Preston Scholarships; Bhanu Priya Donda from WSU, Clore Scholarship; Kenneth McMahon from WSU, Clore Scholarship; Jensena Newhouse from YVCC, Horse Heaven Hills Wine Growers Scholarship; and Taylor Oswald from WSU, Clore Scholarship.

Lyle Dowsett from UC Davis (Clore Scholarship) and Braden Mortensen from YVCC (Horse Heaven Hills Wine Growers Scholarship) were unable to attend.

The Washington Wine Industry Foundation focuses on meeting the needs of the grape and wine industry including leadership, scholarships, education and research. The Foundation builds partnerships to accomplish priorities as identified by the industry.


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