Grant offers support to make wine fine

A grant will fund research and college scholarships to advance the Colorado wine industry.

The Winiarski Family Foundation — an organization established by renowned California vintner Warren Winiarski and his wife, Barbara — bestowed a $150,000 grant to Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College.

The grant will be used to establish the Warren Winiarski, Gerald Invancie Institute of Viticulture and Enology to advance the Colorado wine industry through applied research.

The grant also will establish an endowed scholarship for students at the WCCC viticulture and enology program. WCCC graduated its first group of students from the program in December 2018.

Once $50,000 in additional contributions are obtained in a matching fund challenge, support will total $200,000.

“Support of a world-renown figure like Mr. Winiarski doesn’t happen every day, and I congratulation the instructors, students and graduates of our program for earning his belief in our program and community,” said CMU President Tim Foster. “The family’s financial generosity will help us significantly, but Mr. Winiarski’s reputation will help us immeasurably.”

Jenne Baldwin-Eaton, a former Grand Valley winemaker who directs the WCCC viticulture and enology program, also welcomed the grant and what the funding will do for the Colorado wine industry.

“Mr. Winiarski has set an example of what can be achieved through collaboration, clear vision, hard work and tenacity,” Baldwin-Eaton said.

Winiarski established Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. His 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon vintage won the Judgment of Paris — a victory that put Napa Valley on a global wine map. His Arcadia Vineyards is planted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot.

Winiarski was inducted into the California Hall of Fame and was awarded the Wine Enthusiast magazine Wine Star for American Wine Legend.

Winiarski also has ties to the Colorado wine industry. In 1968, Ivancie recruited him to help start Ivancie Winery in Denver.

Liz Meyer, chief executive officer of the CMU Foundation, said contributions are sought for the matching fund program. “We are going to find creative ways to reach out to all those in Western Colorado and beyond who love wine and care about its future. They can make an additional investment knowing that this institute is a tangible way to help improve the wine business in Colorado for generations of winemakers.”

To contribute to the $50,000 matching fund program for the Warren Winiarski, Gerald Ivancie Institute of Viticulture and Enology, visit the website at SupportingCMU.com/give-now or contact Rick Adleman at radleman@coloradomesa.edu.