New scholarship aims to create more diversity within the wine industry

February 8, 2021
Man holding glass of wine

By Nate Galvan |

One of the foremost non-profit organizations for increasing awareness of diversity in the wine industry has partnered with Sonoma State University to create a scholarship for underrepresented students pursuing a career in the wine industry.

The Association of African American Vintners (AAAV) Wine Business Scholarship serves to build diversity in the wine industry and bring awareness to present-day Black winemakers while providing financial assistance to a student who demonstrates professional goals in the industry. The scholarship award is for $5,000 to help with the student’s tuition.

“The Association of African American Vintners is excited to partner with Sonoma State University and their Wine Business Institute with this scholarship to support the next generation of wine business students who want to have a career in the wine industry,” said Louis Garcia, vice president, and treasurer of AAAV.

Founded in 2002, the AAAV aims to foster a spirit of cooperation among all growers, wineries, and industry groups. The scholarship aligns with their mission to grow diversity among professionals working in the wine industry.

"We appreciate the support of our students by the Association of African American Vintners,” said Ray Johnson, executive director of the Wine Business Institute. “We aim to create a pipeline of diverse talent that will fill the executive ranks of the wine industry."

Students interested in applying must be a junior or senior, or graduate student pursuing a B.S. or MBA degree in Business Administration with a wine business concentration with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Students must also be a member of an underrepresented minority and participate in one of the Black Student Success Initiatives at Sonoma State, such as the Black Student Union or the Male Success Initiative.

The application period for the scholarship closes on Sunday, February 28. For more information about the AAAV Wine Business Scholarship, visit the Scholarship Opportunities page. To apply, students must fill out the application. To learn more about AAAV, visit

ABOUT US: Sonoma State is a public university committed to educational access and excellence, with a long-standing tradition of promoting intellectual and personal growth, leadership opportunities, and technological proficiency. We are driven by a commitment to the liberal arts and sciences and guided by core values of sustainability, inclusivity, and integrity. Situated among the rolling hills of Sonoma County, SSU is a living example of Northern California’s diverse natural beauty. We provide high-quality education through innovative programs that leverage the area's economic, cultural, and natural resources. Learn more at the SSU Newsroom.

Media Contact

Julia Gonzalez