We wanted to share some big news today out of the Willamette Valley. Grace and Ken Evenstad, owners of Domaine Serene, one of Oregon’s top producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, have worked together in creating a new undergraduate wine studies program at Linfield College. The program will be known as the Grace and Ken Evenstad Center for Wine Education. This is the largest wine education gift in Oregon history, a total of 6 million dollars. The wine studies program at Linfield College will be unlike anything in the United States. As a well-rounded major degree, the wine studies degree focuses on winemaking, management, accounting, as well as the Evenstad Wine Laboratory. In crafting this program Grace and Ken Evenstad worked with Gregory Jones, PhD, who will serve as the director of wine education, alongside Linfield College President, Tom Hellie.
Ryan Harris, Domaine Serene president, explained the importance of education at Domaine Serene and serving the Willamette Valley. Said Harris, “One of the bing things that inspires us is to create a sustainable industry for the future. Ken, Grace and I were impressed with the unique program given that it is multidisciplinary.” The generous gift of 6 million dollars by the Evenstads backs this program, as Harris mentioned “The Evenstads always have been extremely generous and are focused on children’s charities as well. The idea is that you want kids and young adults to do well not only for themselves but also for the community. In total Ken and Grace have given about 20 million to charities —they have been both giving to others all of their lives.” The Evenstads found this to be the perfect opportunity to help young adults that are learning early in their careers so they can cement their foundation for the future. Said Grace Evenstad “This gift will enable thousands of future students to follow their passions in the wine business. It will prepare them for success and will enable the American wine industry to benefit for generations, even centuries, to come.” This is truly some very exciting news for wine education in America. Hope you all are enjoying a fantastic Thursday.