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O’Neill Vintners & Distillers with Charles Woodson Announce New College Scholarship Series to Support BIPOC Wine Industry Students with Two Top California Universities

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Larkspur, CA; October 27, 2020 – O’Neill Vintners & Distillers with Charles Woodson are pleased to announce the Charles Woodson & O’Neill Family Wine Scholarship, a new series of college scholarships with California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo and Sonoma State University. The scholarships aim to recruit and retain high-achieving Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) interested in pursuing a career in the wine industry. The scholarships will be available to students accepted at the respective Universities for the upcoming Fall 2021 semester.  

BIPOC students applying to the undergraduate programs in Wine and Viticulture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo or Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State are encouraged to apply for these scholarships. The application portal for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo will close December 4, 2020 and the Sonoma State University application portal will close December 15, 2020. Prospective students may refer to the links below for more information on the application process. While these scholarships will offer two students the opportunity to complete a 4-year degree, the goal is to encourage additional donors and wine industry support to create funds for full or partial scholarships to offer more BIPOC students entree to the wine industry.

“I cannot think of a better way to support the next generation of young BIPOC wine professionals than with scholarships at the top universities in the heart of America’s wine country. I look forward to getting to know future recipients of the Charles Woodson & O’Neill Family Wine Scholarships,” comments Charles Woodson, former NFL player and partner of Charles Woodson’s Intercept Wines with O’Neill. 

The scholarship, in partnership with two California universities, will cover 100% of the tuition and room and board to support recipients over their entire college career. The ongoing scholarships will fund one student at each university at a time. O’Neill Vintners & Distillers will provide internships and mentors to offer hands-on learning opportunities for scholarship recipients to enhance their college experience in the wine industry.

“I hope this initial scholarship gift will inspire other members of the wine community to support our top universities in reaching the BIPOC community,” comments Jeff O’Neill, CEO of O’Neill Vintners & Distillers. “In both my personal and professional life, I have made community service a priority – and what better way to support the wine community than to create a nurturing environment for the next generation. I am so excited to partner with Charles Woodson yet again and welcome the scholarship recipients into our O’Neill Vintners & Distillers family.” 

Contribute to and find more information on the Cal Poly Scholarship 

 Prospective students interested in attending Cal Poly, learn more here

Contribute to and find more information on the Sonoma State University Scholarship 

Prospective students interested in attending SSU, learn more here 

About O’Neill Vintners & Distillers

O’Neill Vintners & Distillers was founded in 2004 by industry veteran and entrepreneur Jeff O’Neill. The vertically integrated winery has grown to become the seventh largest winery in California with a reputation for producing high quality wines from the North Coast, Central Coast and Central Valley. Through its extensive vineyards and modern production facilities, O’Neill provides premium winemaking services to the industry as well as its growing portfolio of national brands. The company’s national brands portfolio includes Charles Woodson’s Intercept, Line 39, Robert Hall Winery, Harken Chardonnay, Exitus, Day Owl Rose, and Allegro Cellars. For more information, please visit www.ONeillWine.com.

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