August 17th – St. Helena, Napa Valley — For the eighth year, Appellation St. Helena (the marketing organization for grape growers and wineries located in the St. Helena growing region) has awarded a scholarship to a St. Helena High School graduate planning to study viticulture/enology at college.
In April, students submitted applications which were then reviewed by a committee of Appellation St. Helena Board members, who look for students that best represent the mission of the scholarship.
Appellation St. Helena awarded the scholarship to Kaylee Moura. It was presented to her by Ms. Sarah Herdell, the St. Helena High School Viticulture teacher, at the graduation ceremonies on June 10, 2022. “We are committed to encouraging local young people to pursue careers in viticulture and enology,” said Katie Simpson, Appellation St. Helena’s President. “The wine industry, and agriculture on the whole, continue to be a vibrant part of California’s lifestyle and economy and we’re happy to support young people who are opting to get involved!” she added.
In December, students submit an application and then the applications are reviewed by a committee of Appellation St. Helena members, who look for students who best represent the mission of the scholarship.
Appellation St. Helena awarded the scholarship to Kaylee Moura. It was presented to her by Ms. Sarah Herdell, the St. Helena High School Viticulture teacher, at the graduation ceremonies on June 10, 2022.
Kaylee was active in FFA during her four years at St. Helena High, including raising and selling turkeys. She was Senior Class President, was Vice President of the Interact Club, a member of the Health & Wellness Club, Clothing Sustainability Club and she participated in the MFE Leadership Conference in 2020.
Kaylee was the captain of the Lady Saints soccer team, was voted Most Inspirational Player by her teammates and coaches and was selected for the All -Conference team all four years of varsity soccer. She worked in the community at Silverado Orchards, The Station, Meadowood, Crisp Kitchen & Juice, Auberge du Soleil, and BottleRock. “Being part of FFA helped me realize that I learn better with hands on activities,” she said. She developed an agriscience project which placed fourth in the nation in 2021. “Our project evaluated the effectiveness of cover crops in vineyards which burned in the Glass Fire. Our goal was to find the best cover crops to prevent erosion and increase water retention,” she explains. This fall Kaylee is starting at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, majoring in Agricultural Business.
St. Helena has the distinction of being the birthplace of Napa Valley’s commercial wine industry with Dr. Crane’s cellar founded in 1859, David Fulton’s in 1860 and Charles Krug’s in 1861. The St. Helena American Viticultural Area, or appellation, was officially approved in 1995, its boundaries defined by Zinfandel Lane to the south, Bale Lane to the north, the intersection of Howell Mountain and Conn Valley Road to the east, and the 400 foot elevation line of the Mayacamas Mountain range to the west.
In 2004, the vintners who had worked together to get the AVA approved established a group to promote the growing region, today called Appellation St. Helena. The group focuses on promoting the quality of grapes grown and wines produced in the St. Helena AVA and every year organizes a Wine Tasting & Food Pairing Competition, BASH. In 2023 BASH will take place on April 1 at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. More info: https://appellationsthelena.com/events
Appellation St. Helena is comprised of roughly 12,000 acres, of which approximately 6,800 are planted to grapes, more than any other AVA in the Napa Valley. More than 400 different vineyards are located within the appellation. The boundaries form an hourglass shape, and the middle section represents the narrowest width in the Napa Valley, where the Mayacamas and Vaca Mountain ranges nearly meet. The AVA is a mosaic of alluvial fans and 21 different soil types. The soils here are created from centuries of erosion of run-off from mountain hillsides and the Napa River and its ancient tributaries.
Grape growing in the St. Helena appellation dates back to the Mexican land grants in the 1840s when General Vallejo gave Edward Bale a wedding gift of property. Bale and his bride promptly planted vineyard on their property. By 1880, over 100 people were making wine in St. Helena. While many types of grapes excel in St. Helena, the most frequently cultivated are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Appellation St. Helena’s Board of Directors consists of Katie Simpson, President; Eric Risch, Vice President; Seth Goldfarb, Secretary; Mike Spiegel, CFO and at-large members Lesley Russell, Myriah Mutrux, Jack Pagendarm, George Watson, Dave Yewell, Torey Battuello, Paige Cole, Julia Jinks and Sylvia Taplin.