The Robert Alexander Scott Scholarship Fund at Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) today announced inaugural awards totaling $50,000 to support six promising students pursuing careers in winemaking, vineyard management, and enology this Fall.
The scholarship fund was established in memory of Robert Alexander (Alex) Scott. Alex was a passionate family man and a key contributor to the growth of Scott Laboratories, a leading provider to the North American wine industry. Alex’s memory and legacy are now perpetuated by helping individuals gain the education and skills necessary for advancing beyond entry-level positions in viticulture and enology.
In its first year, the scholarship fund has enabled six recipients to enroll in Winemaking, Viticulture, and Enology A.S. degree programs at Napa Valley College, Santa Rosa Junior College, and Walla Walla Community College.
One of the recipients, Clair Stover, studying Enology at Santa Rosa Junior College, expressed gratitude and anticipation for her studies: “I truly love the delicate balance between science, art, and agriculture that winemaking embodies—the physical and mental challenges as well as the opportunity for creativity.”
After many years working in the wine industry, Ms. Stover realized that her on-the-job learning could only take her so far in her career. “Completing an enology degree will qualify me for higher positions in the field,” she added.
Another recipient, Juana B. Cruz, who first joined the wine industry in 2019, is excited to continue growing in her career. “There are not a lot of women in viticulture, and I have looked up to four wonderful women that I’ve had the pleasure of learning from in my current role.”
While she attends classes at the SRJC, Juana is actively planning for the future. “I have a five-year plan—I hope to be a vineyard manager with my Associate’s Degree in viticulture. I hope I can take part in inspiring the younger generation of women to join viticulture in the future, too.”
Bruce Scott, the founder of Scott Laboratories, fondly remembers his son’s commitment to fostering career growth. “Alex always believed in nurturing talent and providing opportunities for growth. These scholarships not only honor his memory, but they embody his belief in empowering the next generation of viticulturists and winemakers.”
Napa Valley Community Foundation, a powerful engine for good in Napa Valley, partners with local donors to establish scholarship funds supporting students across diverse educational fields, including viticulture, nursing, computer science, education, and technical and trade schools. Annually, NVCF’s scholarship funds provide over $500,000 in financial support to more than 60 students.
Photo: Clair Stover smiles in front of a vineyard. Clair, a Robert Alexander Scott Scholarship recipient, is studying Enology at the Santa Rosa Junior College. Photo courtesy: Clair Stover