The increasingly popular Pigs & Pinot wine and dining event has partnered with Odyssey Wine Academy and Sunrise Rotary Club of Healdsburg to launch a scholarship program aiming at expanding wine knowledge in Sonoma County restaurants, hotels and other areas of the hospitality industry.
The selected 15 scholarship recipients will be able to take one of the two certifications fully funded offered by the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. The goal is to have the first class of graduates before the spring hospitality season.
Charlie Palmer and Daryl Groom are the founders of Pigs & Pinot, an annual Healdsburg event in March that pairs pork and Pinot.
In a statement, the prominent dining and wine leaders said they felt their mission to bring more wine education to the hospitality industry was aligned with that of Odyssey Wine Academy. They then connected with founder Julie Rothberg.
'We've seen a need and desire among restaurant and hotel employees to learn more about wine without going down the intensive path to sommelier,' Palmer said in a news release.
'Julie brings incredible passion for wine and food along with sharing our deep commitment to bring more equity of knowledge to our industry' Groom added.
Palmer, one of America's most-celebrated chefs who has built hotels and restaurants around the country, and Groom, the Australian-born winemaker who has been named Winemaker of the Year eight times, also teamed with the Healdsburg Sunrise Rotary organization to distribute scholarship funds.
Sunrise Rotary Club charter members and 2022 interim presidents Larry Orr and George Dutton said it was a 'no-brainer' when it came to partnering with Palmer, Groom and Rothberg.
Applications are available on Odyssey Wine Academy's website until Jan. 15, 2023, and applicants will be notified within that next week if they have been chosen.
Rothberg told The Press Democrat the goal is to have the class of scholarship recipients complete their certifications before the start of the spring hospitality season.
Sara Edwards is the small business and consumer reporter for The Press Democrat. You can reach her at 707-521-5487 or EMAIL. Follow her on Twitter URL.