American Vineyard Foundation awards scholarships to viticulture, enology students

The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) and the André Tchelistcheff & Dr. Richard Peterson Scholarship Committee has awarded two University of California, Davis students, Alexander Chassy and Annegret Rust, with scholarships to help support their current research and educational goals.

“For our committee members, who included Dr. Richard Peterson, Dorothy Tchelistcheff, Robert Steinhauer and Scott Deitrick, awarding scholarships to these two commendable students was an easy decision to make,” said Hal Huffsmith, the AVF’s Board Chairman.

Alexander Chassy, a doctoral student under the guidance of U.C. Davis professor Dr. Andrew Waterhouse, was rewarded with the André Tchelistcheff Scholarship for his focus of study: “Allocation of Building Blocks for Phenolic Compounds.”

According to Waterhouse, Chassy’s study will add greatly to the fundamental knowledge of grape and wine flavor substances. There is truly no information available on the flux of these important flavonoid substances in grapes, and that such fundamental knowledge is a key to any future efforts to improve the levels of flavonoids in grapes.

Annegret Rust, originally from Germany, will receive the Dr. Richard Peterson Scholarship to aid in her pursuit of a master’s degree in viticulture and enology.

According to Dr. Waterhouse, her advisor, “Rust is eager to learn more about viticulture and enology techniques, methodology and expertise to become part of the wine industry.”

Prior to coming to U.C. Davis, Rust obtained a master’s degree in food science in 2005 at the Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel, Germany, and decided to direct her further studies towards the wine industry after working at Louis M. Martini and Whitehaven (New Zealand) wineries.

The André Tchelistcheff scholarship was created in 1988 by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) using proceeds from their annual Monterey Wine Festival “Big Bottle” Wine Auction.

In 2005, the NRA created the Dr. Richard Peterson Scholarship for Viticulture and Enology to further meet the needs of students pursuing studies in viticulture and enology in the University of California system. While the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation continues to handle the investments and disbursements for the scholarship, the AVF is responsible for the management of the scholarship program.

Established in 1978 to raise funds for research in viticulture and enology, the AVF is a wine-industry sponsored non-profit organization funded by growers and vintners. Since its founding, the AVF has funded over $18 million in wine- and grape-related research.

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