Grace and Ken Evenstad, owners of Domaine Serene in Oregon and Château de la Cree in Santenay, have donated US$6 million to a local college in Oregon with the express aim of attracting world-class wine research and teaching talent to the state.
US$6 million donation to wine college programme
The endowment, to Linfield College, will fund a faculty position for professor Greg Jones, a world-leading climatologist, who is currently director of wine education at the college.
It will also fund the design and construction of a wine laboratory within a new science centre, the extension of the existing wine studies programmes at both undergraduate and masters level, and help set up an exchange programme with the University of Dijon in Burgundy, with additional funds coming from the Bourgogne Franche-Comté region.
Alix Meyer, associate professor in American studies at the University of Burgundy and coordinator of the Linfield exchange programme, told Decanter.com, ‘This partnership between the University of Burgundy and Linfield is a natural outgrowth of decades of transatlantic exchanges between Oregonian and Burgundian winemakers and scholars.
‘Wine professionals, students and faculty from both universities will benefit from this symbiotic partnership.’
Linfield, with campuses in McMinnville and Portland, already offers the first interdisciplinary liberal arts undergraduate degree in wine studies in the United States, but the new Evenstad Centre for Wine Education will significantly expand its offer, with building work expected to begin in 2019.
Matthew Thompson, marketing manager at Domaine Serene, said, ‘We hope this endowment will attract some of the brightest minds to the Oregon wine industry.
‘Right now US wine education centres around Sonoma State and UC Davis, we are hopefully that we can move the epicentre up a little.’