2020 Award of Merit

The 2020 AWSEF Award of Merit was voted on by the AWSEF Board of Trustees who unanimously agreed it should go, posthumously, to Judith Anne Starkloff.  Board member, Bonnie Lance, shared a beautiful dedication to Judy at the Grand (virtual) Banquet on Saturday, November 7.  You can read it in its entirety here.

Annual Fruit Wine Award

The AWSEF awards the Best Fruit Wine in the AWS amateur wine competition the Les Sperling Fruit Wine Award each year.  We're pleased to present the 2020 award to Donnie and Betty Nettles for their 2019 Lime wine. 

By the way, Donnie and Betty's wine also won Best of Show ---best of all the amateur wines!  Congrats!!

Welcome to Holly Tillis, new Board member

The results are in from the December Board member election and we welcome Holly Tillis to the AWSEF Board of Trustees.  See more about Holly under the BOARD tab at the top of this page.

Changes to AWSEF Board

At its August Board meeting, the AWSEF Board of Trustees made a few changes in responsibilities.  Bonnie Lance, who had been our President for 7 years resigned that position to move to a Vice President position.  Bonnie's life has changed this past year with the birth of her daughter.  That, plus working all hours with a new start-up and Covid-19 nixing the option of child care, made it difficult for Bonnie to devote the amount of time she felt was necessary.  The Board unanimously elected Kristen Lindelow to move from Executive V-P and V-P Scholarships to President, with Holly Tillis taking over as V-P Scholarships.  Subsequently, Larry Jackson, Secretary, also took on the Executive V-P duties.  And we're so happy Bonnie is still on the Board!

Cain Hickey joins Penn State

Cain Hickey, Ph.D., 2015 awardee of the AWSEF scholarship funded by the North Alabama Chapter while a student at Virginia Tech, has just been named Statewide Viticulture Extension Educator at Penn State. An article about his education and work history, and his new position is posted on the WineBusiness.com website.

2021 Silent Auction in Atlantic City


After missing having a conference in 2020, we are all the more excited to see everyone in Atlantic City at the 2021 AWS annual conference.  We will also be holding our annual Silent Auction, too.

The Silent Auction is our primary fundraising activity for the year and helps us provide scholarships for much-deserving graduate students doing relevant research in wine-related fields to continue improving our fantastic North American wine industry.  And we could not do it without you.

Browsers at 2019 AWSEF Silent Auction tables in St. Petersburg, FL

American Wine Society members, sponsors, and supporting wineries donate items for our silent auction in advance of the Annual Conference.  Items may be shipped to the AWS National Office in advance of the auction or brought in person to the conference center on November 4.  Please include a completed 2021 Silent Auction Donation Form with your donations.

The auction starts first thing Friday morning, November 5 and ends late the same afternoon.  We encourage you to check out the items for bidding, write your bid on the accompanying bid sheet, and check back often to keep your bid at the top!  All winning bidders will be contacted via text message of phone call on Friday evening and should plan to stop by to pay for and retrieve their item(s).

Any questions or for more information, please contact Christine Murray at vpcorporatedev@awsef.org

Help us make this our most successful auction yet!


    Announcing the 2020 scholarship recipients




Purpose and Scholarship Services of AWSEF


The American Wine Society Educational Foundation (AWSEF) is designed to aid students entering wine-related industries by providing supplementary financial resources. It is the AWSEF's premise that there is an acute need for the professional development of qualified scientists and educators to ensure the growth of the American wine industry. Because of this, we urgently need trained professionals to undertake studies in enology, viticulture, health aspects of food and wine, and the economics of wine, wineries and vineyards.

In accordance with the above, the AWSEF annually awards academic scholarships to support full-time graduate students pursuing degrees in enology, viticulture, or health aspects of wine. Applicants must be North American citizens or permanent residents (i.e., the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, and West Indies Islands) and enrolled in a college or university orignal-research program leading to an MS or PhD degree.  Applications must be fully completed and submitted by March 31 of each calendar year to be eligible for a scholarship award beginning in the fall term of the following academic year.  Scholarship materials may be found on this site at the Application page.


The AWSEF's mission is to support educational and research activities that will advance the viticultural and enological sciences to support a world-class North American wine industry. Specifically, the AWSEF plans to achieve its mission by providing academic scholarships and research grants to graduate students based on academic excellence and genuine interest in pursuing careers in wine-related fields.

Since its inception, the AWSEF has awarded 147 scholarships worth a total of $438,500 to Masters and Ph.D. students from 22 different universities across North America.  Our mission is to support educational and research activities that will advance the viticulture and enological sciences supporting a world-class North American wine industry.


The AWSEF was conceived in 1993 from within the American Wine Society (AWS). AWSEF is related to, but operates separately from, the AWS. Members of the AWS are automatically also become members of the AWSEF.  For complete information on the AWS, please visit their web site at: www.AmericanWineSociety.org