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Michelle (Malati) Rossington - Equity & Diversity Scholarship Recipient for Spanish Wine Scholar

The beginning of my wine journey started at a very early age culturally. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and grew up in Richmond, London. I was very fortunate to come from a family that was first generation from countries such as Spain, Basque Country, Italy, and Germany, which by default connected my early memories of wine through love, food, laughter, and always family. Having the opportunity to travel so much with my family opened my eyes at an early age to the amount of hard work and love that wine requires to be produced, but one thing that always stayed in my heart throughout my life was the family unity that reigned over all of it. My family always taught me a strong connection to our Mother Earth, and they're still very passionate about their love, kindness, appreciation, and respect for the land and the people that provide to the world the beautiful hard work and years of wine history they have been kind to grant to so many of us by placing all that magic in one bottle of wine. Just beautiful!

My personal wine journey started after a 17 year career in the music industry, which started as an event booker and ended as an A&R representative for a major label, and also after 25 years in the food world as an Executive and Pastry Chef. I decided to give it all up and embrace my own personal wine journey, not knowing at the time what direction this might take me. After 17 years, I moved back to Seattle from Portland, Oregon, and enrolled at the NW Wine Academy, in which I was most fortunate to have Tanya Morning Darling as my teacher. From the first class I took with her, all of my family wine love and values were right there in her teachings. I knew I was at the right place at the right time the moment I met her, and since that first day up until now, two years later, I have never stopped educating myself through the magical lens she provides for so many of us to be able to understand the wine world through history and so much love for the culture and the people. The success of her students has been an incredibly heartwarming experience to receive from Tanya and I mean every single word as a woman of color. Educators like her make the wine world so much better, and I’m very proud to be part of it through her teachings. As a result, my connection with wine has only become stronger each and every time I advance my studies with her.

I have been incredibly fortunate and I’m beyond thankful that I have become the recipient of this scholarship, and I’m very fortunate I’m currently enrolled in the Spanish Wine Scholar because of it. I have taken the French Wine Scholar Journey with Tanya Morning Darling as well, which not only gave me the opportunity to work at a French Wines Tasting Room, but also gave me the love and passion to pursue and focus my studies into the world of Heroic Viticulture. I’m not sure in what magical and auspicious form this will exactly develop into, but I do know the journey of wine should always be based on love and respect for the land and the growers, and also guided by an outstandingly knowledgeable and loving educator. I'm lucky that I have both.


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