I am so thrilled to introduce you to the most recent recipient of the Cellar Muse Equity and Diversity Scholarship, the intelligent and charming, Valerie Ross. Thank you to Upchurch Vineyard and Delille Cellars for Sponsoring Valerie's enrollment in the French Wine Scholar Fall 2020 cohort! I can't wait to follow all the places she will go with the FWS!
I’m a long way from sunny California afternoons in Madame Bettendorf’s French class. From my first pairings with Southeast Asian and Southern comfort cuisine, to selling wine in Harlem while performing off Broadway, my path has always been guided by a passion for arts, history and all things sensory. Wine is life. It connects us and more than ever one can feel they are traveling with every glass. Just two months prior to the global pandemic, I began working as a sales representative with local distributor Grape Expectations. Beginning my formal training in French wine with Tanya at Cellarmuse has been a total immersive experience, only deepening my awe of terroir. The combination of dynamic course lectures and online educational material is facilitating greater understanding and proficiency as I interface with clients in real time.
Tariffs, Pandemic, Fires, social instability and Economic Downturn- the real collective impact is still unknown.
This scholarship is an opportunity for my ongoing career development while we are all being challenged to redefine our purpose in our professional and personal lives. I am grateful for this gift in the midst of so much uncertainty. There is comfort in knowing how early viticulture practices developed, evolved and persevered through war, political unrest, plague and environmental challenges for centuries.
Once I complete the French Wine Scholar program I plan to continue my path in the wine industry as the call for equity, inclusion and diversity is creating a space for all to raise a glass and participate.