Bruce Simpson Winemakers Scholarship

dsc_0623-by-hath-resized-620x415The Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association (LPVA) awards annual scholarships to students interested in pursuing a certificate or associate’s degree in viticulture and/or enology via the MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology or Viticulture Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA).

The number of awards vary from year to year.Typically, there are four $1,000 scholarships available.

All scholarship recommendations made by the Scholarship Committee are subject to final approval by the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association (LPVA) Scholarship Committee. The LPVA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, nationality, religion, gender, or physical/mental disabilities.

Previous applicants and recipients are eligible to reapply each year in open competition with new applicants. The LPVA reserves the right not to award scholarships in any given year.

Application Deadline:
All completed forms, letters and transcripts must be received by the LPVA Scholarship Committee by February 15 to apply for an award for the following scholastic year.

All of the following requirements must be met:
Applicants must be residents of Michigan.
Applicants must be interested in pursuing a career in enology or viticulture in Michigan.
Applicants must be enrolled in the MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology Viticulture Certificate Program or one of VESTA’s four programs:

  1. Viticulture Certificate
  2. Enology Certificate
  3. Associate of Applied Science in Viticulture
  4. Associate of Applied Science in Enology

Applicants must have completed a minimum of one semester and a practicum (such as part of Vin 105 or Vin 111)

Applicants must have a C or better grade in their MSU coursework and the VESTA curriculum.

In Michigan, these programs are available through Northwestern Michigan College and Lake Michigan College.

Completed application packets must be received by February 15.

Awarded Scholarship:
Formal recognition of the scholarship recipients is made at our Media Reception in April, Michigan Wine Month. Attendance of recipients is encouraged, but not required.

Enrollment must be in one of the four programs offered by VESTA or the MSU Viticulture Certificate Program. Students will receive semester stipends after submitting verification of registration and fees paid for the upcoming semester to the LPVA office. Or, arrangements can be made for the LPVA to pay the school directly.

All practicums during awarded scholarship period must be completed in the Traverse City wine region.

How to Apply:
Download the Scholarship Application or contact the LPVA office to have an application sent to you. After downloading or receiving the packet, return the completed application along with the items listed below before the February 15 deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Here is what should be included in the packet:

  • The complete student application – Scholarship Application
  • The completed student questionnaire – Scholarship Questionnaire
  • A written statement of intent as it relates to a future career in the wine or grape industry. Identify your interests in the industry or in related research. Elaborate on how you became interested in and what efforts you have made to become familiar with the industry and/or research. Please limit this statement to one page.
  • Copies of official transcripts of ALL college or university courses you have completed to date. Student access versions are not acceptable.
  • Two original letters of recommendation, one of which shall be from the practicum site from someone you worked with, written for this application period and directed to the LPVA Scholarship Committee. At least one letter should be from someone within the wine and grape industry, if feasible. These two letters of recommendation must be submitted by the student with the application packet. Each must be in a sealed, return envelope with the writer’s signature across the sealed envelope flap or, alternatively, emailed directly from the person who signed and wrote the letter to

Direct Inquiries To:
LPVA Scholarship Committee
10783 East Cherry Bend Road, Studio 1
Traverse City, Michigan 49684

You may also email us at with any questions.