Scholarships set students on course for vintage careers

Thanks to a donation from Casella Family Brands, four University of Adelaide students are pursuing their dreams of careers in the wine industry.

Edith Parsons-Lucas, Benjamin Jones and Lucas Allen have been awarded undergraduate scholarships worth $15,000 each to support them in the first year of their studies, and Lukas Papagiannis will benefit from an honours scholarship worth $5,000.

This is the first year the scholarships have been awarded. A total of $180,000 over three years will support new students.

“Thanks to the generous support of Casella Family Brands, aspiring grape growers and winemakers from outside Adelaide, or those who would not otherwise be able to afford the cost of studying and living in Adelaide, will be able to pursue their passion,” says Vladimir Jiranek, professor of oenology at The University of Adelaide’s Waite campus.

Lukas Papagiannis will use his scholarship to support himself while focusing on the final year of his studies.

“What sparked my interest in winemaking was a love for chemistry and a need for a mobile career path not limited to one corner of the globe,” says Mr. Papagiannis.

Edith Parsons-Lucas, has worked in the industry for four years but unlike many of her colleagues, she can now undertake formal studies.

“I am now realising my dream of studying wine-making. I am concerned about the long-term effects of climate change on the wine industry and I want to play a part in ensuring its future,” says Ms. Parsons-Lucas.

Benjamin Jones moved from Victoria as he feels Adelaide is the best place to learn his craft.

“I was attracted to studying at the University of Adelaide as it has the best facilities and reputation. This scholarship has certainly helped me achieve my goals of studying with the best,” says Mr Jones.

Lucas Allen fell in love with the world of wine while working overseas in the hospitality and retail industry.

“All the lecturers have been very welcoming. They make us feel that if we believe in ourselves and do the hard yards, we can succeed in our dreams whatever they may be,” he says.

“There are intensive overseas study tours as part of my course that I can now take that I could not otherwise have afforded without this scholarship. I hope that one day I can shake Mr Casella’s hand over a glass of red and tell him personally how much this has made a difference to my university life,” says Mr Allen.

“Casella Family Brands has always championed excellence in grape growing and winemaking ever since the 1950s,” says John Casella, managing director of Casella Family Brands, Australia’s largest family-owned winery and makers of world-renowned wines which include yellow tail.

“These scholarships will encourage students to excel in their studies and plant the seeds for the future of young grape growers and winemakers.”

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