Scholarship Programs

Part of the mission of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine is to further the advancement of wine production and the enjoyment of wine made in the United States of America. To achieve these goals a number of scholarship programs at various institutions have been established.

University of California at Davis
In 1974, when there was only one Chapter of the KOV, cadre officer William F. Cowan, the Chief Deputy-Director of Food and Agriculture for the State of California, established a Knights of the Vine Scholarship Fund at the University of California at Davis.

The scholarship fund has provided financial assistance through awards granted to students who are pursuing studies in enology or viticulture, and who may need some encouragement and financial support.  To be eligible, the student must have completed a baccalaureate degree and be in pursuit of an advanced degree leading to a career in the wine industry or related areas.  Since the first award in 1974, our Brotherhood has provided scholarships to over 110 worthy student scholars selected by the University. 

Over the years we have heard from many of the recipients of these scholarships and have had the pleasure of meeting some of them in person.  Today many of the recipients of our scholarships are working at many well known wineries around the world and teaching at major universities.
Texas A&M Viticulture Department – College Station, Texas
The Houston Chapter has provided scholarship and research funds for many years to Texas A&M’s Viticulture Department.  Through that continued giving, the Houston Chapter has supported many students who have interned at wineries around the world.  In addition, Texas A&M created the KOV Vineyard where students study and perform research in vineyard management. The Houston Chapter was pleased to be able to gift $10,000 for the funding to install a water tank to support the vineyard, eliminating the need for the use of city water which was very high in salt, resulting in difficult circumstances and negatively impacting research. 
Steve Pessagno Memorial Scholarship - California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, California

The Monterey Peninsula Chapter created the Steve Pessagno Memorial Scholarship at California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo to honor Steve Pessagno, a member of that Chapter and owner and winemaker of Pessagno Winery.

The scholarship was awarded for the first time in Fall 2014.  The award is for $3000 per year and will be awarded to one or split between two junior or senior students in the University’s undergraduate Wine and Viticulture Department.  Located in the heart of California’s coastal wine regions, this department uniquely integrates three fundamental components of the modern wine industry, a curriculum emphasizing the inherent connectivity between wine grape growing in the vineyard, wine making in the in the winery, and wine selling in the market place.  The Monterey Chapter is proud of this partnership to support students and help develop future leaders of the industry.

The University of Houston / Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership

In 2011, the Houston Chapter expanded its philanthropic efforts by establishing the Knights of the Vine Scholarship Endowment at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership at the University of Houston. The College, recognized as one of the top hospitality programs in the world, draws students from across the globe.

The endowment was established to promote the goals of all KOV Chapters, not just the Houston Chapter. The original commitment was $25,000, the proceeds of which support a permanent scholarship endowment for students pursuing careers in culinary arts, hotel and restaurant management, and wine and spirts education. Over the years, the endowment has grown from further donations by the Houston Chapter and others and now is well over $100,000. Students from around the world apply to this program and scholarship recipients are selected by the University Scholarship Committee. As the endowment grows, the number of annual scholarships keeps increasing. KOV Chapters everywhere are encouraged to make donations to this endowment. A significant incentive is that every dollar given to the endowment is matched by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

James Sprunt Community College At Kenansville, NC Surry Community College In Dobson, NC
The North Carolina Chapter of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine (KOV) promotes the growing of grapes, production of wines in North Carolina, and the responsible, socially acceptable enjoyment of wine at dinners and social events. The scholarship program is a major mission of the NC KOV and is targeted for students studying viticulture and enology at James Sprunt Community College (JSCC) in Kenansville, NC and Surry Community College (SCC) in Dobson, NC.  Scholarship recipients must be in good academic standing and are selected by the college and approved by the NC KOV.  We encourage interested persons to make tax deductible contributions to our scholarship endowment fund.  Interested students attending either of these two community colleges may apply for these annual $500 scholarship awards.
Southern Smoke Foundation
In 2020, the Houston Chapter once again expanded its philanthropic efforts with its support of the Southern Smoke Foundation ( Southern Smoke has provided assistance to people in the food and beverage industry for a number of years. From a small beginning of raising money for a chef with medical bills to pay to the many workers in the hospitality industry who were devastated by Hurricane Harvey to an even greater number who were impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Southern Smoke has expanded its reach to individuals across the country. With our KOV organization relying greatly on the cooperation and support of our friends in the hospitality industry, the Houston Chapter chose to include this worthy organization in its giving and began with an initial donation of $4,000 and a plan to continue to support Southern Smoke in the years ahead.
For More Info Contact Us!