PORTLAND, Ore. -- Linfield College has been around longer than the wine country that surrounds it, in McMinnville. And now the school will be getting into wine industry education in a much bigger way, thanks to a $6 million dollar gift from the founders of Domaine Serene winery.
Linfield already offers a wine studies minor. But the gift, in the form of an endowment, will allow the school to create a standalone major and build a new wine lab on campus.
Soon the college will teach everything from aspects of growing grapes to the making, bottling and selling of wine. The all-encompassing program will be the only one of its kind in the country, according to Ryan Harris, president of Domaine Serene.
“We’re one of those interesting businesses where we grow the product, we make the product, we distribute it ourselves, and really you have to understand the angles of it to be successful,” said Harris. "And really there's no other program out there that does what Linfield is doing."
Grace and Ken Evenstad founded Domaine Serene in 1989, and have had great success.
They said they are pleased to share their success to benefit the wine business they love, and those who want to be a part to it.
"I feel very grateful for all the blessings I've had in my life, and it's wonderful to be able to help," said Grace Everstad. “And I think having people educated, and then staying in the community and helping our industry, will be just a wonderful thing.”