The Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation has donated $100,000 to the Roots Fund, a non-profit organization devoted to securing a pathway for members of Black, indigenous and Latinx communities into the wine business. In fall 2020, 17 scholarships were awarded within the group's "Rooted in Education" and "Stay Rooted in Education" programs, sponsored by Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation.
For 40 years, the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation has provided grants and scholarships to a variety of wine-related and culinary programs. To date, more than $20 million has been raised, made possible by the generosity of vintners around the world, who donate the wine for Wine Spectator's Wine Experience Grand Tastings and seminars, as well as the thousands of wine lovers who attend the event each year.
The Roots Fund was created to empower underrepresented minorities in the wine industry by providing support through educational scholarships, mentorship and job placement. The "Rooted in Education" scholarship focuses on wine certification courses, while the "Stay Rooted in Education" scholarship focuses on college tuition support for winemakers and those in the wine business. Founders include sommelier Tahiirah Habibi, chef Ikimi Dubose and Heitz Cellar president and CEO Carlton McCoy Jr.