The Washington Wine Industry Foundation (Foundation) is pleased to announce the 2018 Powers Sabbatical award to Marcus Rafanelli. Marcus is the Instructor of Applied Winemaking at Walla Walla Community College and Cellarmaster for the institution’s College Cellars.

The Powers Family Sabbatical awards up to $5,000 each year to cover travel expenses for a mid-level industry professional to travel abroad, expand their knowledge about growing or making wine, and then share their learning back here in Washington State.

For Marcus, the mission and intent of the Powers Sabbatical program resonates deeply. As an educator himself, he is a strong proponent of expanding knowledge through hands-on learning and his own personal mission is to help guide the next generation of winegrape growers and winemakers. Marcus will take this opportunity to dive deep into oak – an important aspect of high-end red wine production. His Sabbatical travels will take him to regions where oak is harvested and cooperages of France.

“I am so excited to have the chance to represent our Washington wine community abroad. Hands down, our industry is so special thanks to our collaborative nature. It’s amazing to be part of industry that supports itself and works together to make the highest quality product. The Washington wine community is strong, and we should be proud of that. I am excited to share our story, our unique geologic history and our drive to be a world class wine region,” Marcus shared upon news of receiving the award.

The Washington Wine Industry Foundation helps fund solutions for our industry’s challenges, including the need for a future workforce that is well-educated and prepared to do great work.

To learn more about the Foundation and its Scholarship Program, please visit their website: