The California Association of Winegrape Growers Foundation has awarded $31,000 in college scholarships to seven students with a parent or legal guardian employed by a California wine grape grower.

“We award the CAWG Foundation scholarships each year to honor the families of vineyard employees, who are valued members of the wine grape industry,” Davindar Mahil, chair of the CAWG Foundation board of directors, said in a news release announcing the scholarships. “Without these workers, we would not thrive, and these scholarships show our immense appreciation.”

Funded with donations from CAWG members and the California wine industry, the program has awarded $554,500 in scholarships since its inception in 1998.

The CAWG Foundation board selects scholarship recipients who have demonstrated excellence in academic achievement, extracurricular activities, public service and community involvement.

This year, three four-year $8,000 scholarships were awarded to students attending a University of California or California State University campus, three two-year $2,000 scholarships were awarded to students attending a California community college and $1,000 was awarded to one student through the Robert Miller Memorial Scholarship.

Miller was a California wine industry leader who played a large part in establishing the Central Coast as a leading wine grape growing region. His family created the scholarship to support Central Coast students who plan to pursue a career in the region’s wine grape industry and are studying viticulture or enology at either Allan Hancock College or California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

For a list of this year’s recipients, go to:

—by Jonelle Mejica