The Neal Family Scholarship was established in 2014 to assist college students pursue the study of agriculture. The annual Neal Family Cellar Depletion Dinner is held at the winery every May, and all proceeds support the St. Helena FFA Program. The scholarship is awarded to students who maintained a 3.5 GPA, completed 4 years of FFA classes, will be attending a four-year university and whom are believed will support the future of the agriculture community. The scholarship provides $2,000 annually for the students’ agriculture curriculum, and there are currently ten recipients pursuing their degrees. Originally, the funds directly supported the St. Helena Montessori School. In 2014, when Jessica, Zachary, and Demitria were all students at St. Helena High School, Mark established the Neal Family Scholarship to assist college students in their pursuit of the study of agriculture, with the recipient being announced at the annual Neal Family Cellar Depletion Dinner.
This year’s recipient is Kaylee Moura – she will be studying at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in AgBusiness.
“This scholarship has allowed me to further my studies in agriculture. With this scholarship, I will be able to follow in my family’s footsteps as I am the third generation to enter the agriculture business. Thanks to the Neal family, I now have an additional support system and extra encouragement to follow my dreams in agricultural business and pursue Environmental Science.” — Kaylee Moura
The 22nd annual Cellar Depletion event was highlighted by a live auction, and a majority of the auction items are wines that have been pulled out of Mark Neal’s personal cellar- hence the name of the event. Longtime friends of the Neals, Kathy & Bob Cueva, generously provided a stay at their home on Kauai as a special auction item, alongside the support of Will Lydgate from Lydgate Farms- a Kauai Cocoa Tree Farm. Will provided samples of chocolate along with some incredible knowledge about the industry! He also donated tours of his farm.
Wines enjoyed at this year’s Cellar Depletion Dinner:
1998 & 1999 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon
1983 Burgess Cabernet Sauvignon
1999 Dunn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2000 Joseph Phelps Insignia
Auctioned and shared:
2004 Caymus Special Select 3L
2008 Turley “Barney’s Backyard” Petite Syrah 1.5L