Dream Big Darling Announces 2024 Dreamer Exploration Summit and Dream Tour Scholarship Winners

Dream Big Darling announces the scholarship winners for its inaugural two-day professional summit and exclusive Paso Robles AVA winery site tours to take place on January 9-10, 2024. Scholarships include both days of events, a one-night hotel stay, and a $250 travel stipend, with the hotel and stipend provided by Paso-based Hope Family Wines. The professional summit on January 9 is open to the public with tickets still available at

Winners (listed below) were selected among a pool of emerging women professionals in the wine and spirits industry and represent a wide scope of professional and geographic sectors. This includes women in wine media, distribution, viticulture, sales, and design, from dozens of states throughout the U.S., as well as international markets like Mexico City.

“It was important that our recipients reflect the richness of our industry, occupying positions in all aspects of business and bringing the individual uniqueness of varied regions in the U.S. and beyond to the table,” says Amanda Wittstrom Higgins, founder of Dream Big Darling. “Dream Big Darling continues to grow its community and we’re thrilled to host participants from such a wide array of destinations.”

Though the summit and tour are in their first year, Dream Big Darling has been focused on events that foster education, mentorship, and community building since its inception in 2018. Its mission to empower emerging talent in the wine and spirits space is rooted in the honest exchange and real-life tools that programs like the Exploration Summit and Dream Tour offer.

“This event provides not only an opportunity to shape the next generation of leaders, but also the future of our entire industry,” says Maeve Pesquera, Dream Big Darling advisory board member and Senior Vice President of Strategy, DAOU Family Estate. “Our strength lies in collaboration and connection, and I congratulate each one of these remarkable women on their courage to advocate for themselves and their development.”

The Exploration Summit focusing on personal and business development will feature four in-person sessions: Telling Your Best Story, Bringing Your Dreams to Life, The 4 Ounce Pour, and Paying It Forward—led by industry notables and category experts. The day will conclude with a Sip & Mingle reception at Paso Robles Wine Merchant showcasing the wines of six women-led wineries from the Dream Big community. Exclusive tours of Paso Robles wineries for scholarship winners will take place the following day.

Dream Big Darling advisory board member, former Dream Big retreat attendee, and CEO of Shall We Wine, Regine Rousseau, comments, “Amanda and the team create events where every aspect is well curated, sending the message that I as an attendee am cared for and that Dream Big thinks I deserve the best. They are always producing at the highest level to remind us to strive for excellence, and that we deserve excellence.”

The scholarship recipients are:

Kerie Anthony
Kathryn Bosco
Jaime Brown
Chaela Ciongoli
Paige Comrie
Madi Daniel
Abigail Estrada
Erin Ghigleri
Melissa Graeff
Alexandria Hernandez
Dina Hevert
Vila Jarrell
Larissa Lawrence
Katherine Martine
Ashley McKeaney
Stacey Nardozzi
Taylor Schmidt Johnson
Julie Ticknor
Stephanie (Steph) Waters
Marin Wolgamott

To purchase tickets to the January 9 summit, please click here.
To learn more about Dream Big Darling,
For questions or media inquiries, contact Amanda Wittstrom Higgins at

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