DOBSON — Seminars and workshops at next month’s Southeastern United Grape & Wine Symposium will provide expert guidance on the full process of producing and selling high-quality wine, with some of the East Coast’s most distinguished researchers on hand to share their knowledge.
The symposium, scheduled for April 13 and 14, will feature leading researchers in wine and grape science along with experienced winery owners and industry consultants. They will share their expertise with attendees from across the Southeastern U.S. at the Shelton-Badgett North Carolina Center for Viticulture and Enology on the campus of Surry Community College.
The symposium will serve wine industry professionals from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida. Attendees can register online at http://ncviticulturecenter.com/vesta/. The cost of registration is $100 before April 1, with a $150 fee for late registration.
Registration for the conference covers both days of featured seminars and hands-on breakout sessions. It also covers wine tasting and food pairing sessions featuring wines from all eight southeastern states. Lunch and parking are included.
Each of the symposium’s featured sessions will take place in the Grand Hall of the Shelton-Badgett North Carolina Center for Viticulture and Enology and will focus on a different aspect of the grape and wine production. Breakout sessions will give attendees hands-on opportunities to learn about winemaking and grape growing using the college’s lab or campus vineyard. Veteran researchers will lead each session. Topics will include yeast management, wine microbiology, southern soils, grassroots winemaking, grape and wine varieties for warm climates, wine analysis and wine quality.
During the first featured session, Dr. Peter Cousins of the USDA’s Grape Genetics Research Unit will share information about the essentials of selecting and planting rootstocks. Cousins leads a research program focused on the breeding, introduction, and evaluation of rootstocks for viticulture with an emphasis on pest and disease resistance.
Barbara Shinn, co-owner and founder of Shinn Estate Vineyards in New York, will lead the symposium’s second featured session. Shinn will share her experience in operating a vineyard using sustainable and organic growing practices. She has significant experience in sustainable farming, having assisted in developing the standards for the Long Island Sustainable Wine Growing Program, the first third-party certified program of its kind on the east coast.
In the third featured session, Dr. Ian Taplin will discuss his research on the emergence of the wine industry in North Carolina and how it compares to other regions across the world. A professor of sociology, management, and international studies at Wake Forest University, Taplin has published a manuscript on the entrepreneurial activity of the state’s wine industry and the economic factors behind the industry’s recent growth.
The fourth featured session will provide attendees with an international perspective on the wine industry courtesy of Dr. Thierry Lorey, a professor of marketing at Pau Business School in France. Lorey will speak live from France about his recent research on the generational gap among the wine-drinking population, offering suggestions on how to market and promote wines to different age groups.
Scheduled throughout the conference will be opportunities for attendees to network with industry professionals and view showcases by exhibitors. Each attendee will experience the “taste of the south” during a grand wine tasting event held at sunset on the first day of the symposium. The event will feature wines from all eight states in the southeast region, each paired with local breads, cheeses, chocolates and fruits.
The symposium is sponsored by the Viticulture Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA), a partnership of 17 colleges and universities from across the nation focused on delivering groundbreaking distance education opportunities for the grape and wine industry. The symposium will advance the mission of VESTA by identifying educational needs for the southeast region and promoting online courses and degree programs offered through the national alliance.
For more detailed information on the conference schedule and sessions, visit http://ncviticulturecenter.com/vesta/ or contact symposium organizer David Bower at email@example.com.