Welcome to the 7th annual Southeastern United Grape and Wine symposium.

Symposium Schedule

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

  • 8:00 AM

    Breakfast and Introduction

    Dr. David Shockley | President, Surry Community College

  • 8:30 AM

    Building a Quality Wine Program

    Keynote Speaker: Laurie Macdonald | Executive Director, VQA, Ontario, Canada

    In Ontario, Canada, the Vintner’s Quality Alliance Program has in-part shaped the way the world looks at producing quality wine. Laurie Macdonald has been the executive director of the VQA program since 2000 when the voluntary VQA standards were transitioned into a regulated system. During our keynote session, she will discuss the history of the VQA system, the challenges of the first decade, and key success factors. She will discuss how the industry uses the VQA as a consumer brand to support consumer confidence and run its collective marketing programs. A portion of the talk will contain a Q/A session and hands-on experience.

  • 10:30 AM

    Vendor Break

  • 11:00 AM

    Viticulture: Honing in on Vine Mangement: Timing Vineyard Tasks with grapevine phenology will advance your vineyard

    Fritz Westover | Westover Vineyard Advising, Texas

    Proper timing of vineyard management tasks can greatly improve the quality of your fruit, the amount of labor employed, and your bottom line. Attend this talk to learn more about the timing of vineyard tasks, and how targeting practices at specific phenological stages can promote fruit quality, vine balance, and improve labor efficiency.

    Enology: Building a Quality Mouthfeel in Red Wines

    Matt Ridge | Technical Winemaker, Laffort USA, California

    Mouthfeel and structure in red wines is an often hard-to-describe quality that encompasses the perceptions of ‘sweetness’ on the tip of the tongue, ‘roundness’ on the palate, and the overall perception of ‘fullness’ in the mouth, as well as the counteracting influence of acid and tannin on the overall balance.  There is a multitude of different parameters in winemaking that influence this, including but not limited to, tannins, polysaccharides, glycerol, alcohol, mannoproteins, peptides, acidity, and residual sugar.  Join Matt Ridge to explore the many ways that we as winemakers can influence winemaking decisions to build on mouthfeel.  Multiple harvest tools will be discussed, as well as a practical trial and tasting involving various ‘finishing’ tannins and yeast polysaccharides, both of which can improve mouthfeel right up until bottling.

    Business and Marketing: Understanding the Importance of Quality In Wine Canning

    Roger Kissling | Iron Heart Canning

    Wine in cans is a growing market trend. Learn how mobile canning can be the solution for you to take advantage of this trend and learn about many important technical aspects of quality mobile canning.

  • 12:15 PM

    NC Wine Lunch

  • 1:15 PM

    Enology: pH: The most important measurement in winemaking

    Tom Payette | Winemaking Consultant, Virginia

    An understanding of pH and the correlating viticultural and enological factors that surround the concept are essential to producing quality wines. From microbial stability, color stability, negative perceptions with taste and mouthfeel, and overall aging potential issues – pH plays a major role throughout the life of the wine. Join us while we discuss the concept of pH and ways to manage it throughout the winemaking process.

    Viticulture: Fruit zone leaves: to remove or not to remove?

    Cain Hickey | Assistant Professor - Viticulture, The University of Georgia, Georgia

    Fruit zone leaf removal is a management tool used to manage crop yield, fruit composition, and rot in vineyards. Despite convincing evidence that fruit zone leaf removal is a sound practice, it is not ubiquitously implemented. It is possible that fruit zone leaf removal is not widely implemented due to fear that fruit exposure is detrimental to fruit quality and conducive to sunburn, or because it is labor intensive. The "when?" and "how much?" questions remain with regards to the optimal stage to remove leaves and the optimal number of leaves to remove. The results of several leaf removal experiments conducted in both red and white winegrape cultivars grown in southeastern US vineyards will be reviewed and discussed during this presentation.

    Business and Marketing: Increasing the quality of your customer service

    Elizabeth Slater | In-Short, Direct Marketing, California

    Connecting with the people who visit your winery is a three-step process taking them from Guests to Customers to Converts.

    This session provides innovative information for hospitality staff, managers and winery owners on how to easily create connections that can last a lifetime.  Learn to connect through easy to implement and genuine approaches that will make your guests, customers, and converts comfortable.

  • 2:30 PM

    Vendor Break

  • 3:00 PM

    Viticulture: Trunk and Virus Diseases in Grapes

    Mark Hoffman | North Carolina State University, North Carolina

    Trunk and virus diseases in grapes occur internationally, can spread in vineyards and can lead to yield loss, quality loss and vine loss. Therefore, growers and researchers are concerned about potential negative long-term effects on local and global grape and wine production. Trunk and virus disease have very different causes, require different management strategies and research efforts. Identification and management are only part of long-term solutions. Many questions remain regarding the biology and management of these diseases. But, it also puts a spotlight on the potential research and optimization needs of the grape nursery industry as a whole. In this talk, we elaborate on what we know and don't know about the biology, identification, impacts, and management of trunk and virus diseases with examples from North Carolina vineyards.

    Enology: Tasting Potential Varieties for the Mid-Atlantic

    Joe Fiola | University of Maryland, Maryland

    The wine is made in the vineyard but at every step from bud-break to bottle there are things you can do to positively influence wine quality. This session will focus on an in-depth look at recent sour rot research, and the assessment of sour rot in conjunction with varieties currently being evaluated at the University of Maryland. You will have an opportunity to sample some of these varietals including: Gruner Veltliner, Garmaret/Garanoir, Souzao, Teroldego, and others and be able to discuss various enological characteristics of these wines.

    Business and Marketing: Making the sale through an enhanced understanding of customer service

    Elizabeth Slater | In-Short, Direct Marketing, California

    Most guests want to buy. All we have to do as salespeople is give them the reasons to do what they actually want to do.  The “Art of Selling” session focuses on practical approaches that encourage guests to buy and to return for more.  Pick up new ideas and practices that increase sales, help you reach your goals and create converts to your brand.

  • 4:15 PM

    Networking Session

  • 5:00 PM

    Grand Wine Tasting

    5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

    The Grand Wine Tasting is open to the public for a non-conference rate of $25. The entire conference registration is $120 and includes the Grand Wine Tasting. Participants can register for the entire Symposium - or - only the Grand Wine Tasting.