Welcome to the 6th annual Southeastern United Grape and Wine symposium.

Symposium Schedule

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

  • 7:00 AM

    Breakfast and Introduction

    Dr. David Shockley | President, Surry Community College

  • 8:30 AM

    Blending Motivation with Wine Pricing and Quality

    Jie Li | Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University

    Dr. Jie Li was named the inaugural winner of the Bob Kalik scholarship from the Wine Market Council in recognition of her research on wine marketing. Li will share insight from her research, which focuses on the dynamics of the wine industry in non-traditional wine regions and issues in wine marketing and consumer behaviors. In her presentation, Li will discuss the results of her work surveying 103 winery owners in non-traditional wine regions in the U.S., such as Michigan and Missouri, in an attempt to understand how owners’ motivation to enter the wine industry affects pricing and quality decisions.

  • 9:30 AM

    Keynote – The Art and Experience of Blending

    Sponsored by Franciscan Estate Winery

    Marla Carroll | Winemaker, Franciscan Estate

    Join Marla as she takes you on a tour of building a bottle of "Magnificat" - Franciscan's signature red blend. With a strong understanding of nature and the science behind winemaking, Marla respects and appreciates the biological intricacies that go into each bottle. However, it is her passion for food and flavors that shape her approach to crafting wine at Franciscan Estate, paying close attention to the character and expression of each lot to create wines with complexity and nuance.

  • 10:30 AM

    Vendor Break

  • 11:00 AM

    VESTA Apprenticeship Program

    Bill Alter | VESTA

    This breakout session focuses on how VESTA’s Registered Apprenticeship program helps fill the needs of employers to assist their existing and new employees in becoming valuable contributors to a company’s growth through on-the-job training and related technical instruction in a cost-effective, time-efficient manner.

    East Meets West

    Mark Hoffman | Small Fruits Extension Specialist/Assistant Professor, NC State University

    This talk will introduce Mark Hoffman, NCSU Small Fruits Specialist, to the NC Wine and Grape Industry. Mark will discuss his experiences in the industry and his plans to blend west coast knowledge with east coast grape production. Mark will lead a conversation on best practices and potential research topics that will be most meaningful to southeastern winegrape growers.

    Crafting the Perfect Label

    Teresa Brown | Account Executive, Wright Global Graphics

    Teresa will offer tips on identifying your brand personality and demographic – who you are and who will buy your wine. Using bottle and label images, she will illustrate the importance of shelf appeal – blending in or standing out. With over 35 years in the graphics industry, Teresa will explain the anatomy of good design, and the elements that make your labels shine. She will share the latest label trends for both new and well-established wineries.

  • 12:00 PM


  • 1:00 PM

    Blending Around the World for Style and Consistency

    Michael Jones | Fermentation Specialist, Scott Laboratories

    This breakout session looks at the history and art of blending – insights that can be gained from traditional methods and reasons for blending from an artistic perspective. Michael will discuss blending around the world and different wine regions’ reasons for blending. Additionally, Michael will cover blending ideas to increase wine complexity and to maintain their consistency.

    Spray Blends and WPS Changes

    Brad Boyd & Travis Snodgrass | Pesticide Inspectors, North Carolina Department of Agriculture (NCDA)

    Selecting the correct blend of pesticides to spray is one of the most challenging task a vintner faces. This talk will explore noval pesticides and adjuvants useful during tank mixing and considerations for properly mixing a spray tank. The talk will also review new changes to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS).

  • 2:15 PM

    Vendor Break

  • 2:45 PM

    How and Why to Blend

    Eglantine Chaffour | Technical Marketing Supervisor, Enartis

    This breakout session focuses on the technical aspect of blending to reach a certain style as well as offering tips for things to keep in mind when blending wines together. Also covered will be hacks for blending to remove a wine fault or flaw.

    Growing Your Blend

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

    If wines are made in the vineyard then the vineyard is where a blend is born. We will discuss topics ranging from rootstock, variety and clone selection for blending to using the best vineyard practice to achieve desire fruit characteristics in a blended wine. Leaf removal effect on wine sensory impact compounds and potential implications for blending will also be discussed.

  • 4:00 PM

    Attendee Networking and Sampling

  • 5:00 PM

    Grand Wine Tasting

    5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

    As a part of the Symposium, the Grand Wine Tasting will highlight wines of the Southeast complemented by heavy hors d'oeuvres and musical guests, Melva Houston and band. 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.