DOBSON — Internationally renowned experts in viticulture and enology will be featured during the second annual Southeastern United Grape and Wine Symposium to be held Nov. 6-7 at the Shelton-Badgett North Carolina Center for Viticulture & Enology on the campus of Surry Community College.
“This event will be a wonderful educational opportunity consisting of lectures and workshops to help wine makers and grape growers increase their knowledge base,” said David Bower, SCC enology instructor. “Our symposium, educational program and our partnership with VESTA (Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance) focuses its efforts on a technical education and training experience for those interested in the fields of Viticulture and Enology. Our symposium specifically targets the entire Southeastern United States with hopes of bringing regionally specific technical topics to light for those in our area.”
The symposium is being coordinated by SCC and sponsored by VESTA along with media partner, Wines & Vines magazine, the North American wine industry’s oldest and largest publication and industry directory, which merged with Practical Winery Vineyard, the publisher of technical journals. VESTA is a partnership of 19 colleges and universities nationwide that deliver groundbreaking distance educational opportunities for the grape and wine industry.
The event will include a Tour of NC Wines Lunch on Nov. 6, featuring 10 wines of the North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley along with a Lunch-n-Learn about food and wine pairing on Nov. 7.
The Grand Wine Tasting on Wednesday night at 5:30 will highlight wines of the Southeast complemented by light hors d’oeuvres and is open to the public for a non-conference rate of $20. To register for symposium or to see a detailed schedule, go to www.surry.edu. The registration cost prior to Oct. 12 is $75 and $100 after deadline.
The two-day symposium will feature a variety of wine experts including:
• Peter Bell, who is a winemaker at Fox Run Vineyards in New York’s Finger Lakes. He will discuss “Maximizing Quality in Aromatic Whites.” Fox Run Vineyards was named one of the top 100 wineries in the world in 2008 by Wines and Spirits magazine, the first winery in the eastern U.S. to receive the honor.
• Sabrina Lueck, of Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla, Wash., who will present “White Winemaking Critical Points” and a second topic, “The Design and Potential Economic Impact of a Strong College Wine Program” along with SCC enology instructor David Bower. Walla Walla Community College was the first college in the nation to offer an associate in applied arts and sciences degree in viticulture and enology and served as a basis for SCC’s Viticulture and Enology program.
In 2012, Bower was hired as SCC’s winemaker and enology instructor, overseeing the creation and distribution of student-produced wine at SCC’s Shelton-Badgett NC Center of Viticulture and Enology, which is labeled Surry Cellars. He created the initiative for the first Southeastern United Grape & Wine Symposium, which was held last year. Bower is a 2011 graduate from Cornell University with a B.S. in plant science and a B.S. in viticulture and enology. A recipient of the Nelson J. Shaulis Award for the Advancement of Viticulture, Bower developed and completed a number of research initiatives at Cornell, including wine chemistry research, vine stress physiology research on Riesling, and methoxypyrazine research on Cabernet Franc.
• Patty Held, a winery consultant, will elaborate on the “New Rules of Wine Marketing” by discussing the latest digital marketing opportunities for vineyards and wineries. Held graduated from California State University at Fresno with a bachelor’s degree in enology and then went on to become the winemaker at Taylor Wine Company in New York before returning to her family-owned winery, Stone Hill Winery in Hermann, Mo., where she served as director of public relations and special events.
• Dr. Michele Ambaye, marketing professor at the Pau Business School, which is based in the southwest of France between the Bordeaux and Languedoc regions. Ambaye will present “Small Wineries in the South West of France Faced with New World Competition” via a video conference.
• José Alberto Santos, president of Enartis Vinquiry laboratory, will present the topic, “Done With Harvest, Now What?” Santos holds a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and Master of Science in viticulture and enology by Porto University, Portugal. Enartis Vinquiry is a leading supplier to the wine industry through laboratory and technical services, consulting and winemaking supplies with branches in Windsor; Napa; Santa Maria; and Paso Robles, Calif.
• Michelle Norgren, director of VESTA National Center of Excellence, will discuss “Uniting the Industry Workforce: Developing Standardized Workplace Competencies for the Grape and Wine Industry.” Norgren has served as the director and principal investigator of the VESTA National Center for the past nine years, and under her leadership, the program has grown from a three-state partnership with an enrollment of 25 students to an ever growing 18-state partnership with participation of more than 1,700 students from around the world.
Surry Community College began offering courses in viticulture in 1999 through the Continuing Education division. Curriculum classes in viticulture were first offered in the fall of 2000 with enology classes added in 2001. The college now offers a degree, diploma and a certificate in Viticulture and Enology Technology. The Shelton-Badgett NC Center of Viticulture and Enology opened in the fall of 2010, offering enhanced learning opportunities for students. Additional information about the program may be accessed at http://www.surry.edu/Program/ViticultureandEnologyTechnology.aspx.