As part of Surry Community College’s Sixth-Annual Southeastern United Grape and Wine Symposium, the college will be holding its annual Grand Wine Tasting featuring a musical performance by Melva Houston from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at the Shelton-Badgett North Carolina Center for Viticulture and Enology.
The tasting will highlight wines of the Southeast complemented by heavy hors d’oeuvres, and offers interested community members an opportunity to learn more about Surry’s role in North Carolina’s burgeoning grape growing and winemaking industry.
The event is part of the larger symposium, which will include talks and workshops by leading authorities in the fields of viticulture and enology taking place that day.
The wine tasting and concert will feature jazz singer Melva Houston, accompanied by her band. Houston, who resides in Mount Airy, is an internationally known American jazz, blues, and gospel singer originally from Memphis, Tennessee.
At age 13, Houston came to prominence after winning a youth talent competition, and hasn’t stopped performing since. Houston has sung backup vocals on tracks for several noteworthy talents including Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, and the soulful duo Sam and Dave. She has also performed abroad throughout Europe and is highly sought after to perform at festivals and events across North Carolina.
The Grand Wine Tasting is open to the public for a non-conference rate of $25 plus processing fees. To purchase tickets for Surry’s annual Grand Wine Tasting, or learn more about the Southeastern United Grape and Wine Symposium, visit surry.edu/wine.
Earlier in the day, industry leaders will be holding various talks. Among those are:
• Marla Carroll, a winemaker at Franciscan Estate in the Napa Valley, will lead a presentation focused on “The Art of Blending.”
• North Carolina State University Assistant Professor and Small Fruits Extension Specialist Dr. Mark Hoffmann will share his expertise in grape production with a presentation entitled “East Meets West.”
• Scott Laboratories Fermentation Specialist Michael Jones will discuss “Technical Blending.”
• Travis Snodgrass and Brad Boyd, pesticide inspectors with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, will discuss “Correctly Blending Pesticides and Worker Protection Standard Changes.”
• Eglantine Chauffour, technical winemaker at Enartis USA, is responsible for research projects, technical support and consulting services for the wine industry, and will speak on the subject of “How and Why to Blend.”
• Dr. Cain Hickey, assistant professor of Viticulture at the University of Georgia, will present on the topic of “Growing Your Blend.”
The symposium is an all day event that begins at 7 a.m. with breakfast to kick off the day. As a part of the symposium, the college’s annual Grand Wine Tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. will highlight wines of the Southeast complemented by heavy hors d’oeuvres. Singer Melva Houston will entertain during the tasting with a set of jazz and blues songs accompanied by her band.
The symposium and the wine tasting will take place on the main campus of Surry Community College, 630 S. Main. St., Dobson.