Thursday, February 12, 2009

North Carolina Winegrowers Association Conference Update

I am sorry to say that I dropped the ball, as I did not post the information about this conference weeks ago to alert you to it.  But here are some highlights so you can know what is going on in the industry.  This year’s theme was “NC Terroir – Exploring the Possibilities”. 

The conference took place this past weekend.  It was February 6, 7 and 8th, at the Airport Marriott in Greensboro, NC.  If you have any interest in grape growing, starting a winery, marketing wine and grapes and the like, this is a great conference to attend.  This year, there were about 350 attendees.

On Friday, there were concurrent programs going on from 1:00 PM until 6:00 PM.  One set of sessions was geared toward basic viticulture and enology or, what I like to call programs for the newbies and wannabees.  These included sessions on protecting your vines, basics of tasting room operations, vineyard economics 101, and winemaking 101.

The advanced sessions included discussions of high density planting, and branding a region, as well as information sessions from the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau – AKA, the Feds) regarding proper wording on wine labels, and ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control – state authority) Compliance rules.

The sessions on Saturday included several excellent and well known speakers.  We had the great fortune to have Lucie Morton, world renowned ampelographer  (someone who studies grape plant DNA and identifies varieties and diseases), researcher, author and consultant worldwide, to speak at several sessions about various grapevine related topics.  Jim Law is the owner and winegrower of Linden Vineyards in VA, as well as a teacher and consultant, discussed the practical perspectives of terroir and making wine to express it.  Paul Thomas, Executive Director of Seneca Lake Wine Trail, helped us all understand the importance of wine trails and the dos and don’ts associated with setting one up.

Saturday night was a very nice banquet followed by lots of dancing and camaraderie.

Sessions continued on Sunday morning with discussions of trunk diseases, yeasts, nutrients and enzymes, Pierce’s disease research and a host of other great topics.  The speakers were many and excellent.

These are some of the highlights of the conference.  It was a truly educational experience as well as a wonderful way to network with other people of like interests.  To see everything there was to offer as well as learn more about this great organization, visit

This conference takes place at this time every year.  Keep checking the website for the posting of the next date and location.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the wonderful update and write up on the conference. You have an excellent site and will be checking in often.