The eighth annual Southeastern United Grape & Wine Symposium will be held at Surry Community College on Wednesday, Nov. 6. The event unites grape growers and winemakers from across the southeastern United States in a collaborative effort to support and expand the North Carolina and regional wine industry. This year’s theme is “Beyond Brix: Recognizing Real Ripeness.”
The keynote speaker is Emily Pelton, Head Winemaker at Vertias Vineyard and Winery. She graduated from Emory University with a B.S. in Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology, and a focus on Infectious Diseases. She moved to Virginia from Atlanta in 1999 to take a year off, and work alongside her parents in the development of Veritas Vineyard and Winery. It didn’t take her long to realize that she was not going back to her original field of study. After completing a master’s degree in Oenology at Virginia Tech, Pelton joined the family venture full-time.
Allowing the Virginia terroir to show through in her wines, Pelton focuses primarily on vineyard-specific qualities. Elevated by a strong family business, she has grown up making wine solely for Veritas Vineyard and Winery. She won Virginia’s Wine Person of the Year in 2017 and also manages the Virginia Winemakers Research Cooperative to further the progress and growth of the Virginia Wine Industry through winery driven research.
Other symposium speakers include: Justin Scheiner, Assistant Professor and Extension Viticulture Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service; Mark Evich, Regional Sales Manager, Nadalie Cooperage; Andrew Meggitt, Executive Winemaker, St. James Winery, Montana; Michael Jones, Fermentation Specialist, Scott Laboratories; Aaron Debeers, Vineyard Manager, Vinoptic; David Bower, Enology Instructor, Surry Community College; Mark Hoffman, Assistant Professor of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University; Megan Hereford, Sales Representative, Scott Laboratories; and Sarah Bowman, Viticulture Instructor, Surry Community College.
Surry Community College is the host for the event, which will be held at the Shelton-Badgett North Carolina Center for Viticulture & Enology on the SCC campus. This center serves the grape and wine industry, not only in North Carolina, but the entire Southeast by providing workforce training and industry support. The event partner is VESTA (Viticulture Enology Science and Technology Alliance). Sponsors include G&D Chillers, Nadalie USA, Scott Laboratories, North Carolina Winegrowers Association, Double A Vineyards and the North Carolina Chapter – Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine.
The Grand Wine Tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. is open to the public for a non-conference rate of $30. The entire conference registration is $135 and includes the Grand Wine Tasting. Participants can register for the entire Symposium or only the Grand Wine Tasting at symposium.surry.edu.
The college will host several workshops during the same week of the symposium. VESTA is offering a Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day along with a Wine and Must Analysis Workshop led by Dr. Barry Gump, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Emeritus Adjunct Professor of Enology at California State University, on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Participants earn a certificate at the end of the Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop.
A Sprayer Calibration Workshop led by Aaron Debeers from Vinoptic and a Filtration Workshop ran by Maria Peterson, Filtration Specialist, will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Surry’s Viticulture and Enology program offers a degree, diploma and certificate options with tracks in viticulture, enology, and marketing. Surry offers additional viticulture and enology workshops throughout the year. To learn more about SCC’s Viticulture and Enology program, visit www.surry.edu/wine. Follow the program on Facebook @ncviticulturecenter or Instagram @surrycellars.
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