Announcement from Advantage West:
With a month left before the conference, several organizations have provided support in several ways.
Advantage West is providing some sponsorship funding to the 2nd Annual North Carolina Conference on Sustainable Viticulture to be held Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at Warren Wilson College. Matthew Raker, Vice President Entrepreneurship & AdvantageGreen, said “Viticulture supports a diversity of expanding industries in Western North Carolina such as wine, natural products and tourism. AdvantageWest is excited to be able to support this conference bringing together nationally recognized leaders in sustainable viticulture and serving as an annual focal point for our region’s grape-based industries.“
Orchard Valley Supply is also supporting the conference with advertising in the conference program. Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard/Greenhouse Nursery and the French Broad Vignerons will have exhibits set up at the conference and are providing staffing for the event.
Most people think of wine when they think of grapes, but one of the most profitable grapes for local farmers is table-grapes. There are several varieties that will grow well in the mountains of North Carolina.
< Carl Cantaluppi from the NCSU Cooperative Extension Service (Granville and Person Counties NC) will present “Seedless Table-Grape Variety Trials” at the conference. This will be a good opportunity for farmers interested in diversifying their cash crops to get some advice on which grapes to grow.
Justin Furr, Marketing Specialist for the NC Wine & Grape Council in Raleigh, will provide advice on how to market your grapes. Justin provides vineyard owners with valuable suggestions on how to sell the grapes they are growing. The North Carolina farming community is our greatest asset in growing grapes because of their long history of growing crops. Their biggest need is assistance in marketing and sales of their products.
Chuck Blethen, Executive Director of the Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute, exclaims “Trust me when I tell you, these grapes taste nothing like the grapes you are used to buying at the grocery stores. They have flavors that will knock your socks off. Several people who have tried them have been excited to taste grapes that have such a wonderful flavor.”
Vineyards/wineries is the fastest growing industry in North Carolina that provided an economic impact of more than $1 billion in NC last year. The viticulture conference will begin at 8:30 AM and run until 4:30 PM. The conference registration fee is $40 paid in advance or $50 walk-in registration. Registration fee includes lunch, coffee break refreshments, handouts, and free parking. Online payment of registration is now available at http://www.JeweloftheBlueRidge.com/ http://www.JeweloftheBlueRidge.com/> - click on the registration link near the Warren Wilson College logo. Firms wishing to be a conference sponsor or wanting to place and ad in the conference program can do so at www.GrapeSAVI.org <http://www.GrapeSAVI.org/> and select the appropriate sponsor level or ad size and submit payment via credit cards.
Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute (SAVI) has been instrumental in organizing and conducting educational sessions for grape growers around the region. Sustainable viticulture is a new practice in the mountains of WNC. SAVI’s advisory board has members from around the USA who are specialists in all areas of sustainable viticulture. For more information on being a sponsor/advertiser go to www.GrapeSAVI.org <http://www.GrapeSAVI.org/> or to learn more about the Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute.
Warren Wilson College provides a distinctive undergraduate and graduate liberal arts education combining academics, work, and service in a learning community committed to environmental responsibility, cross-cultural understanding, and the common good. Warren Wilson College’s vision is to lead the nation toward a new model for liberal arts education through the innovation of its Triad educational program (academics, work, and service), the quality of its academic engagement, the fulfillment of its sustainability principles, the depth of its commitment to diversity, the vitality of its community, and its nurturing of individual well-being. For more information about Warren Wilson College see www.warren-wilson.edu <http://www.warren-wilson.edu/>
French Broad Vignerons(FBV) is a grape growing and winemaking association that meets monthly and provides education and training for people interested in starting vineyards and learning winemaking basics. They have recently formed a tasting panel focused on providing independent quality evaluations for North Carolina wines. The USA, Australia and New Zealand are the only major wine producing countries that do not have wine quality standards printed on the label. Consumers have no idea of the quality of the wine inside the bottle of American wine. The FBV hopes to stimulate action on the case for establishing wine quality standards for the state of North Carolina. More information is available at www.FrenchBroadVignerons.Blogspot.com <http://www.FrenchBroadVignerons.Blogspot.com/>
For additional information about the upcoming conference please contact Chuck Blethen, Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard, 828-606-3130, Chuck@JeweloftheBlueRidge.com <mailto:Chuck@JeweloftheBlueRidge.com>
There are now 110 wineries and over 450 vineyards in North Carolina spread over 3 regions – coastal, piedmont, and mountains. North Carolina now has three American Viticulture Areas (AVA) – Yadkin Valley, Swan Creek, and Haw River Valley. http://www.visitncwine.com/winerieshttp://www.visitncwine.com/wineries>
This is the most recent report on the economic impact of the grape industry for North Carolina:
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