Find the Perfect Blend at 6th Annual Wine Symposium in Dobson

Find the Perfect Blend at 6th Annual Wine Symposium in Dobson

The public is invited to join industry-leading winemakers, professors and agricultural experts at the sixth annual Southeastern United Grape and Wine Symposium on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Surry Community College in Dobson will host the event at the Shelton-Badgett North Carolina Center for Viticulture and Enology.

Wine fans can register for the full-day conference, which starts at 7 a.m., or opt for the Grand Wine Tasting from 5-7 p.m.

The focus of this year’s symposium is “finding the perfect blend” and the lineup of presenters includes:

  • Marla Carroll, a winemaker at Franciscan Estate in the Napa Valley, will lead a presentation focused on “The Art of Blending.”
  • Mark Hoffmann, North Carolina State University assistant professor and small fruits specialist with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, will share his expertise in grape production with a presentation titled “East Meets West.”
  • Michael Jones, Scott Laboratories fermentation specialist, will discuss “Technical Blending,” based on more than 35 years of winemaking experience both domestically and abroad.
  • 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.”
  • Cain Hickey, assistant professor of viticulture at the University of Georgia, will present on the topic of “Growing Your Blend.”

The symposium begins at 7 a.m. with breakfast to kick off the full day of events. As part of the symposium, the college’s annual Grand Wine Tasting will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. It highlights wines of the Southeast complemented by heavy hors d’oeuvres. Singer Melva Houston will entertain during the tasting.

The Grand Wine Tasting is open to the public for a nonconference rate of $25. The conference registration cost, which includes admission to the Grand Wine Tasting, is $120.

Online registration is available at Additionally, VESTA will offer “Sensory Evaluation of Wine” and “Wine Must Analysis” workshops on the days leading up to and following the symposium. A separate registration form is required for each workshop. Go to for more information.