Essentials of Muscadine Winemaking & Tour at Cypress Bend Vineyards

This event has been postponed. It will instead be held in association with NCMGA’s annual conference in March. Please join us for our special “Essentials of Muscadine Winemaking” event at Cypress Bend Vineyards on Wednesday, November 10, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm. Whether you are a grape grower or a winemaker or are just getting into the business of muscadines, this is an in-person opportunity to grow your skills and knowledge. This event is intended for current and prospective professional winemakers and muscadine growers and their employees, not for home growers or home winemakers.

  • Discuss essential lab equipment and winemaking equipment
  • Tour of Cypress Bend’s winemaking facility
  • Hands-on how-to for testing Brix, pH, SO2, TA, and more
  • Learn about the winery’s management and marketing
  • Participate in an hour-long “Introduction to Wine Judging” session
  • Talk and network informally with other winemakers and grape producers

Muscadine winemakers are invited to bring sample bottles of their own wines to include in the wine judging session and sample at lunch. This is not a competition — it’s a chance for informal feedback.

This event is part of the NC Muscadine Winegrowers and Winemakers Quality Enhancement Program (M-QEP), funded by the NC Wine & Grape Council. North Carolina growers/winemakers are also eligible to receive a free Brix refractometer at this event.

Fee: $20/person, includes lunch and refreshments. REGISTER HERE.

9:00 – 9:30 am   Check-in and refreshments
9:30 am – 2:30 pm   Program and lunch
Masks are required in all indoor spaces. 
Location:  21904 Riverton Rd, Wagram, NC 28396  (910-369-0411)
Accommodations: Nearby Laurinburg has several options

Cypress Bend Vineyards, owned by Dan and Tina Smith, opened in 2005 on land that had been in Dan’s family since the early 1800s. It produces a variety of muscadine wines and has won many awards in wine competitions. Winemaker Nadia Hetzel received  engineering degree in enology and viticulture from the University of Geisenheim in Germany and has worked in many prestigious wineries in Germany including the renowned Riesling producer Schloss Johanissberg and the first certified organic winery in Germany, Weingut Sander. Returning to the United States in 2008, she worked at wineries in Texas and Iowa before coming to North Carolina, where she became the winemaker at Cypress Bend Vineyards seven years ago.

“Introduction to Wine Judging” will be led by Chuck Blethen, Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard, Marshall, NC. He is an experienced wine judge trainer, writer, and lecturer on wine-related topics. He is currently working with several organizations to develop judging criteria specifically for muscadine wines. In this session, participants will learn how wine judges work, the various faults & flaws found in wines, how to detect them, probable causes, possible corrections, and how wine judges have to report each of them, and will have an opportunity to evaluate wines brought to the event.