2023 NC Muscadine Conference, Elizabethtown, NC
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Past Events with Resources Available
Monday, August 29: Grow Your Own Muscadines! A free webinar for home gardeners interested in planting a few muscadine vines or learning how to better care for the ones they have. Includes choosing a site, selecting varieties, and muscadine cultural practices, including trellising your new vines and best practices for training and pruning. It was led by NCSU Extension Agent and muscadine enthusiast Mack Johnson. You can now view the recording of this webinar, as well as Mack’s PowerPoint presentation.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022: Strategies for Successful Muscadine Pick-Your-Own This free webinar featured a panel discussion of growers with extensive experience managing muscadine PYO. We talked about customer management, staffing, containers, pricing, containers, sales management, advertising and promotion, and more. Panelists included Debra Blanton, Triple BBB Vineyard, Shelby, NC; Andy Zeman, Benjamin Vineyards, Graham, NC; and Karla Ward,Lu Mil Vineyard, Elizabethtown, NC. View a recording (at least of most of it) here.
Thursday, July 28, 2022: Virtual Muscadine School on Food Safety, Storage, Muscadine Harvest, and Fruit Sampling See recordings of this and previous sessions here: https://grapes.ces.ncsu.edu/2022/02/2022-virtual-muscadine-school/
Wednesday, July 27, 2022: Pre-Harvest Vineyard Tour at Hinnant Family Vineyard. Located in Pine Level, NC (Johnston County), Hinnant Family Vineyard is the largest muscadine vineyard in the state, growing many different varieties, including seedless muscadines. The vineyard sells wholesale, retail, and PYO, produces wine, and has an on-site shop offering wine tastings and local products. Sponsored by the NC Muscadine Grape Association. See a YouTube video created by one of the participants here.
Thursday, June 23, 2022: Virtual Muscadine School,
- Summer Chores, Mark Hoffmann, NCSU
- Muscadine Cultivars, Patrick Conner, U of Georgia
- Economics in Muscadine Vineyards, Daniel Tregeagle, NCSU
See recordings of this and other sessions here: https://grapes.ces.ncsu.edu/2022/02/2022-virtual-muscadine-school/
Tuesday, June 28, 1:00 -2:00 pm — Muscadine Food Safety 101
Selling Muscadines? Want to sell Muscadines? This workshop was for growers selling direct to consumers, pick your own (PYO), or wholesale. This intro session included food safety best practices and strategies for safe picking, handling, storage, and transportation of your product for all markets. A quick overview of GAP answered basic questions regarding costs, the certification process, and what a successful audit might do to help your market access. The NC Muscadine Grape Association held this workshop in cooperation with Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, which has a long track record working with Carolina farmers and helping them access markets. It will be led by Kim Butz, CFSA’s Local Food Systems Manager.
See a pdf of the PowerPoint presentation from this workshop here: Muscadine Food Safety GAP Intro – June 2022
March 11-12, 2022: NC Muscadine Grape Association Annual Conference. PDFs of PowerPoint presentations and a few short videos from this event are available to NCMGA members in the Members Only section of this website. Find membership information here.
Wednesday August 18 and Saturday, August 21: Making Muscadine Wine at Home. 10:00 am -11:30 am. An online class via Zoom. Topics include legal considerations for home winemakers, supplies needed, basic testing equipment you need, the winemaking process, and unique things about muscadines you need to know. The Wed, Aug. 18 class is oriented both towards novices and the Saturday, Aug 21 class towards more experienced home winemakers. Led by Chuck Blethen, Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard (Marshall, NC). Chuck Blethen is a home winemaker with 40 years experience making country wines including muscadine wine and has won many medals in amateur wine competitions over the years with his wines. He is a wine judge trainer and a cruise ship lecturer on wine-related topics. He has published two books on wine evaluation and entertaining with wine. REGISTER HERE.
Wednesday August 11 and Saturday, August 14: Backyard Muscadine Production. 10:00 am -11:30 am. An online class via Zoom – same content both dates. If you’d like to grow a few muscadine vines in your garden, or if you have some and aren’t sure how to care for them, this virtual workshop is for you. The workshop will cover variety selection, planting, trellising, pruning, fertilization, and ongoing care for your vines. Led by Chuck Blethen, Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard (Marshall, NC) and Mack Johnson (NC Cooperative Extension, Robeson County, NC). REGISTER HERE.
Tuesday, July 27: Food safety, sanitation, and post-harvest handling/cooling for Muscadine PYO and retail sales. 3:00 pm, virtual via Zoom. This session was for anyone who grows and sells muscadine grapes direct to the public, whether PYO, at a farm stand, or at a farmers market. Topics included key food safety concepts and requirements, including sanitation best practices, that all muscadine PYO and retailers should follow. Valuable information regarding post-harvest handling and cooling practices to maintain optimal quality of fresh-market muscadines was also covered..
- Recording of workshop (view on YouTube)
- Muscadine Postharvest for Fresh and Direct Markets (pdf of PowerPoint presentation)
- Food Safety Best Practices for Muscadine PYO and Retail Markets (pdf of PowerPoint presentation)
Wednesday, July 28: The Essentials of Muscadine Winemaking. 10:30 am-12:00 noon, virtual via Zoom. This workshop is part of the Muscadine Winegrowers & Winemakers Quality Enhancement Program (M-QEP). There are special benefits for NC commecial muscadine growers and winemakers who participate in this program. Home winemakers will find the sessions on August 18 and 21 more appropriate. Learn more about the program here. Topics included:
- Receiving and handling grapes at the winery
- Following the process from juice treatment through fermentation, clarification, racking, filtering, stabilizing, blending and bottling