Published on 11/15/18

New grape growers invited to Athens for multistate conference

By Sage Barnard

With the growth and increased marketability of the state’s wine industry, Athens, Georgia, is hosting new conferences that will focus on how to create quality fruit and turn it into a palatable beverage. The Southeastern Regional New Grape Growers Conference will be held at the University of Georgia’s South Milledge Greenhouse Complex in Athens on Dec. 11.

The December conference is being organized by UGA, Virginia Tech and North Carolina State University. Members of these schools and industry representatives will speak at the Athens conference on Dec. 11 and again at a conference in Asheville, North Carolina, on Dec. 12. The conference will be held from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the greenhouse complex classroom at 2500 South Milledge Avenue.

The UGA Viticulture Team will be represented at the conference and will provide support and guidance for new vineyard growers. The team has been experimenting with cultivation practices during on-farm research trials and will share commercial management strategies.

The conference also includes a panel of Cooperative Extension specialists, winemakers, owners and vineyard managers from Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

The conference will conclude with an optional tour of UGA’s Durham Horticulture Farm in Watkinsville, Georgia.

The 2019 Georgia Wine Producers Conference will be held on Feb. 4-5, 2019, at Chateau Elan in Braselton, Georgia.

The conference will include presentations by viticulture faculty and graduate students from UGA and Cornell University as well as industry representatives from Virginia and Georgia. Techniques in viticulture, disease management, winemaking and marketing will all be covered at the conference.

Both conferences will explore the complexities of growing grapes and creating wine in the realms of cost, vineyard design, site choice, integrated pest control and overall management.

Registration for the Regional New Grape Growers Conference is limited to the first 40 participants. To register, go to

For a detailed schedule and speaker biographies, or to register for the 2019 Georgia Wine Producers Conference, visit Register before Jan. 9, 2019, for an early bird discount.

Sage Barnard is a student writer for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Cooperative Extension.

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