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Sustainable Viticulture Conference to Present a Discussion on Value-Added Products from Muscadine Grapes

Jan. 9, 2013. On Wednesday, February 20, 2013, the Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute and Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard, in conjunction with Warren Wilson College in Asheville NC, will host the 3rd Annual Sustainable Viticulture Conference at Warren Wilson College.

Come learn how to participate in the fastest growing industry in North Carolina that provides over $1.3 billion economic impact in NC. The all-day conference will feature speakers who will share information on how to grow grapes organically/biodynamically, how to design a small sustainable winery, winemaking chemistry know-how, making BioDynamic preparations, how to make home-made wines from organically/biodynamically grown grapes, and some of the many value-added products that can be made from grapes. The recent research into the native muscadine grape makes it important that local farmers consider growing muscadines to supply the neutraceutical industry with this healthy crop.

Muscadines and muscadine extracts have been the focus of many cancer research projects in recent years. Typical results from such recent studies find that Muscadines have 6x the resveratrol content of typical red grapes. They also have 40x the antioxidants of red grapes and contain extremely high levels of quercetin (a healthy flavonoid) and more dietary fiber than oat bran or rice.

If you search PubMed.gov, you’ll see that there have been over 2,500 studies on red wine, over 800 studies on grape seeds, and over 600 studies on red grapes. Red wine and red grapes are incredibly healthy and the studies on heart health and longevity have been nothing short of amazing. But muscadines actually take all the health benefits of the red grape and “kick it up a notch.”

Another fascinating facet of muscadines is that they are the only grape that contains ellagic acid, which has been the focus of a plethora of studies due to its anti-cancer and tumor fighting properties. Ellagic acid may assist in “chemoprevention” (e.g., preventing cancer). There is great interest in chemoprevention (not to be confused with chemotherapy) because it may be the best way to fight cancer: prevent it from growing before it reaches a level that causes problems. The most current information available on the health benefits and anti-cancer characteristics of muscadines is now being posted on www.MuscadineNews.com.

The conference registration fee is $60 paid in advance or $75 walk-in. Registration fee includes lunch, coffee break refreshments, handouts, and free parking. Online registration is now available at www.JeweloftheBlueRidge.com and www.GrapeSAVI.org – Sponsors and Trade Show Vendors may also register at the same website. People who register in advance will receive a copy of the agenda, directions to the conference location, and a campus map showing parking locations for the conference.

For additional information about the upcoming conference, or to schedule a TV appearance or radio interview, please contact Chuck Blethen, Executive Director, Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute, 828-606-3130 or email Blethen@GrapeSAVI.org



Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard (JBRV) has been instrumental in organizing and conducting educational sessions for grape growers around the region. The JBRV and Greenhouse Nursery specializes in growing the Katuah Muscadine, the only cold-hardy muscadine in the world. It took 3 years of plant propagation research to develop the process by which the Katuah Muscadine (found growing wild in the mountains of Madison County NC) could be commercially propagated. JBRV transitioned from organic viticulture to biodynamic viticultural practices in 2012. JBRV is a founding member of The Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute (SAVI), and the French Broad Vignerons L.L.C. For more information about JBRV see www.JeweloftheBlueRidge.com or www.GrapeSAVI.org 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 the college see www.warren-wilson.edu.