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March 2013 Issue of Wines & Vines

Eastern Winery Exposition Preview

Conference focused on the East builds on its first-year success

by Linda Jones McKee
The Eastern Winery Exposition (EWE) will take place March 6-8 at the Lancaster County Convention Center in Pennsylvania, with co-located events occurring March 5 and 8. While the conference and trade show is only in its second year, it is already being recognized for its relevance for anyone growing grapes or making wine east of the Rockies.

There are more than 20 sessions that focus on topics important to growers, winemakers and wine marketers in the East, and they will be presented by knowledgeable individuals who predominantly live and work in the East. The presentations have been divided into four different tracks.

In enology sessions, a winemaker roundtable will look at three prominent East Coast varietals: Seyval Blanc, Viognier and Traminette. Anthony Aellen from Maryland and Art Hunt from New York will both explore the production and marketing of sweet red wines, a popular East Coast style California is just beginning to discover, while Dr. Barry Gump will discuss a procedure for calculating titratable acidity (TA) and yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN) in one titrametric test.

Viticulture topics will include talks about new vineyard pests by Douglas Pfeiffer and fungal diseases by Mike Ellis, sustainability programs by Regina Foisey of Ontario and Richard Olsen-Harbich of New York, and such basic considerations as vine size, vine capacity, crop load and vine balance will be presented by Alan Lakso of Cornell University.

Winery accounting, energy savings and efficiencies, the use of social media, wine apps and creating brand ambassadors among customers will all be discussed under the broad heading of money, management and marketing. Presenters will include Dennis Urffer, Brian Roeder, a panel consisting of Kris Chislet, Laurie Forster and Patty Held, and several others.

Newcomer sessions will include laboratory topics by Peter Bell, Tom Payette and Dr. Barry Gump.

The trade show at EWE has been expanded to include 220 booths with more than 170 exhibitors interested in helping eastern growers and winemakers.

A half-day workshop about hard cider (additional fee required) will look at varieties and styles, production and stabilization of cider and a new variation known as “ice cider.” Cider has been produced since Colonial times, but it is also a rapidly growing phenomenon across the East. Presenters will include cider producers Chuck Shelton from Albemarle CiderWorks in Virginia and Stephen Rigby from North Carolina. Attendees will have the opportunity to taste ciders from Europe and the New World as well as ice ciders from New York, Vermont and Canada.

Two co-located events will take place both before and after the main conference. On March 5, the Pennsylvania Wine Association will hold its annual meeting; their annual banquet will take place following the welcome wine reception for conference attendees.

The “New Grape Grower Workshop” on March 8, led by Dr. Joe Fiola (University of Maryland) and Mark Chien (Pennsylvania State University), will present information about vineyard development that will help potential growers decide whether or not to plant a vineyard and how to proceed.

Other scheduled events include the second annual EWE industry celebration dinner March 6. Wines & Vines is the official sponsor of the Eastern Winery Exposition; supporting sponsors include 15 wine-related organizations and two wine trails.  

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