2022 Schedule – updated August 9, 2022

Friday’s Member meeting will be held at the Blue Ridge Conference Hall (49 East Campus Drive Flat Rock, NC 28731), which is also where we will be meeting the buses Saturday and Sunday mornings. On Friday, registration opens at 5:00 PM.

Annual Meeting and Registration, Friday, September 23rd

Registration on Friday evening, September 23rd, will be held at Blue Ridge Community College Conference Center in Flat Rock, NC.  Dinner will be served with wine tasting. Following the annual Society meeting, Joe Forrest will give a short overview presentation on what we will see and learn during the next two days.  The evening will conclude with a first for the Carolina Geological Society – interviews via Zoom with Dr. Rainer Kuendig and Dr. Will Finger in Switzerland, and with Dr. Alex Maltman in Wales.  In 2018, Kuendig and Finger published a book (“Stein und Wein”) on the relationship of geology to viticulture in Switzerland.  Maltman has published numerous papers on the role of geology in viticulture, and his book “Vineyards, Rocks, and Soils: The Wine Lover’s Guide to Geology” (also published in 2018) is a popular examination of the issue.  The two authors and the books take radically differing views on the subject, which is a major theme of this year’s field trip. 

In the Field, Saturday, September 24th

On Saturday, September 24th, buses will depart Blue Ridge Community College at 8:00am and drive down the Blue Ridge escarpment to the Inner Piedmont region for our first stop at the site of a tragic 2018 landslide in the Pacolet River Valley.  The stop provides a fascinating combination of geomorphology and geohazards, viticulture and climatology. Stop #2 will be at Parker-Binns Vineyards, where we will (1) begin our exploration of the origins of the rugged, precipitous Blue Ridge escarpment and its relationship to the Piedmont and Blue Ridge plateau, and (2) have an overview of the complex climate and weather patterns of the southern Blue Ridge and the role they play in viticulture.  Following lunch, we will ascend the escarpment and drive to Stop #3 at Marked Tree Vineyards, which is located directly on the Eastern Continental Divide and illustrates the effects of the breaching of an earlier divide by the Broad River.  Stop #4, the final of the day, is at St. Paul Mountain Vineyards and Appalachian Ridge Cidery, where attendees can choose one or more of four activities, including (1) an opportunity to simply sit and enjoy a glass of wine or cider, (2) a relaxing tour of the winery and cidery operations, (3) a more vigorous, but not overly stressful, hike in the cidery orchard with talk on sustainable agriculture by the vineyard/cidery owner, and (4) a talk on the history of viticulture in North Carolina, with emphasis on the fascinating modern phase.  This last stop of the day is a great place to rest and enjoy the setting sun before returning to downtown Hendersonville. 

In the Field, Sunday, September 25th  

On Sunday, September 25th, we will depart Blue Ridge Community College at 8:30am and drive to Stone Ashe Vineyards, a newly established vineyard on the Blue Ridge plateau of Hendersonville, NC. This stop will serve to bring together many of the things we have learned on Friday evening and Saturday in the field. Following Stone Ashe we will drive to Asheville and the vineyards of the Biltmore Estate, the winery of which is the most visited in the US. The Estate’s vineyards are not normally open to the public, so our visit may be a once-n-a-lifetime opportunity to se and learn about this interesting site. At the end of our visit, the team at Biltmore will provide us with a wine pouring and toast to the Carolina Geological Society and to North Carolina viticulture.