Jewel of the Blue Ridge Consulting offers consultation,
design, client education and installation services for sustainable organic
mountain viticulture. Owners Chuck & Jeannie Blethen have 20 years
of experience with selecting, propagating, growing, harvesting and processing
organic grapes. Jewel of the Blue Ridge Consulting was
conceived as a leading edge service to help landowners respond to the need
to provide a sustainable crop far into the future by building a long-term
heritage farm crop of grapes. Proper grape selection provides the opportunity
to grow grapes for many markets including wine production, table grapes, raisins,
jams/jellies/preserves, juice, and provides a source of special herbal extract
from grape seeds and skins.
TYPES OF SERVICES
“Consultation”An initial visit
to begin a design process and session to provide as much information and
insight as possible to help the landowners plan the vineyard themselves.
Typical outcomes include a review of long-term objectives for the vineyard,
grape variety selection, site review and selection, soil sample collection
or instruction, and vineyard layout plan. $150 - $350
process, usually taking place over 3 to 18 months (depending on the property
size and other variables), during which we meet multiple times in
order to refine a detailed, long-term grape growing plan, including grape selection,
root stock sourcing, propagation techniques for Mountain Muscadines, approach
for vineyard expansion, vineyard access roads, irrigation if needed,
as well as selecting posts and trellis systems appropriate for the grape varieties. $1500 - $2500
“Calculation/Preparation of Material List” for
vineyard installation (posts,wire, anchors, tensioners, etc.) - $200
Installation Supervision Supervising the
installation of the vineyard that we’ve envisioned through our design
process in collaboration with the vineyard owner. Organic viticulture
systems require a unique range of sub-contractors, materials, and techniques
that we’ve assembled to create beautiful as well as functional
results. Typical is supervision of installation of posts and
trellis systems at $250 per day.
Training and Pruning Vines Sessions can
be arranged for $250 per day when it is time to beginning training/pruning
Winery Design Preparation
of a winery layout and preparation of an Equipment/Materials list. $50/hour.
Sourcing Value-added Equipment for
processing after harvest. $50 hour
from information that we convey during consultation or design sessions
to actual private classes in specific viticulture topics that we have
organized and made available from an assortment of instructors. $250 -
Alternatively, we can work up a fixed price per month, per year, per
season, per vineyard. We are open to any reasonable pricing approach that
works for the client.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE VITICULTURE?
Sustainable viticulture is the cultivation of grapevines using sustainable
farming methods including the techniques described as natural farming, organic
farming and/or bio-dynamic farming. The end result is providing a heritage
crop that will produce for 50 years or more once the vineyard has been established.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Conventional viticulture as practiced by most of the United States utilizes
toxic chemicals to grow grapes. Most vineyard managers spray their grapes
from 15 to 24 times a season to keep the grapes alive long enough to harvest
a crop. The pesticides, herbicides and fungicides used in these practices
are harmful to the environment. The residual chemicals in the grapes and
value-added products are not healthy for consumers.
Jewel of the Blue Ridge Consulting is
a founding member of the Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute