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Wine scholar Wayne Crawford to speak at Sunday, Sept. 15 Knowledge Series program

WayneCrawfordNewPic2017 copyWayne Crawford, an expert on Georgia wines and wineries, as well as a member of the POA board at Big Canoe, is the featured speaker opening the 2019-2020 season of the Knowledge Series beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday Sept. 15 in the Mountains Grille Room at The Clubhouse at Lake Sconti.

A dedicated student of wines for 20 years, Crawford is a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators. As a French Wine Scholar, he holds a Master Certificate in Champagne with the French Wine Society (now the Wine Scholar Guild). He is actively involved in wine judging in the South, and he served as the chief judge for the 2018 and 2019 Georgia Wine Challenge.

An accomplished speaker on Georgia Wines and associate member of Georgia Wine Producers, he researched, wrote and published in 2018 the first comprehensive book on Georgia wines, “Georgia Vineyards and Wineries A Historical Guide to Modern Georgia Wines.”

Crawford will enhance the audience’s knowledge of Georgia wines, utilizing his book and extensive visits to Georgia wineries as the foundation for the presentation. His discussion will capture Georgia wine history, geology, climate, weather, plant disease, and pests to better understand what grows where within the state and why.

Vineyards were first planted in Georgia in 1733 and a trustee garden was established in Savannah – Georgia’s first effort to plant and grow European grapes here. The presentation will transition through key historical markers in Georgia wine history to Prohibition. Key topics will include the history of grapes and wine in Georgia; Georgia geology, soil and climate; vineyards and wineries across Georgia, Pickens and Gilmer County; grape varietals; the economic impact (over $4.2 billion in 2017); wine trends; concluding with tasting a few wines.

With a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, and a Master of Science degree in logistics management, Crawford graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, The British Army Staff College, and the Army War College. He retired from the United States Army as an Infantry Colonel in 1994 with 27 years of active service. His subsequent career involved executive positions with technology and food and beverage companies, including senior vice president and COO for Harry’s Farmers Market in Atlanta. Since 2001, he has operated Crawford Consulting as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) focused on program and project management of strategic at-risk programs addressing technology and performance challenges. Since 2015, he shifted his consulting practice to writing, wine education and wine judging. Crawford is a volunteer staff writer for Smoke Signals newspaper at Big Canoe, providing “Wayne on Wine,” his monthly column and selected editorial articles to assist in moving legislative decisions forward for both county and state.

Future programs of the Knowledge Series will include:

  • October 6: Jess Riddle, executive director, Georgia Forest Watch, “Georgia’s Mountain Treasures”
  • November 10: Dr. Chris Depree, professor of Astronomy, Agnes Scott College, speaking on the 50th anniversary of the first moon walk and current plans for lunar exploration.

Members of the Advisory Council of The Knowledge Series are Calvert (Cal) Johnson, chair; Gay Abbott, Bob Anderson, Bob Bachman, Jim Crupi, Ken Dutter, Teresa Freeman, Rhonda Gallaspy, Bob Littell, and Rhonda Stock. For further information, please contact Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Reservations are required to ensure a $10 seat at the presentation by registering online on the www.bigcanoepoa.org website listing of upcoming events, or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Attendance is limited to the first 100 reservations. Registration at the door at the time of the program is $12. Cancellation is required by 3 p.m. on Friday, September 13. Without a cancellation, the appropriate POA account will be charged, in keeping with standard clubhouse policy.

Registration fees cover expenses of the Knowledge Series, including a contribution to the charity identified by the speaker in lieu of honorarium. The budget of the Knowledge Series is set to break even over the course of the year, including this Sunday afternoon series, the summer Big Canoe Experts Series, the winter TED Talks, Great Decisions discussion groups on foreign policy, and Destination Dinners focusing on other nations.

Submitted by the Knowledge Series.

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