Red Hawk Red Blend

Kate Wimberly
Staff Writer

Catawba Farms & CVCC Alumni Association exemplify collaboration and innovation through developing local area’s first co-branded wine.

On Wednesday afternoon, Catawba Farms, located off of Business 321 in Newton, hosted a wine tasting to celebrate the hard work and dedication of CVCC Advertising & Graphic Design students who designed the wine label and packaging for the upcoming “Red Hawk Red Blend” wine. The winemaker will put together three to four to taste, and a team will decide which best represents the project.

Even though the partnership began several years ago, the discussion for the project began last spring.

“When I asked Twyla what she thought about the idea, she immediately said yes. She didn’t even have to think about it, and she instantly supported the idea. It’s a story of partnership, entrepreneurship, and education. It’s a conversation starter and a way to reunite with alumni and introduce them to the possibility of working collaboratively,” shared Mary Reynolds, recently retired CVCC Alumni Director.

She discussed that at the heart of the partnership is the desire to think and work collaboratively to build a better community. Ten to twelve students in the advanced design class were put into teams of two for a competitive, real-world business assignment. Students were required to talk to the owners of Catawba Farms, discuss the product, target audience, and explore legal and retail requirements in order to successfully design a label for the new brand of wine. The assignment was given to the class at the beginning of fall semester and completed in December. The designs by each team were so teemed with excellence that the team from Catawba Farms needed more time to reach a decision. After the holidays, the winning team was finally selected. The students who were ultimately named were Brandy Michelle Grigg and Vince Andrew Bryant.

“Wine is the fruit of conversation. It allows people to relax in a social setting and loosen up. People can get to know each other and connect on a level that is still professional, but not as stodgy. What could be more enjoyable than pouring someone a glass of wine for them to enjoy? If you look at it from beginning to the end, it brings a lot of satisfaction. We’ve seen a lot of positive things come from providing a space in service to others. The incredible talents of the students blew us away. It’s a hidden asset we have as a community so we wanted to have an event around that—the creativity that is being cultivated,” stated Twyla Deese, Catawba Farms Co-Owner.

The idea for Red Hawk Red Blend wine was formulated to celebrate the region’s growing hospitality, entertainment, and beverage production industries. Leaders in those industries are participating in tasting trials that are essential for the success of the CVCC Red Hawk Red Blend wine—the name being a nod to the college’s mascot. The wine is scheduled for production this spring and release in late April.

For more information about events hosted by Catawba Farms, call 828-464-5780.