The mood at Inniskillin Hall was celebratory on Dec. 1 as the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) opened its doors to the public.
Academics, community members and people in the wine industry gathered at an open house to hear about the changes that have taken place at CCOVI over the last decade. Most notable is the institute’s shift to include non-scientific research areas, such as wine industry marketing and how to better promote Ontario wines.
“We’re excited to expand the mandate of the institute to address research issues in marketing, wine culture, agri-tourism and policy that can assist the grape and wine industry,” said Debbie Inglis, CCOVI director and researcher.
Nine new fellows and professional affiliates were added to CCOVI’s roster. They were:
- Jeffrey Stuart, fellow, associate professor of Biological Sciences
- George Van der Merwe, fellow, associate professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Guelph
- Maxim Voronov, fellow, assistant professor of Marketing, International Business and Strategy
- Wendy McFadden-Smith, professional affiliate, tender fruit and grape IPM specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- Daryl Somers, professional affiliate, research chair in Molecular Breeding and Biotechnology, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
- Vincenzo De Luca, fellow, professor of Biological Sciences
- Don Cyr, fellow, associate dean, Faculty of Business
- Dirk De Clercq, fellow, associate professor of Management
- Peter Roberts, fellow, associate professor of Organization and Management, Emory University
Donald Ziraldo, founder of Inniskillin Wines and Ontario wine industry pioneer, presented an oil painting of Inniskillin icewine. Visitors toured CCOVI’s various labs, including labs devoted to sensory research and fermentation.
CCOVI has worked with the grape and wine industry on numerous issues in recent years, including minimizing winter damage to grapevines and combatting the Asian lady beetle, Inglis said. It has also studied sensory and consumer science as it applies to increasing wine sales.
“It feels rewarding that over 10 years, we’ve been able to work closely with industry stakeholder groups on their priority issues.”