Cuvée legacy fund grows as organizers set date for 2017 event


Mark your calendars. One of Ontario’s most sought-after wine and culinary events, the 29th annual Cuvée Grand Tasting, will take place Friday, March 24, 2017 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls.

This announcement comes as organizers report Cuvée 2016 generated net revenues of more than $36,000, most of which will go to support student scholarships and grape and wine research through the Cuvée Legacy Fund.

Organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the 2016 Cuvée Grand Tasting was a sold-out event that took place March 4 showcasing 50 VQA wineries and 12 celebrated chefs.

“It’s thanks to the support and enthusiasm of our sponsors and attendees that we are able to increase this year’s contribution to the Cuvée Legacy Fund,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “This fund allows us to help students offset their education costs and provide support for research priorities identified by the grape and wine industry.”

The funding from the 2015 event is already making a difference. For PhD candidate Jennifer Kelly, receiving the first Cuvée Graduate Scholarship has meant that she has had more time to focus on her studies.

“Not only has the Cuvée scholarship allowed me to focus more on my research, the project that I’m working on has practical applications that will impact the Ontario grape and wine industry, which is equally valuable,” Kelly said.

Of the net proceeds, $33,000 has been placed in the Cuvée Legacy Fund. The remaining $3,670 will go to support the Niagara Community Foundation, in recognition of their work in overseeing Cuvée for several years before CCOVI took over stewardship of the event.

Tickets for the 2017 Cuvée Grand Tasting will go on sale starting Oct. 1. Noel Buckley, President and General Manager of the Scotiabank Convention Centre, said the venue is proud to partner with Brock for the second consecutive year to host the event.

“Distinguished events such as Cuvée celebrate the time-honoured tradition of viticulture, and highlight the excellence of Ontario wines, particularly those from Niagara, as some of the finest in the world,” said Buckley.

Daniel Goodman, President and CEO of GFI Investment Counsel Ltd., remarked that the event was a great opportunity to experience Niagara’s food and wine culture.

“Attending Cuvée for the last two years has opened our eyes to the growth and development of the wine and food industry in the Niagara Region,” Goodman said. “We were blown away by the quality of the vintners and the mouth-watering food that was on full display for the evening.”

Shari Fanson, an LCBO Product Consultant in St. Catharines, appreciated the concept that each winemaker was able to select their favourite wine to pour.

“It was truly an incredible experience,” Fanson said. “Being able to taste the winemakers’ favourites really showcased the complexity and quality of the wine we make here in Ontario.

BASF Canada Inc., a long-time sponsor of the event, sends 20 top oenology and viticulture students to Cuvée each year as an educational experience.

“As a company, we are committed to sustainability, and supporting outstanding new grape growers and winemakers allows us to act on that commitment,” said BASF Horticulture Crop Manager Scott Hodgins.

Learn more about Cuvée and the positive impact it has on the industry and Brock University students at

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