Grape and wine education leader brings cider training course to Canada

Finally, advanced training support for the booming cider industry is coming to Canada. This spring, Brock University’s grape and wine research unit will launch Canada’s only internationally accredited program where industry professionals and enthusiasts alike can raise their expertise at fermenting apples into cider and pears into perry.

Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) will offer the intensive week-long course April 24-28, under the Cider Institute of North America’s (CINA) renowned training program.

Before now, the only two sites providing such programs were Cornell University in New York state, and Oregon State University.

North America’s cider business has been on a roll. In Ontario alone, net sales of local craft cider skyrocketed 54 per cent in 2015-16 to $5.1 million, according to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

But even as consumer demand has soared, the industry’s production and research community only has a finite amount of collective experience, says CINA president Nick Gunn, himself an Oregon cider consultant.

The Cider and Perry Production Foundations course at Brock will cover all aspects of cider production including ingredient sourcing, quality control and the economics of cider making. The hands-on program uses lectures, lab work, workshops and tastings to give learners a step-by-step guide to production.

“In this environment, startup cider makers have the unique opportunity to jump start their quality and technique through industry accredited programs such as Brock’s that create a foundation for business success,” Gunn said.

CINA certification is the recognized standard for quality in the cider industry, says CCOVI’s continuing education manager Barb Tatarnic.

“Bringing CINA training to Canada puts CCOVI on the leading edge of an industry that’s exploding,” she said. “And for Brock, it’s a natural extension of the programs we already run for the grape and wine industry.”

Registration for the intensive five-day course will cost $1,500. The class is limited to 25 participants, and registration closes April 13. Online registration can be done at

In addition to the foundation course, CCOVI also plans to add CINA’s Master Class to its continuing education lineup in the future.

With 20 years experience in providing research, outreach and education to the grape and wine industry, CCOVI expanded its programming to include the spirits industry in 2016.

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