The wines have been chosen and Ontario’s top winemakers are ready to pour their favourites this Friday, March 23 at the 30th annual Cuvée Grand Tasting.
Organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the Cuvée Grand Tasting takes place at Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls and is expected to be another sold-out affair. The event is the largest celebration of VQA wine of its kind, and highlights the $4.4-billion Ontario wine industry.
“We’ll have 48 of Ontario’s best and brightest VQA wineries on hand this year pouring two of their winemakers’ favourite wines for our guests to enjoy,” said Cuvée manager Barb Tatarnic. “Local chefs will also be serving our guests a variety of tantalizing culinary options that are sure to excite every palate as we celebrate this 30-year milestone.”
As well as providing the opportunity to showcase VQA wines to consumers, Cuvée also provides future grape growers and winemakers the chance to interact directly with key industry players.
Proceeds from the event support the Cuvée Legacy Fund, which was established to fund industry-driven research initiatives and scholarships for students. The event generated more than $37,000 for the fund in 2017 alone.
“Winning the Graduate Scholarship last year was a tremendous honour and the recognition amongst elite contributors to the wine industry was quite surreal,” said Brock PhD candidate Jennifer Kelly, a beneficiary of the Cuvée Legacy Fund. “It’s such a fun event and offers a unique opportunity for students to access people they may otherwise never have a chance to meet. It also allows everyone to connect with industry friends who are rarely all in one place.”
Champions in the province’s wine industry will also be showcased at the event, including the first-ever Winemaker of Excellence award. The winner will be announced live before the evening’s popular Après Cuvée begins. Guests are then invited to dance the rest of the evening away to live music from local band The Associates, as well as sample Icewine, sparkling wine, cider and local craft beer selections.
The Cuvée en Route passport program will extend the wine celebration all weekend long running from March 23 to 25 at participating wineries across Niagara. A complete list of participating wineries at the Grand Tasting and en Route can be found at cuvee.ca
Tickets, which include both the Friday night Grand Tasting and the en Route passport are available online at cuvee.ca/tickets for $200 per person. Tickets for the en Route passport only are $30.
For those attending the Grand Tasting, a free shuttle service will be available to bring guests from the Scotiabank Convention Centre parking lot right to the front doors.