It was an opportunity to talk about key issues in the wine industry in two provinces.
The Triggs International Premium Vinifera Lecture Series, held every two years and organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), took place over two days last week in Ontario’s Niagara region and again on Tuesday, Aug. 13 and Wednesday, Aug. 14 in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley.
More than 200 grape growers and wine industry professionals attended over the four days to discuss disease pressures and attend a lecture with Vaughn Bell, Senior Scientist at the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research.
“Hosting an international viticulture expert in key winemaking regions in Ontario and British Columbia allows our growers and winemakers to collaboratively discuss strategies to further advance and grow the industry on a national level,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “Vaughn shared a wealth of knowledge about vineyard health and insect vector management strategies taking place at home and abroad.”
Bell said he was honoured to be selected as the featured speaker and said it was clear the researchers, and the specialized equipment and technology at their disposal, have made many positive advances toward helping the wine sector achieve economic sustainability goals.
“I was impressed with the spirit of co-operation that exists between CCOVI and the wine sector,” said Bell. “From my experience in New Zealand, positive collaborations inevitably deliver the best results in the shortest possible timelines to those with a financial stake in the wine sector.”
Bell visited three vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake on the first day of the series, discussing vineyard health and disease pressures. The next day, he summarized the discussions held during the vineyard tours in a public lecture at Brock’s Pond Inlet.
After his stop in Ontario, he headed to B.C. for the second leg of the series.
“The level of awareness around the interaction between vineyard disease and the insects that spread it has developed significantly since my last visit in February 2018,” Bell said. “That’s all credit to your sector leaders and those funded by the sector to bring about positive change.”
To ensure the national lecture series continues to be held in two key wine-producing regions, BASF Canada, a company that provides crop protection products, again sponsored the event.
“BASF is pleased to be able to continue our support of the Triggs Lecture Series and to give it its national scope,” said Tom Clarke, Horticultural Specialist at BASF Canada for the Niagara region. “It is important for all of us to work together and I think the discussions between Dr. Bell and the growers who attended were very productive when it comes to further developing our industry.”
Launched in 2004, with a generous donation from Donald and Elaine Triggs, the lecture series was created to provide industry stakeholders, researchers and students access to the most current developments in the field of viticulture.
The lecture series is further supported by the Grape Growers of Ontario, Lakeview Vineyard Equipment, VineTech Canada, British Columbia Wine Grape Council, Summerland Research and Development Innovation Centre, and the following wineries: Henry of Pelham Family Estate, Andrew Peller Ltd., Tinhorn Creek, Quails’ Gate Estate Winery and Mission Hill Family Estate.
For anyone unable to attend, the Ontario and B.C. public lecture slides, as well as a video of the Ontario public lecture, are available on CCOVI’s website.