What’s happening at CCOVI

  • November Dates & Deadlines

    November 11 – December 8: ONLINE – WSET LEVEL 1 IN WINE
    This is a beginner level wine course for those starting a wine career or those wishing to explore wine for personal interest.  There is no prerequisite to register.
    For more information and to register click here.

    November 11 to December 15: ONLINE – WSET LEVEL 2 AWARD IN WINES
    Explore major grape varieties and important wine regions in which they are grown, the styles of wines produced from these grapes and key classifications and labelling terminology.
    For more information and to register click here.

    November 18 to December 22: ONLINE – WSET LEVEL 1 IN SPIRITS
    A specialized program for individuals wishing to develop their expertise in spirits and liqueurs. You’ll learn about the production methods and characteristics of the main spirit categories while also exploring key brands and the use of spirits in cocktails.
    For more information and to register click here.

    ICCWS 2020 Sponsorship and Tradeshow registration open
    The International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS) is coming to Canada next summer and sponsorship opportunities are now available along with Tradeshow registration. From July 12 to 16, 2020, leading researchers, winemakers, grape growers, educators and media from around the world will gather at Brock University for the 10th instalment of the symposium.
    View Sponsorship and Tradeshow opportunities. 

    Categories: Dates and Deadlines, What's happening at CCOVI

  • 2019 CCOVI News

    2019 Winter Edition
    2019 Spring Edition
    2019 Summer Edition
    2019 Fall Edition

    Categories: CCOVI Newsletters, What's happening at CCOVI

  • Graduate research opportunity

    MSc/PhD: Yeast, acids and “sweet/honey” off- flavours, in Pinot noir sparkling and still red wines.

    Project Description

    Location: Brock University, St Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
    Supervisors: Dr Belinda Kemp, Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), Brock University.

    I am looking for an enthusiastic student for a funded position at the MSc level with the ability to transfer into the PhD program. A PhD student who has achieved an MSc and wishes to progress to a PhD student is also welcome.

    The studentship will investigate off-flavours associated with compounds originating from grape infection, and their influence on the resultant wine during aging. The research will include analysis in aroma compounds by HS-SPME-GC-MS, capillary electrophoresis (CE), standard wine chemical analysis, advanced wine sensory analysis and winemaking. The candidate will gain skills in these areas, as well as teaching experience, statistical analysis, a range of analytical software, data interpretation and wine production within Brock’s renowned Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute.

    Eligibility and desirable experience:
    ● Applicants should hold a BSc degree in Viticulture and Oenology, Food Science, or analytical chemistry. Applicants who have a BSc in these disciplines at the First Class level can enrol for an MSc, and upon successful completion of their first year can apply to convert to the PhD stream. A strong academic background in biological sciences is also desirable.
    ● Experience with advanced laboratory beverage analysis is vital along with an interest in sparkling wine, red wine and flavour chemistry.
    Funding Details: This position is fully funded by CAP AAFC GF3, which covers a student stipend. Funds for conference travel are also available. Applications will be assessed as they arrive.

    How to apply: Please contact Dr Belinda Kemp for further information and send your CV, cover letter, personal statement and contact details for two references to bkemp@brocku.ca.

    Categories: What's happening at CCOVI

  • 2017-18 Year in Review

    Click the image above to view our 2017-18 Annual Report.

    Categories: Annual Reports, What's happening at CCOVI

  • International Cool Climate Wine Symposium set to highlight Canada’s wine industry

    15 June 2018


    Momentum is building as Canada gets ready to welcome the world to Brock University for the 2020 International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS).

    From July 12 to 17, 2020, leading researchers, winemakers, grape growers, educators and media from around the world will gather at Brock for the 10th instalment of the symposium. This will mark the first time that the ICCWS, which takes place every four years, has come to Canada.

    Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) is working alongside its research and industry partners to plan the event, which will focus on how climate change is driving innovation in the grape and wine industry.

    “This is an issue that impacts all cool climate wine regions,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “The ICCWS will give researchers from all areas of the grape and wine value chain the chance to showcase the latest research and discuss innovative practices that can help ensure the vitality of cool climate winemaking.”

    As 2020 approaches, conference organizers have launched a new website that will serve as the key source of information for delegates who plan on attending the conference. Although registration doesn’t open until next summer, interested individuals can use the website to sign-up for the ICCWS’ mailing list and learn more about Canada’s wine regions and conference programming.

    In addition to the conference sessions at Brock, delegates will also have the opportunity to participate in pre- and post-conference programming that will showcase Canada’s wine regions from coast-to-coast.

    Dan Paszkowski, Canadian Vintners Association President and Chief Executive Officer, said Canada’s wine and grape producers are eager to welcome international delegates to the country.

    “The ICCWS offers an exceptional opportunity to showcase the wines of Canada to the world, tell our cool climate wine story and share the true diversity of Canada’s award-winning terroirs as delegates taste wines from Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec,” Paszkowski said.

    A unique feature of the conference will be the presentation of wines from The Great Chardo Swap. Organized by CCOVI oenologist Belinda Kemp, the swap will showcase terroir and winemaker ingenuity through Niagara Chardonnay to conference attendees. The activity has 12 winemakers using grapes from two well-established Niagara vineyards to craft one-of-a-kind Chardonnays, with six winemakers working with juice from each site.

    Other than using the same juice, closures and bottles, winemakers have free rein to craft their wines however they like. All of the wines will be part of a grand tasting at the ICCWS, with the winemakers discussing how the decisions they made during the winemaking process impacted the final wine.

    The initiative will also be featured at the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration during its “School for Cool” Education Day on Friday, July 17, 2020. The Great Chardo Swap wines will be auctioned-off, with the proceeds donated to the Karl J. Kaiser Memorial Fund to establish scholarships for students studying oenology and viticulture at Brock University.

    Learn more at iccws2020.ca

    Categories: Media releases, What's happening at CCOVI

  • Fizz Club on tour: Canadian sparkling winemakers are Italy bound

    14 June 2018                                                                                                                          R00126

    Fizz Club, a networking group for Canadian sparkling winemakers, is trading in its usual classroom meeting spot at Brock University for the scenic views of the Italian countryside next week.

    Thirty winemakers from four provinces will join Fizz Club organizer Belinda Kemp, a Senior Scientist in Oenology at Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), on a five-day technical tour of Italian sparkling wine facilities beginning June 25. The tour will connect the Canadian winemakers with their highly regarded colleagues and sparkling wine scientists in Franciacorta, Trentino and Conegliano.

    “We are often able to get Ontario winemakers together but to have winemakers from British Columbia, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick join us is a great opportunity,” Kemp said. “Organized Fizz Club excursions like this give busy winemakers time and space to talk to each other and learn from their international colleagues.”

    To plan the tour, Kemp has been working with Niagara winemakers Craig McDonald, Vice-President of Winemaking at Andrew Peller Limited, and Elisa Mazzi, Assistant Winemaker at Malivoire Wine.

    Fizz Club was created at Brock five years ago to provide the technical foundation for the growth of Canada’s sparkling wine industry. The network has an annual meeting where the latest CCOVI research is presented and gives winemakers the opportunity to exchange practical advice on all stages of production.

    “Our region is really collegial among winemakers,” McDonald said. “We need to maintain and nurture that and Fizz Club is the greatest platform we have not only within Ontario but also nationally to do that.

    “We’re really happy and very fortunate to have a person of Belinda’s caliber involved in this. To not only have a winemaker with a PhD but to also have someone who really believes in the potential of the industry is exciting for the winemakers.”

    This marks the second time that Fizz Club has gone abroad. In 2016, Kemp led 26 Ontario winemakers on a technical tour of France’s Champagne region, where they gained insights from top producers and consultants. Mazzi was on that tour and is excited to now be showcasing her home country of Italy to her Canadian colleagues.

    “Champagne was a great opportunity for us to actually talk to winemakers, because when you just taste wine you don’t have an idea of what’s going on behind the scenes,” Mazzi said. “It’s important to understand their philosophy, see what their mentality is and what drove them to start their sparkling program.”

    As the winemakers prepare for Italy, the quality of Canadian bubbly is garnering international attention. Earlier this month, two Ontario wineries received Platinum medals with a score of 97 points for their sparkling at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards.

    Attached to this release is a photo that is free for media use. Caption: Winemakers Craig McDonald and Elisa Mazzi work with CCOVI’s Belinda Kemp (centre) to put the finishing touches on plans for Fizz Club’s trip to Italy.


    Categories: Media releases, What's happening at CCOVI

  • Graduate research opportunity: Sparkling wine flavour

    If you are interested in pursuing oenology studies at the graduate level,CCOVI researchers Belinda Kemp and Gary Pickering are recruiting a fully funded PhD student.

    Click here to learn more about the opportunity

  • Top VQA wine promoters honoured at Experts Tasting

    Media Release: 3 May 2018, R00095

    More than 125 wine writers, educators and industry professionals gathered at Brock Wednesday, May 2 for the 29th annual Experts Tasting.

    Organized by Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the tasting promotes Ontario VQA wine and celebrates individuals who have made contributions to growing and promoting the grape and wine industry.

    The 2018 tasting focused on Cabernet Franc and examined the 2013 to 2016 vintages. Five flights showcased a total of 33 wines with industry experts guiding the attendees through the tasting.

    “The Experts Tasting has become a pivotal educational opportunity for guests to taste and learn alongside their peers in the industry,” said Barb Tatarnic, organizer of the event and Manager of Outreach and Continuing Education at CCOVI. “Cabernet Franc is considered one of the core varietals for this region and having the tasting showcase multiple vintages clearly showed what this variety can bring to the Ontario industry year after year.”

    The event also honours individuals who help raise the profile of Ontario wine with VQA Promoter Awards, which acknowledge individuals who celebrate, through promotion and/or education, the Ontario VQA wine industry with unselfish enthusiasm, constructive input and unsolicited promotion.

    The lifetime achievement award was presented posthumously to Ontario wine industry pioneer and winemaker Karl Kaiser by CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis.

    “There would be few in this room who would not recognize the pivotal contributions that Karl made to our VQA wine industry,” Inglis said. “From putting Canada on the map as a wine-producing nation to changing the landscape of agriculture in Niagara, he showed us what could be crafted with the grapes that we grow here. He helped drive this industry forward to be what it is today.”

    Kaiser’s daughters Andrea and Magdalena accepted the award on behalf of his family. Magdalena was also recognized for her own contributions to promoting and raising the profile of VQA wines in the promoter-at-large category, marking the first time a father and daughter have been recognized in the same year.

    When Brock grad Ivone de Marchi (BSc ’72) learned of the passing of his former lab partner Kaiser (BSc ’74) last fall, it struck a chord with him. He wanted to honour Kaiser with a portrait, and on Wednesday the painting was unveiled and then gifted to Brock to hang in Inniskillin Hall.

    CCOVI Viticulturist Jim Willwerth was recognized in the education category for the opportunities he provides grape growers and winemakers in support of Ontario VQA wines through his outreach and research work.

    The 2018 VQA Promoter Award winners in each category are:

    • Education: Jim Willwerth, CCOVI Scientist, Brock University
    • Hospitality: Sarah Scott, Manager of Dining Operations, Benchmark Restaurant
    • LCBO: Brittany Gregory, Product Consultant, LCBO Store #381, Kitchener
    • Media: André Proulx, Radio Producer and Wine Writer, Two Guys Talking Wine
    • Out-of-Ontario: Ian D’Agata, Wine Writer and Director of the International Wine Academy
    • Promoter-at-Large: Magdalena Kaiser, Director of Public Relations – Tourism and Marketing, Wine Marketing Association of Ontario
    • Retail: Tim Coons, Estate Manager, Trius Winery and Restaurant and Wayne Gretzky Estates
    • Lifetime Achievement: Awarded posthumously to Karl Kaiser, winemaker and wine industry pioneer

    2018 VQA Promoters award winners (from left): Tim Coons, retail; Andrea Kaiser on behalf of Karl Kaiser’s family, lifetime achievement; Jim Willwerth, education; Magdalena Kaiser, promoter-at-large; Brittany Gregory, LCBO; Sarah Scott, hospitality. Absent from the photo are André Proulx, media, and Ian D’Agata, out-of-Ontario promoter.

    Brock alumnus Ivone De Marchi presents CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis with the portrait he created to honour his former classmate Karl Kaiser, which will hang in Inniskillin Hall.

    Categories: Media releases, What's happening at CCOVI

  • Spring 2018 edition of the CCOVI News now available

    Click the image below to read the full newsletter and catch-up with everything that has been happening at CCOVI.


    Categories: What's happening at CCOVI

  • Winter 2018 edition of the CCOVI News now available!

    Click the image below to read the full newsletter and catch-up with everything that has been happening at CCOVI!

    Categories: What's happening at CCOVI