As part of CCOVI’s outreach to the grape and wine industry we continue to host FIZZ Club, a sparkling wine networking opportunity with the goal of education and knowledge transfer as it relates to the production of premium sparkling wine.  Sparkling winemakers, as well as winemakers who are considering a sparkling wine program, come together to learn and connect through a series of speakers, tastings, and R&D.

Fizz Club traditionally is limited to sparkling winemakers and winemakers who are considering a sparkling wine program. This is a unique opportunity for sparkling winemakers to openly discuss the regions sparkling wine production, issues and latest research.

Endorsed by the VQA, “Fizz Club” is not just about faults (although there will be some discussion around this) but will be about tasting, sharing and exchanging best practices on all stages of production. There have been presentations on some of the latest advances in technology and ingredients available for production of sparkling wine, tirage and dosage issues, etc. as well as sparkling tastings and group discussions.

If you are a sparkling winemaker or a winemaker considering sparkling wine production, please connect with us to ensure you’re on the FIZZ Club list to receive information.  Email:

A brand new fizz: fizz club bubbles with ideas, research – Brock News Story (Jan. 25, 2024)
The Secret Fizz Club for Canada’s Winemakers – Brock News story (Dec. 3, 2018)

Past Presentations

‘A Brand New FIZZ’ was our theme and our goal was, as it’s always been, education and knowledge transfer as it relates to the production of premium sparkling wine.  Barb Tatarnic, Manager of Outreach, began by acknowledging Belinda Kemp’s role in the development of Fizz Club and, “as we move forward, we all remain committed to continue to build on and make new traditions of our own”.

That included forming a FIZZ Club Steering Group of sparkling winemakers who, together with Barb Tatarnic and CCOVI’s Research Oenologist, Dr. Jennifer Kelly, put together a robust agenda for FIZZ 2023/24 at Brock University.

Dr. Kelly opened up with a literature review of sparkling research and moderated the R&D Experimental trial on the impact of malo on base wines. Sparkling Winemaker René van Ede, Foreign Affair Winery, led a tasting and discussion on non-traditional sparkling wine. For the first time we invited a speaker from the LCBO to discuss sparkling wine sales and trends.  Paul Farrell, Sr Category Manager, LCBO, Sparkling Wine Sales and Trends.  Also for the first time, we had a panel of sparkling winemakers present their R&D trial on the impact of malo and no malo on base wines.  Panelists included:  Elisa Mazzi, Malivoire;  René van Ede, Foreign Affair Winery; Jessica Otting, Tawse; Dean Stoyka, Stratus; and Jeff Moote, Divergence.

The Literature Review presented current industry-leading research to attendees:

  1. Impact of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and non-Saccharomyces yeasts to improve traditional sparkling wines production 
  2. Cluster Thinning and Vineyard Site Modulate the Metabolomic: Profile of Ribolla Gialla Base and Sparkling Wines
  3. Towards a better understanding of the evolution of odour-active compounds and the aroma perception of sparkling wines during ageing
  4. Addition of Organic Acids to Base Wines: Impacts on the Technological Characteristics and the Foam Quality of Sparkling Wines
  5. Innovations in SparklingWine Production: A Review on the Sensory Aspects and the Consumer’s Point of View
  6. Integrative multiomics analysis of the acid stress response of Oenococcus oeni mutants at different growth stages 
  7. The impact of dosage sugar-type and aging on Maillard reaction-associated products in traditional method sparkling wines
  8.  The Maillard reaction in traditional method sparkling wine 

Focusing on the Flavour of FIZZ was our theme for 2022 and finally brought us back together since the pandemic shutdown.

Talks included one on viticulture from Dr. Jim Willwerth including a 3-year Niagara based study and FIZZ Research results from Belinda Kemp.  Tastings included base wines with various treatments and VQA new varieties.

Another sold out gathering.  Talks included:

CCOVI Research results from 3 projects led by Belinda Kemp along with a base wine and sparkling wine from each of the three research projects..  What’s happening internationally on the research front.  Tastings of lightstrike wine as well as a tasting of finished Riesling sparkling wine

Our 6th annual Fizz Club was the largest gathering to date. The sold-out event brought together more than 80 winemakers from across the country as we discussed all aspects of the sparkling production process including new results from studies regarding how different soil types affect sparkling wine flavour, mouthfeel and texture.

Our 5th anniversary Fizz Club theme was “Field to Fizz.” The sold-out event brought together a crowd of winemakers from across the country as we discussed all aspects of the sparkling production process including discussions on clones, soil types and leaf removal, the latest international research and its relevancy to Canada, future CCOVI research topics, closures, yeast, and practical winery aspects along with wine tastings.


Sparkling Rosé was the focus for the fourth season of Fizz Club.  Belinda Kemp welcomed Bernard Richet, Institut Oenologique de Champagne (IOC), Champagne, France who spoke on the topic:  Sparkling Rosé wine production: Controlling color, flavor and foam.  Thank you to Scott Labs for funding Bernard Richet’s talk.  Sparkling winemakers undertook a blind tasting of Rosé sparklings along with open dialogue.  Belinda led the group through a structured sparkling wine assessment – a glimpse into the intricacies of sparkling wine judging.  Updates on research were also covered.

The third season of Fizz Club focused on tasting research trial sparkling wines. In addition there will was a forum with an emphasis on problems and applied solutions.

View the slides for Eugene Mlynczyk’s presentation, “A Survey of VQA Sparkling Wine.”

Fizz Club focused on the viticultural effects on sparkling wine quality.
View the agenda for Fiona Kerslake’s keynote talk.

This meeting built on the momentum of our sold-out Fizz Club session and symposium, including speaker presentations and two tastings, including a research trial as well as a tasting of latest sparkling base wines.

Ontario Sparkling Wine Symposium
International experts presented on current topics in sparkling wine research, while structured blind tastings provided an opportunity for discussion.


Hosted by the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) at Brock University May 6, the sold-out Ontario Sparkling Wine Technical Symposium was a blend of technical theory and practical solutions.

The symposium came at a time when interest in Ontario sparkling wine is growing, said Shari Mogk-Edwards, vice-president products, sales and merchandising at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).

“Our cool climate is yielding world class products,” Mogk-Edwards said, “and I am thrilled to say our customers have discovered the value of Ontario VQA sparkling wines. There is a growing interest in fizz, so we are very pleased with the success of this premium category. The future of Ontario VQA sparkling wine is bright.”

In 2013, sales in Vintages at the LCBO of VQA sparkling wine were up 59.2 per cent from 2012 sales data.  There are currently more than 36 wineries producing sparkling wine, with others committed to the production of, or have expressed an interest in, starting a sparkling program in the near future.

The symposium featured international experts who shared global success stories as well as the latest developments in sparkling wine research.

Participants also had the opportunity to taste two sparkling wine research trials that were currently underway at local wineries as well as a comparative blind tasting. The blind tasting presented a selection of local and international sparkling wines and champagnes and was moderated by Jamie Goode.  The three flights featured Blanc de Blancs, Cuvee/blends and alternative varieties.


Bertrand Robillard,Ph.D.
Director of Research and Development, Institut Œnologique de Champagne (IOC), Champagne.

Disgorging, gushing and foaming

Bertrand is currently Director of Research at the Institut Œnologique de Champagne (IOC), Épernay, Champagne. Prior to his existing role, Bertrand was Head of Research and Development at Moet et Chandon for over 20 years. Bertrand has published hundreds of scientific research papers from his sparkling wine research in Champagne and will be presenting results from studies regarding disgorging, riddling aids, gushing, and factors that affect foaming and their management.


Ed Carr
Group Sparkling Winemaker, Accolade Wines, Australia

Tasmanian sparkling wine production including phenolic and MLF management

Australia’s most decorated sparkling winemaker with 34 years of experience in the Australian wine industry – 27 of these involved with sparkling wine production.  Ed began his career in 1977 with the Wynne Wine Growers Group before being appointed the Seaview Sparkling winemaker. He remained in the Barossa Valley until his move to BRL Hardy (now Accolade Wines) where he continues as Group Sparkling Winemaker.  Ed’s brief was to establish the company as Australia’s leading sparkling wine producer with a portfolio of products that covered all market segments from the best expression of cool climate sparkling to affordable commercial styles. In the seventeen years since joining the group Ed’s results are showing his foresight and extraordinary talent with sparkling wine.  It was Ed’s firm belief in the potential of Tasmania as Australia’s best sparkling fruit resource that was the driving force behind the company’s 1995 decision to produce Tasmanian prestige cuvée, evolving into the House of Arras.


Larry Mawby
Owner and Winemaker at L. Mawby, Leelanu Peninsula, Michigan.

Making wines for specific markets and challenges during production with alternative grape varieties.

A sparkling pioneer Larry produces estate grown and bottled Leelanau Peninsula sparkling wines since his first crush in the fall of 1978. He now produces entirely traditional method and cuveé closed method sparkling wines and is mid America’s largest producer of traditional method sparkling wines. His first vines were planted in 1973 and has just over 18 acres producing around 100,000 bottles of sparkling each year. Mawby is certainly one of the very few producers in North America who make sparkling wine their only focus. Larry will be presenting a talk on his background, making sparkling wine products for specific markets and problems faced in bottle fermented and cuveé closed sparkling wine production.



Jamie Goode, Ph.D.
London-based wine writer, wine columnist, The Sunday Express


Sparkling wine closures and purchaser perception of local, national and international sparkling wines

Jamie is a well-known author and wine writer who came in to wine writing via a PhD in plant biology and several years of working as a book editor before he began publishing which is now one of the worlds’ leading wine websites. In 2007 he was named Glenfiddich Wine Writer of the year and contributes regularly to a range of publications including The World of Fine Wine, Wine Business International, Wines and Vines, Sommelier Journal, etc. Goode is also one of the organizers for the UK based International Sparkling Wine Symposium since 2009 and the Sparkling Wine Review.


Scott Labs, Wine Country Ontario

AO Wilson Ltd., Cellar Tek Supplies Ltd., Chateau des Charmes Estate Winery, Colio Estate Winery, Fielding Estate Winery, Giusti Wines, Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery, Millesime Sparkling Wine Processing Inc., Trius Winery at Hillebrand and Vines to Vintages.


The inaugural Fizz Club brought Sparkling winemakers together for the first time.  Presentations were given on the latest sparkling wine production, research and technology.  Sparkling winemakers were led through a tastings of base wines as well as the latest sparkling wine releases.  Group discussions on options for blending, fining, filtering etc. was covered as well as the finishing of sparkling wines with such areas as lees aging, disgorging, dosage and timing of product release being discussed by the group.