News

  • Record crowd for Triggs Lecture Series

    15 August 2019
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    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.

    Categories: Media releases

  • September Dates & Deadlines

    September 9 – October 6: 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.

    September 9 – October 6: ONLINE – WSET Level 1 in Spirits
    This is a beginner level course for those starting a career in the spirits industry or those wishing to explore spirits for personal interest.  There is no prerequisite to register.
    For more information and to register click here.

    September 14-29: Niagara Grape and Wine Festival
    Enjoy 100+ events at the 68th Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. Continuing the long-standing tradition, CCOVI is hosting its popular Educate Your Senses wine seminars in Montebello Park September 21 & 28.
    For more information visit niagarawinefestival.com

    September 24 – December 10: OEVI 0N01 – Wine Appreciation – Exploring Varietals
    A special interest course focused on the tasting of wines from Canada and around the world. Learn and improve your skills and be able to distinguish among wine varietals such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, etc. The purpose of this course is to help you to develop your palate. Each week the class will focus on a different variety with wine examples from around the world. Taste the difference between a New World and an Old World wine or a cool climate region and a warm climate region.
    For more information and to register click here.

     

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

  • August Dates & Deadlines

    August 8 & 9: Triggs International Premium Vinifera Lecture Series
    This is the 10th anniversary instalment of the Triggs International Premium Vinifera Lecture Series. The lecture presents a leading international viticulture speaker to lend their expertise through vineyard visits and a public lecture. The 2019 featured speaker is Vaughn Bell, PhD, Senior Scientist, New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research.
    For more information click here.

    August 10 to September 14: Online – Certificate in Ontario Wine
    From wine enthusiasts to anyone working in a winery, restaurant or retail sales, the Certificate in Ontario Wine is the first online course of its kind that will remove geographical barriers for those looking for a formal introduction to Ontario wine.
    For more information and to register click here.

    August 19 to August 23: Cider and Perry Production – A Foundation
    The Cider and Perry Production foundation course will cover all aspects 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.
    For more information and to register click here.

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

  • Brock’s CCOVI partners with industry to produce certified clean grapevines

    19 June 2019
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    Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) has partnered with the grape and wine industry to produce certified, clean grapevines.

    The Government of Canada recently committed $2.3 million in funding over the next three to support the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network (CGCN) as it develops certified vines for grape growers. As part of the project, CCOVI will be the national testing provider.

    “This funding will give nurseries a jump start to providing domestically certified clean plant material to the grower community across Canada and allow the industry to be less reliant on imported material,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “Nurseries will have the opportunity for lower-cost virus testing by cost sharing with the CGCN. We’re looking forward to working closely with the industry to make sure growers are starting out with clean plants to assist the long-term viability of the Canadian grape and wine sectors.”

    CCOVI will catalogue and assess vines used for plant propagation from nurseries and grape growers across Canada. This will ensure that only vines testing negative for targeted viruses are used to generate new plants receiving the CGCN certification, which will help keep Canada’s vineyards virus-free.

    “Canada’s vineyards have become an important part of our national economy,” said Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti as he announced the government’s commitment to the project. “With this funding, the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network will help ensure that growers have access to high-quality, locally-sourced grapevine stock to keep their fields healthy and prosperous.”

    CGCN Vice Chair and grape grower Bill Schenck said announcement is the next step in the creation of a clean plant network for grapevines in Canada.

    “We have been working closely with researchers at CCOVI and this funding will expand what we can do as far as testing our grapevines,” he said. “This will allow us to work more closely

    with nurseries as we try to clean up vines in the ground and help growers plant healthy vineyards.”

    The CGCN is also leading national research initiatives for grape and wine, receiving
    funding through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and industry partners of more than $11 million last year to establish the Canadian Grape and Wine Science Cluster. The cluster is a collaborative project which includes researchers at Brock and other universities across the country as well as AAFC scientists, grape growers and industry partners in Ontario, B.C., Quebec and Nova Scotia.

    Categories: Media releases

  • Top VQA wine promoters honoured at Experts Tasting

    18 June 2019
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    More than 120 wine writers, educators and industry professionals gathered at Brock University on Tuesday, June 18 for the 30th annual Experts Tasting, which promotes Ontario VQA wine and celebrates individuals who have helped grow and promote the grape and wine industry.

    Organized by Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the 2019 tasting focused on Riesling, from sparkling to Icewine. Five flights showcased a total of 35 wines with industry experts guiding guests through the tasting.

    “The Experts Tasting has been designed for the trade — primarily media, product consultants, sommeliers and wine educators who promote VQA wines,” said event organizer Barb Tatarnic, Manager of Outreach and Continuing Education at CCOVI. “This event allows guests to taste and learn alongside their peers in the industry. This tasting showcased multiple vintages and styles of Riesling and clearly showed what this variety can bring to the Ontario industry year after year.”

    The event also honours outstanding achievements and contributions by presenting VQA Promoters Awards to individuals who advance the industry through promotion or education.

    The Sparkling Winos — wine bloggers Jeff Graham and Michal Matyjewicz — were recognized for promoting and raising the profile of VQA wines in the promoter-at-large category.

    “This is something that we do purely as a hobby. This isn’t a full-time job,” said Graham. “We invest so much of our time and effort into Sparkling Winos, so it means everything to be recognized for that from our peers and other industry professionals we admire.”

    The social media influencers say they are passionate about educating people about VQA wine.

    “There is so much going on in this area, so many quality wines and such a focus on quality winemaking,” said Matyjewicz. “I think that is what makes it a unique wine region and makes it a really easy sell for us to help spread the word about sparkling and other VQA wines.”

    The lifetime achievement award was presented to Helen Fisher, retired viticulture research scientist at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, who was recognized for her

    groundbreaking work in the vineyard and her research into wine grape selections for cool climate regions.

    The 2019 VQA Promoters Award winners include:

    • Retail: Meg McGrath, Retail Manager, Hidden Bench Winery
    • Hospitality: Maribeth Mckey, Food and Beverage Manager, Inn on the Twenty
    • LCBO: Victor Borja-Sheen, Product Consultant, LCBO
    • Education: Ron Giesbrecht, Professor, Niagara College
    • Promoter-at-Large: Jeff Graham and Michal Matyjewicz, The Sparkling Winos
    • Lifetime Achievement: Helen Fisher, retired researcher, University of Guelph

    Categories: Media releases

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

    31 May 2019
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    Canada will welcome the world to Brock University next summer for one of the most prestigious wine conferences, the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS).

    From July 12 to 16, 2020, leading researchers, winemakers, grape growers, educators and media from across the globe will gather at Brock for the 10th instalment of the symposium, which takes place every four years.

    Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) is planning the event alongside its research and industry partners across the country. This is the first time the conference has come to Canada and it 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 diverse fields the chance to showcase the cutting-edge work they are doing and discuss innovative practices that can help ensure the vitality of cool climate grape growing and winemaking.”

    Brock is pleased to welcome Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Schmidt as the opening keynote speaker. Schmidt is an expert on issues of climate change and has his own cool climate vineyard and winery. He is also Vice-Chancellor and President of the Australian National University.

    “The International Cool Climate Wine Symposium is where the world of science and industry gets together every four years to better understand how to make outstanding wines in cool climates,” said Schmidt.

    “The climate is changing and changing rapidly. ICCWS 2020 is chance for cool climate winemakers, like myself, to get on top of the science and experiences from around the world to ensure they are relevant in this fast changing and highly competitive environment.”

    Schmidt has joked on social media that he is looking forward to visiting Canada and meeting Niagara’s Brian Schmidt, winemaker at Vineland Estates, to cause some confusion.

    ICCWS conference sessions will focus on viticulture, oenology, wine business and science communication. Each of the four themes will include a number of speakers, seminars, master classes and workshops.

    Regina Vanderlinde, President of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), has been named as the oenology keynote speaker and will talk about the global wine overview to climate adaptation and the challenges of adopting new technology in wineries.

    As the viticulture keynote speaker, Elizabeth Wolkovich from the University of British Columbia will share her research on how climate change affects different wine grape varieties and how shifting varieties may help growers.

    The science communication keynote speaker will be Kimberly Nicholas, Associate Professor of Sustainability Science at Lund University in Sweden. Her research focuses on sustainable farming systems, the wine industry under climate change, and linking research with policy and practice to support a zero-emissions society.

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

    International delegates will be introduced to Canadian wines and local culinary offerings through a number of special farm-to-table dinner options at local wineries, a Taste of Canada event and a banquet dinner at Brock University.

    Abstract submissions for technical sessions and poster presentations as well as registration for the ICCWS opens in August. Learn more about the conference at iccws2020.ca.

    Categories: Media releases

  • 2018-19 Year in Review

    Categories: Annual Reports

  • July Dates & Deadlines

    July 6 to August 9: Online – WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits
    This course provides fundamental product knowledge and lays the foundation for the Systematic Approach to Tasting.  The Level 2 Award is ideal for those entering a profession in the wine and spirit industry, as well as for the enthusiast who wishes to broaden their knowledge in a structured way.
    For more information and to register click here.

    July 19-21: i4C – International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration
    Join winemakers and wine lovers from across the globe in Niagara for a three-day fête in honour of some very cool characters. The i4C blends premium wines, Niagara’s world-class culinary scene and immersive wine education. Join CCOVI at the School of Cool & What Kind of Cool Are You sessions.
    For more information visit the i4C website.

     

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

  • 2019 CCOVI News

    2019 Winter Edition
    2019 Spring Edition

    Categories: CCOVI Newsletters, What's happening at CCOVI

  • Record crowd pours in for Cuvée Grand Tasting

    25 March 2019
    R00052

    It was another packed event this year as the 31st annual Cuvée Grand Tasting brought almost 900 guests together to celebrate excellence in the thriving Ontario wine industry.

    Organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the record crowd came to Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls Saturday, March 23 to sample from the largest selection of Ontario wines under one roof and taste unique culinary dishes from local chefs.

    “This is the largest event of its kind and the strong turnout of guests year after year truly showcases the importance of our grape and wine industry and the strong level of support it garners from our community,” said Cuvée manager Barb Tatarnic.

    The Grand Tasting also honours the talented people who work in the $4.4-billion Ontario grape and wine industry.

    The Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence, presented to the individual or institution that best furthers the aims and aspirations of Ontario’s wine industry, was awarded to Doug Whitty and 13th Street Winery. Whitty is a third-generation Niagara grape grower and was the 2017 Grape King. As he called Whitty to the stage to receive the award, Tony Aspler credited him and 13th Street Winery with “enhancing the winery experience with art and sculpture and, of course, butter tarts.”

    Whitty called Aspler a “pioneer in this industry.”

    “He was there right from the beginning supporting us,” he said. “It is really a great honour for me to win this award, I am very humbled and thankful.”

    The Winemaker of Excellence Award winner was Bruce Nicholson from Inniskillin, who was selected for his contributions to the industry, his commitment to excellence and his mentorship to winemakers across Canada.

    This year’s Cuvée Vineyard of Excellence Award went to Martin Schuele, a grape grower in Beamsville. Sponsored by BASF Canada Inc., the award recognizes a grape grower who promotes excellence in vineyard practices.

    “The Cuvée Grand Tasting is a great opportunity for BASF to not only celebrate Ontario wines with our grape customers, but to also introduce those customers to some of the future industry leaders from Brock University and Niagara College,” said Scott Hodgins, Crop Manager, Horticulture for BASF Canada Inc.

    Schuele and his family, who grow for Arterra Wines Canada, have about 120 acres of vineyards and it’s been a family-owned operation since they arrived from Germany in the early 1980s.

    “Schuele vineyards have long been associated with vineyard excellence,” said CCOVI Senior Scientist Jim Willwerth. “Martin’s Chardonnay block was pristine with high quality fruit even in the tough 2018 vintage.”

    Cuvée also celebrates the next generation of winemakers and grape growers by providing scholarships to Brock University Oenology and Viticulture undergraduate and graduate students through the Cuvée Legacy Fund.

    The Cuvée Scholarship winners are:

    ●  Cuvée Hosting Award for Academic Excellence: Marnie Crombleholme
    ●  Cuvée Award for Academic Excellence: Jessica Oppenlaender
    ●  Cuvée Award for Academic Excellence in OEVC: Jeffrey Moote
    ●  Cuvée Graduate Scholarship: Jennifer Kelly

    “We are so pleased to provide these scholarship opportunities and industry recognition for the very deserving students of Brock’s Oenology and Viticulture programs,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “The Cuvée Grand Tasting is a full-circle celebration of excellence in our industry, honouring the best and brightest in the business today, and looking forward to those who will shape the industry in the future.”

    Almost 900 guests took part in the 31st annual Cuvée Grand Tasting Saturday, March 23 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls.

    Categories: Media releases