News

  • Reminder: Brock pops the cork on Cuvée online Friday

    Get ready to experience Ontario VQA wine in a novel way as Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) virtually delivers the best that the Cuvée Grand Tasting has to offer.

    The Cuvée 2020 Online Experience will launch at noon Friday, May 22, offering an immersive opportunity to explore Ontario VQA wine, craft beers and ciders alongside partnering culinary partners for delicious take-away food options.

    This online format brings the story of the winemakers’ favourite wines to life and is free with no tickets required. The site will remain accessible until the next Cuvée, giving guests the ability to enjoy it whenever — and as often — as they like.

    “The Cuvée Grand Tasting is a much-anticipated part of both our guests’ and industry partners’ calendars every year, and we worked hard to ensure we could still celebrate and support the local industries in a fun way during these challenging times,” says Cuvée Manager Barb Tatarnic.

    The online experience came after the decision was made to cancel the 32nd annual Cuvée Grand Tasting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    It brings the Grand Tasting and Après Cuvée structure right into guests’ homes, connecting them to the excitement of Cuvée through unique video content created just for the experience.

    Participating winemakers will virtually pour and reveal the wines they selected as their favourites for Cuvée 2020 in these unique videos, giving guests a glimpse at the best of the best in VQA wine.

    Similar to the Cuvée Grand Tasting event, all 48 participating wineries are divided into six wine stations in the online experience. Guests can easily shop more than 100 VQA wines available in the experience to taste in the comfort of their own home. Links are provided to make it easy to order their favourites online, for curbside pickup at the winery (many of which are also offering free shipping options) or through the LCBO (online or in-store).

    “Introducing the wines through the Cuvée Online Experience gives people the chance to familiarize themselves with the wines and hone in on the ones they want to try themselves first before committing to a purchase,” Tatarnic explains. “Once they’ve made the decision, it’s as easy as clicking a link to bring that wine home and follow along with the winemaker’s tasting notes whenever they wish.”

    Guests can also browse the line-up of amazing participating Cuvée chefs and explore some unique food pairing options through take-away options, with the event’s headline band, Jonesy, providing the soundtrack to the evening.

    “Cuvée brings the top wine and cider makers, brewmasters and chefs in the province together under one roof, and while we wish we were all celebrating in-person, the online experience allows guests to celebrate in their own way from home,” says Tatarnic. “We hope the experience will provide opportunities to craft amazing virtual tastings and online get-togethers with friends and family, where guests can pick great wines to try, order takeout dishes and share their passion for great wine and food whenever the Cuvée mood strikes them.”

  • Brock’s Cuvée launches new online experience to celebrate the VQA wine industry

    Put on your party attire, fire up the laptop and get ready to celebrate the Ontario VQA wine industry as Brock University moves its annual Cuvée event online.

    The Cuvée 2020 Online Experience launches on Friday, May 22 at cuvee.ca. The virtual experience will feature the 48 wineries, 12 restaurants and seven breweries/cideries that were originally slated to take part in the physical Grand Tasting experience last month. The free online experience does not require tickets and will be accessible until the next Cuvée.

    In videos created exclusively for the experience, participating winemakers virtually pour and reveal what they chose as their favourite wines for Cuvée, give pairing tips and share unique product signature styles that make their choices truly special.

    A link to each participating winery, brewery/cidery and culinary partners’ online store will also be featured, so guests can bring the complete Cuvée Grand Tasting experience into their living rooms by placing online orders at any time.

    Niagara band Jonesy also contributed a special performance video for the online experience so guests can dance the night away in an at-home version of Après Cuvée.

    Organized by Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), Cuvée was originally scheduled to take place on April 25 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Barb Tatarnic, Manager of Cuvée, says organizers worked hard to develop a fun, virtual experience so wine-lovers could still celebrate an experience they look forward to all year.

    “What makes Cuvée special is its ability to bring the industry together in celebration of excellence in the Ontario VQA wine industry and, in 2020, our guests can still do that virtually, whenever they want,” she says. “Get dressed up in your best gala attire — or stay in your sweats, go to cuvee.ca, and get ready to meet our industry partners, listen to their stories, and learn more about the labour of love that drives their craft.”

    Tatarnic also says the experience helps support the wineries, breweries and restaurants that are being directly impacted by the pandemic, financially and otherwise.

    “Although no one could have imagined the challenges brought about by COVID-19, it is important to now stand together, while apart, and support local industry,” she says.

    Thomas Bachelder, Winemaker and Co-owner at Bachelder Niagara and Winemaker, at Le Clos Jordanne, is thrilled the opportunity to gather virtually with colleagues and friends can still take place.

    “Cuvée is a moment in time — a brief shining moment, once a year — where all come together as one collegial community,” he says. “We have learned how to reach out and hug our fellow human beings virtually, and to all of you who have dreamt your ‘Cuvées’ into being but are not able to physically be together to pour them, to all of us, we say ‘Santé.’”

    Cuvée also serves to honour and acknowledge successes and breakthroughs in the industry and advance vital grape and wine research — something CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis says is important now more than ever.

    “Bringing Cuvée online showcases Brock’s ability to still support and celebrate our VQA wine industry while it navigates unprecedented challenges,” she says. “Being able to raise a glass together, even if only virtually, will unite us and help us emerge stronger.”

    The Cuvée Online Experience also coincides with the #30DaysofVQA, an initiative created by Wine Country Ontario to promote the province’s VQA wine industry.

    Proceeds from Cuvée support the Cuvée Legacy Fund, established to fund industry-driven research initiatives and scholarships for students. This year’s Cuvée Hosting Award for Academic Excellence recipient is Brock Oenology and Viticulture student Jessica Oppenlaender. All of the 2020 industry-related Cuvée awards will be presented at the next Cuvée.

    Watch cuvee.ca and follow @cuveegrandtasting and @winecountryont on social media for further information on the Cuvée 2020 Online Experience.

  • Brock’s Cuvée 2020 to be cancelled

    As Brock continues to follow the advice of public health experts on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic at the regional, provincial and national level, the University announced it is suspending all events through June 1, including Cuvée 2020, which was set to take place on Saturday, April 25.

    This decision was made to protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff as well as the greater community, including guests and partners of Cuvée.

    “The health and safety of our guests, valued partners and organizers is of the upmost importance and is always our first priority,” said Cuvée Manager Barb Tatarnic. “Cuvée is a celebrated showcase of our grape and wine industry that we look forward to hosting each year, and while the decision to cancel the event was difficult one, it was necessary in order to ensure the wellbeing of all members of the public.”

    The Cuvée team will be reaching out to its partners and ticket holders in the coming days.

    “Cuvée has become not only one of the largest and most prestigious celebrations of Ontario VQA wine, but a strong supporter of scholarships that drive important research initiatives for the local grape and wine industry,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “We thank everyone for their continued support and look forward to raising a glass with everyone at Cuvée 2021.”

    Please watch cuvee.ca for further information, including a date announcement for Cuvée 2021.

  • Cuvée 2020 to celebrate the best in Ontario VQA wine

    Mark your calendars for the most sought-after wine event of the year – the annual Cuvée Grand Tasting has been set for Saturday, April 25, 2020.

    The event, which serves as the largest celebration of VQA wine of its kind, will be held at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls and will feature more than 100 wine selections from Ontario’s top winemakers.

    Organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), Cuvée is a weekend-long celebration of Ontario VQA wine and local cuisine from chefs from across the region.

    “Cuvée not only celebrates excellence in our industry, it also supports the next generation of winemakers and grape growers by funding valuable research and providing scholarships to students through the Cuvée Legacy Fund,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis.

    Cuvée 2020 will see the return of the popular “Winemakers’ Favourite Wines” feature, along with gourmet food delicacies prepared by celebrated chefs at live cooking stations. At the Après Cuvée party, guests can look forward to live music and selections from micro-breweries, cideries and VQA wineries.

    Cuvée Manager Barb Tatarnic said the 2019 event drew a record crowd to the Grand Tasting event, with nearly 900 guests in attendance.

    “This is the largest event of its kind,” said Tatarnic. “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 local community and beyond.”

    During the weekend-long event, the Cuvée en Route passport program allows ticket holders access to exclusive tasting flights at more than 30 Niagara wineries from April 24 to 26.

    Passports are included with the Grand Tasting or can also be purchased individually for $30. Tickets are on sale now, with early-bird prices available.

    For more information or to purchase tickets to the Cuvée Grand Tasting or en Route passports, visit cuvee.ca

  • Record crowd pours in for Cuvée Grand Tasting

    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.

  • Tickets selling fast for Ontario’s biggest VQA celebration

    The wines have been selected and Ontario’s top winemakers are ready to pour their favourites at the 31st annual Cuvée Grand Tasting in Niagara Falls this Saturday, March 23.

    Organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the Cuvée Grand Tasting takes place at Scotiabank Convention Centre 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 Ontario VQA wineries on hand this year pouring two of their winemakers’ favourite wines, plus local chefs preparing their signature dishes at live cooking stations,” said Cuvée manager Barb Tatarnic. “New this year, guests can experience Cuvée using augmented reality with the LifeAR mobile application, developed by students from Brock, allowing them to view which wineries are represented, what they’re pouring and even purchase wine online at the Grand Tasting.”

    Cuvée 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. More than $122,000 has been generated since CCOVI took the lead in organizing the event four years ago.

    “Winning that scholarship meant all my hard work for the past three-and-a-half years came together,” said Nick Pappas (BSc’18), who won the Cuvée Award for Academic Excellence in 2018. “It is great to win a scholarship, but to win one in the industry you are entering is amazing. That money helped me finish off the last couple of courses at Brock and having that award on a resumé is just amazing.”

    “Student scholarship winners talk about how proceeds from the Cuvée wine weekend support grape and wine scholarships and research initiatives”

    Champions in the province’s grape and wine industry will also be showcased at the event, including the Cuvée Vineyard of Excellence and Winemaker of Excellence awards, along with the Tony Aspler Award of Excellence.

    The Grand Tasting is followed by the Après Cuvée after party, which features live music from the Associates, Icewine, sparkling wine, cider and local craft beer.

    The Cuvée en Route passport program will extend the wine celebration all weekend long running from March 22 to 24 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 Saturday 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.

  • Cuvée 2019 to celebrate the best in Ontario VQA wine and food

    Cuvée weekend is fast approaching and guests this year will have the opportunity to sample the best VQA wine and food Ontario has to offer in a whole new way.

    Hosted by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the Cuvée Grand Tasting is the largest celebration of Ontario VQA wine and food of its kind. This year’s event takes place Saturday, March 23 at Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, with the Cuvée en Route passport program once again extending the wine celebration all weekend long at participating wineries.

    Nearly 900 people attended last year’s Cuvée Grand Tasting, with proceeds supporting scholarships for Brock’s Oenology and Viticulture students, as well as grape and wine industry driven research initiatives at CCOVI.

    New this year, guests can experience Cuvée using augmented reality. CCOVI has teamed up with HoloEducate, an augmented reality company founded by students from Brock. The mobile application LifeAR will allow guests at the Grand Tasting to view wine selections and even purchase wine online.

    Guests can download the free app before and during the Grand Tasting and then use their phones to scan the large wine bottles found in the middle of each wine station. They’ll be able to see a list of the wineries, which wines they’re pouring and even purchase those wines immediately online.

    “It will be a unique and fun experience for our guests at this year’s event, allowing them to experience Cuvée like never before,” said Barb Tatarnic, Cuvée manager.

    The LifeAR app can also be used before the event to scan the Cuvée logo to view a video of last year’s celebration.

    At the Grand Tasting, guests will enjoy culinary delights from celebrated local chefs at live cooking stations and wines from 48 of Ontario’s top winemakers, who will present two of their favourite wines.

    The Grand Tasting is followed by the Après Cuvée after party, which features live music from the Associates, Icewine, sparkling wine, cider and local craft beer.

    The 2019 lineup of Niagara’s best chefs at Cuvée will include:
    • Backhouse Restaurant
    • Bolete Restaurant
    • Brushfire Smoke BBQ
    • Canadian Food and Wine Institute — Benchmark Restaurant
    • Chili Jiao Authentic Chinese Restaurant
    • Ravine Vineyard Restaurant
    • Righteous Monger
    • Scotiabank Convention Centre
    • The Restaurant at Redstone Winery
    • Tide & Vine Oyster House
    • Criveller Cakes
    • Italian Ice Cream

    A complete list of participating wineries can be found at cuvee.ca

    Tickets that include both the Saturday night Grand Tasting and the weekend-long en Route passport are available online at cuvee.ca/tickets for $200 per person. Tickets for the en Route passport only can be purchased for $30.

  • Cuvée Grand Tasting to celebrate Ontario VQA wine for 31st year

    Mark your calendars for one of the most sought-after wine events. The annual Cuvée Grand Tasting has been set for Saturday, March 23, 2019.

    The event will be held at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls and is the largest celebration of VQA wine of its kind, featuring more than 100 wine selections from Ontario’s top winemakers.

    Online tickets are now available and wine and food enthusiasts can take advantage of early-bird prices.

    This marks the fifth year that Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) has taken the lead in organizing Cuvée, a weekend-long celebration of Ontario VQA wine and local cuisine from chefs from across the region.

    “Not only does Cuvée showcase the finest VQA wines to consumers, it supports the growth of the grape and wine industry by funding valuable research and student scholarships,” says CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis, adding that more than $122,000 has been generated for the Cuvée Legacy Fund over the past four years.

    Cuvée 2019 will see the return of the popular “Winemakers’ Favourite Wines” feature, along with gourmet food delicacies prepared by celebrated chefs at live cooking stations, and an Après Cuvée party with live music and selections from micro-breweries, cideries and VQA wineries.

    Cuvée Manager Barb Tatarnic said the 2018 event drew a record crowd to the Grand Tasting event, with nearly 900 guests in attendance.

    “It really is a unique experience because those aren’t just any wines, they are the selections of the winemakers themselves,” said Tatarnic. “We’re thrilled with Cuvée’s success and the positive feedback we’ve received from our guests.”

    During the weekend-long event, the Cuvée en Route passport program allows ticket holders access to exclusive tasting flights at more than 30 Niagara wineries from March 22 to 24. Passports are included with the Grand Tasting or can also be purchased individually for $30.

  • Inaugural Winemaker of Excellence awarded at packed Cuvée Grand Tasting

    The Cuvée Grand Tasting rang in a milestone 30th anniversary by bringing more than 800 guests together to celebrate excellence in the thriving Ontario wine industry.

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

    “The strong turnout of guests from across Southern Ontario 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 inaugural Winemaker of Excellence Award winner was Angelo Pavanchosen in a unanimous decision for his major contributions to the industry, his commitment to excellence and his mentorship to winemakers across Canada.

    Pavan, Vice-President, Winemaker and Founding Partner at Cave Spring Cellars, is known for his encyclopedic understanding of viticulture in Niagara. He was among the first in the province to work with numerous grape varieties and was a pioneer in the quest to improve wine quality and sustainability in vinifera varieties.

    “It is humbling to be the first recipient of this great award,” said Pavan. “It validates the passion, time, effort and commitment of over 30 years dedicated to this great wine growing region and having participated in its evolution to international recognition.”

    Pavan is also a founding member and Chair of the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) Standards Development Committee and has played a key role in determining the most suitable winemaking practices applicable in Ontario. As the founding Chair of the International Riesling Experience, held in conjunction with CCOVI, Pavan has also been instrumental in solidifying Niagara’s place as one of the world’s pre-eminent Riesling producing regions.

    Teamwork and collaboration is also key to success, he stressed, adding “to be successful and to be acknowledged for your work, one needs to contribute to the industry at large and not just your own operation.”

    This year’s Cuvée Vineyard of Excellence Award went to Albrecht Seeger, an eighth-generation grape grower in Niagara-on-the-Lake and sitting member on the Ontario Grape and Wine Research Technical Committee. Sponsored by BASF Canada Inc., the award recognizes a grape grower who promotes excellence in vineyard practices.

    “BASF believes that we achieve excellence not just by using current practices to their fullest potential, but by looking for new innovations to continuously improve and evolve,” said Scott Hodgins, Crop Manager, Horticulture for BASF Canada Inc. “The Vineyard of Excellence Award provides the opportunity to celebrate others in the industry who do the same.”

    Alongside his wife Anja Bertelmann, Albrecht maintains a sprawling 150-acre vineyard of premium Vitis vinifera grape varieties and has made viticulture his life’s work. He is dedicated to being a grape grower in Ontario, which he calls “one of the best regions in the world to grow grapes.”

    CCOVI Senior Scientist Jim Willwerth said Seegar is “truly deserving of the Vineyard of Excellence Award.”

    “His vineyard is meticulously managed right down to the finest detail,” Willwerth said. “Albrecht strives to produce grapes of the highest quality destined for world class wine and this was demonstrated in every way throughout the evaluation process.”

    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 Sue-Ann Staff. She is a fifth-generation Niagara grape grower and internationally recognized winemaker who has won some of the most respected wine competitions in the world. Staff worked for several Niagara wineries before creating her own eponymous facility, and Tony Aspler said she has since become an “articulate ambassador for the Ontario wine region on the international stage.”

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

    The Cuvée Scholarship winners are:

    • Cuvée Hosting Award for Academic Excellence: Grant McKinnon
    • Cuvée Award for Academic Excellence: Nick Pappas
    • Cuvée Award for Academic Excellence in OEVC: Carol McLennan
    • Cuvée Graduate Scholarship: Andréanne HébertHaché

    “We are pleased to provide these funding opportunities and industry recognition for the very deserving students of Brock’s Oenology and Viticulture program,” 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.”

    More than 800 guests took part in the 30th anniversary edition of the Cuvée Grand Tasting Friday, March 23 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls.

    Donald Ziraldo, right, presents Angelo Pavan, Vice-President, Winemaker and Founding Partner at Cave Spring Cellars, with the inaugural Cuvée Winemaker of Excellence Award Friday, March 23 in Niagara Falls.

    Cuvée Vineyard of Excellence Award winner Albrecht Seeger, an eighth-generation grape grower in Niagara-on-the-Lake and sitting member on the Ontario Grape and Wine Research Technical Committee, speaks to the crowd after being given the honour Friday, March 23.

    The Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence was awarded to Sue-Ann Staff Friday, March 23.

    Cuvée Manager Barb Tatarnic, left, and CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis, right, handed out Cuvée Scholarship awards Friday night to students Andréanne Hébert-Haché, Carol McLennan, Nick Pappas and Grant McKinnon.

  • With students and research to support, Cuvée is back for 2018

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The time has come to make plans for attending the 30th annual Cuvée Grand Tasting!

    The 2018 event will be held Friday, March 23 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls. Online tickets will be available at cuvee.ca soon, when wine afficianados can take advantage of early-bird prices.

    This marks the fourth year that Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) has taken the lead in organizing Cuvée, a weekend-long celebration of VQA wines and local cuisine in the heart of Ontario wine country.  Brock, through CCOVI, produces the Cuvée program to support the future of the grape and wine industry.

    Cuvée 2018 will see the return of the popular “Winemakers’ Favorite Wines” feature, along with gourmet food delicacies and an Après Cuvée party fuelled by live music and featuring selections from micro-breweries, cideries and VQA wineries.

    It has also been confirmed that last year’s Cuvée Grand Tasting generated more than $37,000 in net revenues, of which $15,000 goes to fund scholarships while more than $18,000 will support research to benefit the grape and wine industry.  Another $3,700 goes to the Niagara Community Foundation, in recognition of their past stewardship of Cuvée.

    Cuvée manager Barb Tatarnic said the 2017 event drew more than 750 guests to the gala Friday night Grand Tasting, with hundreds more taking part in the weekend-long enRoute program that offers special tastings at wineries around Niagara.

    “Through the last few years we’ve rebranded, reworked and rejuvenated the event,” said Tatarnic. “We’re thrilled with its success and the positive feedback we’ve received from our guests”

    CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis said Cuvée’s continued success reflects the vitality and significance of the grape and wine industry and its supporters.

    “Hosting the event involves hundreds of hours of work by devoted volunteers, but it is all worthwhile when you see how the profits support crucial research projects and help students complete their education,” Inglis said.

    Alexandra Gunn, a top student in Brock’s Oenology and Viticulture (OEVI) degree program, said her studies are a rich blend of classroom work and real-world research experience, and that attending Cuvée let her interact with industry leaders and realize how CCOVI’s research benefits grape growers and wineries first-hand.

    “Cuvée is one of the paramount events to Ontario’s grape and wine industry and it highlights the importance of the OEVI program within the broader grape and wine industry,” she said.