News

  • Cuvée legacy fund grows as organizers set date for 2017 event

    Mark your calendars. One of Ontario’s most sought-after wine and culinary events, the 29thannual Cuvée Grand Tasting, will take place Friday, March 24, 2017 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls.

    This announcement comes as organizers report Cuvée 2016 generated net revenues of more than $36,000, most of which will go to support student scholarships and grape and wine research through the Cuvée Legacy Fund.

    Organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the 2016 Cuvée Grand Tasting was a sold-out event that took place March 4 showcasing 50 VQA wineries and 12 celebrated chefs.

    “It’s thanks to the support and enthusiasm of our sponsors and attendees that we are able to increase this year’s contribution to the Cuvée Legacy Fund,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “This fund allows us to help students offset their education costs and provide support for research priorities identified by the grape and wine industry.”

    The funding from the 2015 event is already making a difference. For PhD candidate Jennifer Kelly, receiving the first Cuvée Graduate Scholarship has meant that she has had more time to focus on her studies.

    “Not only has the Cuvée scholarship allowed me to focus more on my research, the project that I’m working on has practical applications that will impact the Ontario grape and wine industry, which is equally valuable,” Kelly said.

    Of the net proceeds, $33,000 has been placed in the Cuvée Legacy Fund. The remaining $3,670 will go to support the Niagara Community Foundation, in recognition of their work in overseeing Cuvée for several years before CCOVI took over stewardship of the event.

    Tickets for the 2017 Cuvée Grand Tasting will go on sale starting Oct. 1. Noel Buckley, President and General Manager of the Scotiabank Convention Centre, said the venue is proud to partner with Brock for the second consecutive year to host the event.

    “Distinguished events such as Cuvée celebrate the time-honoured tradition of viticulture, and highlight the excellence of Ontario wines, particularly those from Niagara, as some of the finest in the world,” said Buckley.

    Daniel Goodman, President and CEO of GFI Investment Counsel Ltd., remarked that the event was a great opportunity to experience Niagara’s food and wine culture.

    “Attending Cuvée for the last two years has opened our eyes to the growth and development of the wine and food industry in the Niagara Region,” Goodman said. “We were blown away by the quality of the vintners and the mouth-watering food that was on full display for the evening.”

    Shari Fanson, an LCBO Product Consultant in St. Catharines, appreciated the concept that each winemaker was able to select their favourite wine to pour.

    “It was truly an incredible experience,” Fanson said. “Being able to taste the winemakers’ favourites really showcased the complexity and quality of the wine we make here in Ontario.

    BASF Canada Inc., a long-time sponsor of the event, sends 20 top oenology and viticulture students to Cuvée each year as an educational experience.

    “As a company, we are committed to sustainability, and supporting outstanding new grape growers and winemakers allows us to act on that commitment,” said BASF Horticulture Crop Manager Scott Hodgins.

    Learn more about Cuvée and the positive impact it has on the industry and Brock University students at cuvee.ca

  • Final tally shows Cuvée 2015 raised thousands for students and research

    The accounting is finished, and organizers of Cuvée 2015 report that this year’s grape and wine celebration event generated net revenues of $33,000, most of which will go to supporting student scholarships and grape and wine research.

    This was the first year that Cuvée was organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, a sold-out evening that took place Feb. 27 at the Fallsview Casino.

    Of the net proceeds, $5,000 will go to support the Niagara Community Foundation, in recognition of that organization’s work in overseeing Cuvée for several years before CCOVI assumed responsibility.

    Of the remaining $28,000 in net proceeds, $15,000 will be used to establish scholarships and $13,000 will go toward industry driven research that supports the grape and wine industry.Organizers intend to use the $15,000 scholarship money as follows:

    • scholarships of $5,000 and $2,500 respectively for students in the Oenology and Viticulture bachelor of science program at Brock
    • a $2,500 scholarship for a student pursuing a Certificate in Grape and Wine Technology
    • and a $5,000 scholarship to establish a Cuvée award for a graduate student in Oenology and Viticulture.

    CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis said the proceeds are a tribute to the staff, volunteers and organizing committee members who made the event a success.

    “Staging an event like Cuvée involves hundreds of hours of work and a lot of commitment,” said Inglis. “But it’s worth it when you see the profits going to help students complete their education.”

    Cuvée 2015 drew positive reviews from many in attendance. Faces in the crowd this year ranged from Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor to senior community, political and industry figures.

    Niagara Regional Chair Alan Caslin saluted “the dedication of Brock staff and volunteers who made this year’s Cuvée an outstanding community event in support of Niagara’s post-secondary students and our renowned wine industry.”

    “I had a great time and look forward to next year,” said Caslin.

    John Fisher, President and CEO of Walker Industries, remarked on the successful transition of this year’s event to the new organizing team.

    “Brock has done an excellent job of carrying on the work of the Niagara Community Foundation in making Cuvée a first class entertainment experience for the people of Niagara,” said Walker.

    Details on Cuvée 2016 will be announced in the coming weeks.

  • Top honours handed out to grape and wine industry promoters

    MEDIA RELEASE

    R00027

    04 March 2015

    Brock University — Communications & Public Affairs

    Top honours handed out to grape and wine industry promoters

    During a weekend celebrating excellence in Ontario wine, eight individuals were recognized for their contributions to growing and promoting the province’s grape and wine industry.

    The award winners were revealed at the Cuvée Grand Tasting Feb. 27 at Fallsview Casino Resort. Organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the event is one of the largest celebrations of Ontario VQA wine.

    Niagara-on-the-Lake grape grower Don Forrer was honoured with the Cuvée Vineyard of Excellence Award sponsored by BASF Canada Inc. The award recognizes a grower who promotes excellence in their vineyard practices. The winner is chosen by an expert panel that makes field visits throughout the growing season to monitor quality.

    The Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence was presented to Laurie Macdonald, executive director of VQA Ontario, for overseeing the development of a provincially regulated appellation system with grace and humanity.

    The 2015 VQA Promoter Award winners were also announced at Cuvée with the awards being presented Saturday, Feb. 28 at CCOVI’s Experts Tasting held at Brock University. The awards acknowledge individuals who celebrate through promotion and/or education the Ontario VQA wine industry with unselfish enthusiasm, constructive input and unsolicited promotion.

    Len Pennachetti, this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, took the Feb. 28th award ceremony as an opportunity to reflect back to 40 years ago when he was one of the first growers to start planting Vinifera vines in Niagara.

    “Those of us who were already growing Vitis Vinifera in Niagara knew that it could be done,” Pennachetti said. “And sometimes I have to pinch myself when I come to events like last night (Cuvée) or here today and see what we have been able to achieve as an industry, and that’s because of innovation that we have completely transformed the Niagara peninsula.”

    The 2015 VQA Promoter Award winners in each category are:

    • Education: Evan Saviolidis, sommelier and wine educator
      Saviolidis was recognized as a dedicated educator who is passionate about Ontario VQA wines and has instilled this passion to a new generation of students through the courses he runs as well as his work educating consumers about Ontario VQA wine at the Wine Country Ontario events booth.
    • Hospitality: Darcy MacDonell, owner/operator of Farmhouse Tavern
      MacDonell was recognized for taking the step of only serving VQA wine and Ontario craft beer at his restaurant the Farmhouse Tavern. Making such a commitment to VQA wine has created a robust offering of local selections strongly solidifying the case that great wine grows in Ontario.
    • LCBO: Ed Smith, Ontario wine leader customer service representative at the Ottawa-Orleans LCBO
      Smith was honoured for his tireless and selfless effort in promoting VQA wines at his Ottawa-Orleans LCBO store.  He makes the annual “Taste Local, Love Local” campaign a major event by building large Ontario focused displays and offering pairing advice to consumers always with an emphasis on VQA wines.
    • Media: John Szabo, partner and principal critic at Wine Align
      Along with doing restaurant and private consulting, teaching, and speaking engagements, Szabo has become one of Canada’s key wine writers which is why he was honoured this year. Although he writes about wine regions all over the world, when he speaks about Ontario VQA wine he is a credible advocate for the industry.
    • Promoter-at-Large: Kimberly Hundertmark, executive director of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival
      Hundertmark was recognized for twenty years of leadership in the wine industry and her dedication to making the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival a ‘go to’ event for lovers and supporters of Ontario VQA wine.
    •  Lifetime Achievement: Len Pennachetti, president and co-founder of Cave Spring Cellars
      Pennachetti was recognized for his dedication to the Ontario industry from his early days as a producer and advocate to his work today as one of the senior leaders at the Wine Council of Ontario. He has also worked tirelessly to establish Niagara’s Twenty Valley as a visitor destination, volunteering his time, his property and talents to guiding its development.

    Photography is available upon request.

    For more information contact Kaitlyn Little, University Communications klittle@brocku.ca          905-688-5550 x 4471

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  • Lieutenant Governor attending Cuvée

    MEDIA RELEASE

    R00022

    25 Feb. 2015

    Brock University — Communications & Public Affairs

    Lieutenant Governor attending Cuvée

    Ontario Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell will be a special guest this weekend when hundreds gather in Niagara Falls for Cuvée, the annual mid-winter celebration of Ontario’s grape and wine industry.

    At the invitation of Brock University, Her Honour will join the festivities for the Cuvée Grand Tasting on Friday Feb. 27.

    Organized by Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the event held at Fallsview Casino Resort is one of the largest celebrations of Ontario wine.

    The Cuvée Grand Tasting will feature more than 52 Ontario winemakers, each showcasing their favourite wine as well as 13 of the province’s top chefs serving signature dishes at live cooking stations.

    Proceeds from the Cuvée wine weekend will fund student scholarships and support research needs that are identified by the industry.

    Debbie Inglis, CCOVI Director said the Lieutenant Governor’s attendance at Cuvée demonstrates her commitment to celebrating and continuing to grow the grape and wine industry, which contributes $3.3 billion annually to the Ontario economy.

    The Lieutenant Governor’s office has a history of celebrating excellence in Ontario viticulture and winemaking, and has presented the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines since 2011.

    Some tickets are still available for the weekend events. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit cuvee.ca

    About CCOVI

    The Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) at Brock University was developed in partnership with the Grape Growers of Ontario and the Wine Council of Ontario. Established in 1996, CCOVI is an internationally recognized research institute focused on research priorities of the Canadian grape and wine industry, and on the education and outreach service needs of that community.

    For more information contact Kaitlyn Little, CCOVI Communications klittle@brocku.ca        905-688-5550 x 4471; cell 289-241-9154

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  • Cuvée passport is a ticket to rare wine tastings this weekend

    MEDIA RELEASE

    R00020

    23 February 2015

    Brock University — Communications & Public Affairs

    Cuvée passport is a ticket to rare wine tastings this weekend

    More than 30 Ontario wineries will be rolling out the red carpet this weekend to showcase exclusive tasting flights as part of the Cuvée en Route passport program.

    Cuvée en Route runs Feb. 27 to March 1 and is part of the 2015 Cuvée wine weekend organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI). The weekend kicks off with the Cuvée Grand Tasting which is one of the largest celebrations of Ontario VQA wine Feb. 27 at Fallsview Casino Resort.

    All Cuvée en Route passport holders can travel the Wine Route enjoying complimentary rare tastings.  Each participating winery has put careful consideration into showcasing wines that highlight their winery and wouldn’t normally be available to the public for tasting. Tasting flights include limited edition wines, horizontal tastings where participants can taste multiple varietals from the same vintage and vertical flights where the same wine from a variety of vintages is showcased.

    Saturday and Sunday, participants will also be able to purchase each winemaker’s favourite wine that was featured at the Cuvée Grand Tasting Feb. 27.

    Five unique dining opportunities are also available to participants looking for lunch or dinner along the wine route. Dining options are not included in the Cuvée en Route fee; however meal prices are outlined in the Cuvée en Route brochure.

    Cuvée en Route passports are included with Grand Tasting tickets or can be purchased at participating wineries for $30.

    The lineup of tasting flights and dining opportunities can be viewed here.

    Proceeds from the Cuvée 2015 wine weekend will fund student scholarships and support research needs that are identified by the Ontario grape and wine industry.

    For more information about the Cuvée weekend visit cuvee.ca

    About CCOVI

    The Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) at Brock University was developed in partnership with the Grape Growers of Ontario and the Wine Council of Ontario. Established in 1996, CCOVI is an internationally recognized research institute focused on research priorities of the Canadian grape and wine industry, and on the education and outreach service needs of that community.

    For more information contact Barb Tatarnic, CCOVI Outreach Manager at btatarnic@brocku.ca  905-688-5550 x 4652

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  • More than just good wine, Cuvée Grand Tasting turns up the food factor

    MEDIA RELEASE

    R00014

    05 February 2015

    Brock University — Communications & Public Affairs

    More than just good wine, Cuvée Grand Tasting turns up the food factor 

    Throughout its history, the Cuvée Grand Tasting has become a hot ticket for its reputation as an influential salute to Ontario’s best wines. But each year, gourmet food takes a bigger bite of the action.

    The 2015 edition of Cuvée is set for the Fallsview Casino Resort on Feb. 27, and more than a dozen top Ontario chefs are busy scheming a culinary tour de force. This year, however, organizers have upped the cuisine ante by adding chefs from three Toronto restaurants to serve up their own signature dishes.

    Organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), Cuvée Grand Tasting is one of the largest celebrations of Ontario wine, with proceeds helping fund student scholarships and research needs that are identified by the Ontario grape and wine industry.

    These days, Cuvée has outgrown its role as a grand stage for Ontario’s best vintages. It is increasingly a destination of choice for foodies seeking a unique culinary experience, as participating chefs prepare and serve their delights to attendees at live cooking stations.

    The Toronto culinary partners are:

    ·         Centre for Wine and Food Experimentation featuring chef David Chrystian

    ·         Crush Wine Bar featuring chef Trista Sheen

    ·         Woods Restaurant featuring chef Carlos Deveyra

    Niagara culinary partners include:

    ·         Benchmark Restaurant and the Canadian Food and Wine Institute featuring chef Alex White

    ·         Cave Spring Cellars – On the Twenty Restaurant featuring chef Frank Romano

    ·         Dairy Farmers of Canada led by Gianna Ciancio

    ·         Fallsview Casino Resort featuring chef Ray Taylor

    ·         Le Clos Jordanne, Jackson-Triggs and Inniskillin Wineries featuring estate chef Tim Mackiddie

    ·         Oliv Restaurant at Strewn Winery featuring chef Rob Webster

    ·         Peller Estates Restaurant featuring chef Jason Parsons

    ·         Ravine Winery Restaurant featuring chef Ross Midgley

    ·         Vineland Estates Restaurant featuring chef Justin Downes

    Gourmet desserts will be presented by Criveller Cakes chefs Giovanni del Priore and Leonardo Priore, and Italian Ice Cream chef Andrew Vergalito.

    For more information about the Cuvée Grand Tasting visit cuvee.ca

    About CCOVI

    The Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) at Brock University was developed in partnership with the Grape Growers of Ontario and the Wine Council of Ontario. Established in 1996, CCOVI is an internationally recognized research institute focused on research priorities of the Canadian grape and wine industry, and on the education and outreach service needs of that community.

    For more information contact Kaitlyn Little, University Communications klittle@brocku.ca          905-688-5550 x 4471

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  • 27th annual Cuvée Grand Tasting set for Feb. 27, 2015

    BROCK UNIVERSITY
    MEDIA RELEASE

    09 Oct. 2014
    Communications & Public Affairs
    905-688-5550 x4687

    27th annual Cuvée Grand Tasting set for Feb. 27, 2015

    Mark your calendar. One of Canada’s most sought-after wine events, the 27th annual Cuvée Grand Tasting has been set for Friday Feb. 27, 2015 at Fallsview Casino Resort.

    Over 26 years, Cuvée has become one of the most prestigious celebrations of Ontario wine. Now as the event evolves, proceeds will go to support the industry it showcases.

    Organized by the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) at Brock University, money raised from Cuvée 2015 will support student bursaries and research that will benefit the Ontario grape and wine industry.

    CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis said the leadership transition has brought a new look and feel for the event along with a new website. The feedback gained from small, medium and large wineries has positioned CCOVI to take Cuvée to the next level.

    Inglis said CCOVI’s long history of supporting Cuvée gives it a natural fit for taking on the role of organizing the event.

    “CCOVI is committed to helping the industry continue to grow by training the next generation of industry professionals, and by providing the industry with applied research solutions,” Inglis said.

    Scholarships will be established for undergraduate oenology and viticulture students as well as graduate students studying in fields across the grape and wine value chain, including viticulture, wine science, business and tourism.

    Research funding will go to support projects that address priorities identified by the industry.

    The Cuvée Grand Tasting on Feb. 27 will feature Ontario’s best VQA wines as well as food prepared by local chefs. The Cuvée en Route passport program will run at participating wineries from Feb. 27 to March 1 and showcase exclusive tasting flights.

    Learn more at: cuvee.ca

    About the Ontario grape and wine industry

    The Ontario grape and wine industry employs over 14,000 people and attracts 1.9 million visitors to the province each year. It is an important driver to the provincial economy contributing $3.3 billion annually according to research completed by the Canadian Vintners Association.
    Details at: http://www.canadianvintners.com/?page_id=358

    About CCOVI

    The Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) at Brock University was developed in partnership with the Grape Growers of Ontario and the Wine Council of Ontario. Established in 1996, CCOVI is an internationally recognized research institute focused on research priorities of the Canadian grape and wine industry, and on the education and outreach service needs of that community.

    To learn more about CCOVI, visit: brocku.ca/ccovi

    For more info:
    Barb Tatarnic, Cuvée manager, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4652 btatarnic@BrockU.CA

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  • Brock University takes over organizational role of prestigious Cuvée Gala

    MEDIA RELEASE
    R00023
    Communications & Public Affairs, Brock University
    905-688-5550 x4687

    Cuvée, one of the most prestigious celebrations of Ontario wine and food, will now be organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI).

    Announced tonight at the 26th anniversary of the grand tasting, Brian Hutchings, Brock’s Vice-President of Finance and Administration, said CCOVI’s new role with Cuvée is a great fit, given the University’s strong relationship with Ontario’s grape and wine industry.

    Proceeds from the 2015 Cuvée wine weekend will support student bursaries and research that will benefit the Ontario grape and wine industry.

    “This is a terrific development,” said Hutchings. “It will ultimately support some of the very students and researchers who are crucial to sustaining and growing the industry in the future.”

    CCOVI has been a long-time supporter of Cuvée, and is excited to take on this organizational role says director Debbie Inglis.

    “CCOVI is always looking for ways to help grow the market share of Ontario VQA wine,” said Inglis. “The event will now not only showcase the best of Ontario’s wine, but will also raise funds to help the industry continue to grow.”

    The format will stay the same with the Cuvée Grand Tasting Gala food and wine event along with the Cuvée en Route passport program. This year’s grand tasting featured over 50 Ontario winemakers pouring wines they selected as their personal favourite.

    CCOVI takes over leadership of Cuvée from the Niagara Community Foundation who has organized the event for the past 11 years. Prior to that, the event was a fundraiser for Gray Gables School.

    More details on the event can be found at: cuvee.ca

    About CCOVI
    The Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) at Brock University was developed in partnership with the Grape Growers of Ontario and the Wine Council of Ontario. Established in 1996, CCOVI is an internationally recognized research institute focused on research priorities of the Canadian grape and wine industry, and on the education and outreach service needs of that community.

    For more on CCOVI visit: brocku.ca/ccovi

    For more info: Kaitlyn Little, communications officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4471; 289-241-9154 (cell); klittle@brocku.ca
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