Ontario wine education

Brock University’s continuing education offerings are going digital — and when the Certificate in Ontario Wine online course begins next month, it will also be the Ontario wine industry’s first integrated online program specific to VQA wine.

Offered by Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the course is designed for a wide audience, from wine enthusiasts to professionals working in a winery, hospitality or retail sales environment.

The five-week program will see students study alongside peers under course designer and instructor Marc Pistor (in top photo with Barb Tatarnic), an Ontario winemaker who is also a Brock Oenology and Viticulture alumnus. Using an interactive format that includes videos, forums and chat discussions, students will put in about six hours of work each week around their own schedule. They will receive suggestions and recommendations on Ontario wines to taste and will be able to share their tasting notes with their classmates.

Graduates will receive official certification through CCOVI at Brock University and are also eligible to write the Wine Council of Ontario Certification.

“In Niagara there are options and opportunities for wine education but beyond our region, those opportunities are limited,” said Pistor. “Creating this course helps to get the word out about Ontario wine across the province.”

The course will run five times each year in February, April, June, August and October. Registration is $195.

“This is the first online course of its kind,” said Barb Tatarnic, CCOVI’s manager of continuing education. “Offering this course online will remove both geographical and time barriers for people interested in a formal introduction to Ontario wine.”

During a trial run of the course, participants were able to test out the system and work through the course material.

“I would recommend this course to anyone working, or aspiring to work in the Ontario wine industry as this course would be hugely beneficial,” said trial participant Malcolm Lamont, LCBO Product Consultant in St. Catharines.

Laurie Macdonald, VQA Ontario’s Executive Director, said industry partners including VQA Ontario welcome the new course, and are looking forward to working with CCOVI to increase consumer knowledge about VQA wines.

“Consumers will benefit from a better understanding of Ontario’s diverse regions including the role grape origin plays in the character and taste of our wines,” Macdonald said.

Registration for the February session closes January 27 and the course begins February 11. For more details visit here.