CCOVI’s first online course breaks new ground for Ontario’s wine industry

Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) has launched a brand new Certificate in Ontario Wine online course that will be the Ontario wine industry’s first integrated online program specific to VQA wine.

“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.”

The five-week program utilizes an interactive format and graduates will receive official certification through CCOVI at Brock University and are also eligible to write the Wine Council of Ontario Certification.

“We are pleased that Brock University has chosen to use ‘The Wine Appellations of Ontario’ book developed by the Wine Council of Ontario (WCO) for this new, innovative online course”, said Richard Linley, President of the WCO.  “As Ontario wineries know, this book remains fundamental in the training of winery retail staff and continues to be used by Ontario colleges and universities across the province.”

Students will study alongside peers under course designer and instructor Marc Pistor, an Ontario winemaker who is also a Brock Oenology and Viticulture alumnus (BSc ’06), using the online platform. From viticulture and winemaking information, to the origins of the Ontario wine industry and VQA and food and wine pairings students will have access to videos, narrated presentations, forums and activities throughout the course.

During a pilot run of the course, participants were able to test out the system and work through the course material. Taylor Magee, assistant cellar master at Cave Spring Cellars, and a student of the pilot course says the course provides a complete picture of the Ontario industry on both the winemaking and viticulture side.

“This is a great course for people who appreciate the industry and want to learn more,” Magee said. “As my career grows, I can use the basic understanding I learned from this course.”

The course will run five times each year in February, April, June, August and October. Registration is $195. Sign up for the session beginning February 11 by January 27. For more details visit:


The OCW leads the growth and profitability of Ontario’s respected VQA wine sector – through strategic partnership and authoritative trusted advocacy. As a non-profit trade association, the OCW represents over 100 wineries from across the three designated viticultural areas of the province (Niagara, Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore – including Pelee Island) as well as emerging wine producing regions such as Ontario’s South Coast and Georgian Bay/Grey County. OCW members are independently owned small and medium sized businesses – grape growers, manufacturers and leaders in tourism in their communities. Our members are the future of Ontario’s wine industry which is a source of new investment, jobs and award-winning wines.

For more information, please contact: | 905 562 8070 ext. 225

More Media More Reports