Brock University brings renowned wine program to Niagara

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Brock University brings renowned wine program to Niagara

May 14, 2009

An international wine and spirits program has come to Niagara through the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) at Brock University.

CCOVI has become the first university program provider in southwestern Ontario, and only the sixth location in Canada, to offer the Wine & Spirit Education Trust® (WSET). WSET is a London, England-based program offered throughout the world for wine enthusiasts and those employed in the drinks industry.

“When people receive their certification through WSET, it is a qualification recognized around the world that they can put on their resumes. In addition to courses and qualifications for those in the ‘trade,’ there is an increasing number of consumers or enthusiasts who attend WSET courses,” said Barb Tatarnic, CCOVI continuing education co-ordinator and managing director of the Canadian Wine Library. “The program is so well regarded that LCBO product consultants are required to get advanced WSET certification.”

In Canada, WSET is offered at one location in Toronto, one in Ottawa and three in British Columbia.

“Qualifying to offer the program was a rigorous process,” Tatarnic said. “The WSET has an application procedure as well as intensive instructor training that will not only enhance the educational opportunities in wine education at CCOVI, but simply put, the WSET offers the most highly regarded, respected and transferable wine certification available anywhere.”
The levels offered are as follows:

Level 1: WSET Foundation in Wine is a one-day introductory course for those new to wine education. Students will learn the basics of grape varieties, as well as food and wine pairing and health, safety and legal issues. The course will run June 7.

Level 2: The Intermediate Certificate in Wine and Spirits will run nine weeks starting in September. The course is geared to those employed in the drinks industry, or anyone wishing to broaden their knowledge of wine and spirits in a structured way.

Level 3: Running 14 weeks beginning January 2010, this is the Advanced Certificate in Wine and Spirits for those seeking in-depth knowledge.

For more information, or to register online, visit