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Study Winemaking and Viticulture in Canada


The Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute Brock University Canada

Brock University's Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) offers Canada's only university level programs for training in the sciences of Oenology (winemaking) and Viticulture (grape growing).  Founded in 1996 in collaboration with the Canadian grape and wine industry, CCOVI has become the focal point for academic training and research for the Canadian industry.  Our unique academic programs are attracting students from across Canada and around the world.  Graduates of our programs have not only established successful careers in Canada but are receiving international acceptance.

Brock University is located in the heart of Ontario's Niagara Viticultural Area.  Niagara, long famous for the natural beauty of the Niagara Escarpment and Niagara Falls, is now gaining international recognition for its wines. Our location amidst the local vineyards and wineries enables our students to gain practical experience to complement their academic training. A complete range of table wines is produced from premium Vitis viniferagrapes but our most famous product is Icewine.  Icewine is produced from grapes that have naturally frozen on the vine, picked and pressed only when the temperature is below  8 C.  The sweet, aromatic juice is then carefully fermented to produce a exotic dessert wine.

CCOVI is located in Inniskillin Hall, one of the most modern facilities in the world dedicated to grape growing and winemaking research and education.  Inniskillin Hall includes a state of the art biotechnology lab, a computerized sensory evaluation lab, viticulture lab, a fully equipped research and teaching winery and a 43, 000 bottle wine cellar containing research and teaching wines and the Canadian Wine Library collection.

CCOVI offers a complete range of educational opportunities in Oenology and Viticulture(OEVI) including an Honours BSc Co-op degree in Oenology and Viticulture, PhD and MSc studies in Biological Sciences or Biotechnology and a Certificate Program in Grape and Wine technology.  The range of offerings is complimented by CCOVI's ever expanding selection of Continuing Education courses.

Most students are enrolled in either the BSc or the Certificate program.  The BSc is an applied biotechnology, Co-op only program, blending a comprehensive scientific education in both Oenology and Viticulture with courses in marketing, tourism and wine appreciation. The Certificate program consisting of core of BSc level Oenology and Viticulture courses.  This permits individuals, with the appropriate background, to gain the education necessary to enter the grape and wine industry without completing a degree.  Students with a previous BSc that provides the required background courses in Biology and Chemistry may be able to complete the Certificate in as little as 12 months. 

Small class size facilitates communication with the instructors and fosters a sense of community.  The education focus takes a hands-on approach in the high tech laboratories, local vineyards and the on-campus teaching winery. The Co-op component requires 3 work terms totaling 48 weeks of real industry experience in the grape and wine industry.  Students gain additional hands-on experience in vineyards and wineries during these work terms.

Applicants from the Province of Ontario, Canada, planning to enter the BSc program directly from high school must meet the following requirements:

- 6 Grade 12U credits with an average of 80%

- courses must include Chemistry and 1 Mathematics with minimum grades of 70%

- 2 more credits from Biology, Physics or another Mathematics

Students from other areas should see admission requirements in the Brock Undergraduate Calendar at http: // .

Applicants who have completed or are currently enrolled in an appropriate University or College program may qualify for admission to either the BSc or Certificate with advanced standing.  For more information see the Brock Undergraduate Calendar at:  http: // or contact us at

Students in the BSc program can gain international experience by participating in exchange agreements.  We have agreements with Lincoln University in Canada, University of Udine in Italy or ENESAD, the Etablissement National dEnseigment Superieur Agronomique de Dijon, France.  Additionally, there are degree completion agreements with other schools in Canada, providing the opportunity for students from across the country to acquire this specialized education once only available internationally.

Graduates from our programs have the knowledge to pursue a broad array of career paths.  They are currently working as winemakers, wine chemists, quality control supervisors, vineyard managers, marketing specialists, sensory scientists, educators and industry researchers, or are pursuing graduate studies.  The depth of their academic training, combined with the breadth of their practical experience, has resulted in our graduates achieving national and international acceptance by industry and graduate schools.

CCOVI faculty are also researchers known throughout the world for their expertise and are the recipients of awards from major funding groups.  One example of research at CCOVI is a four year, nearly $1-million study designed to ultimately ensure the authenticity of Canadian Icewines.  Our students have the opportunity to participate in this and other ongoing research projects.

If you would like more information about the educational opportunities available at CCOVI, please contact us at .



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Gail Higenell

Brock University