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Master Tasters train in the County

Niagara College CFWI manager of corporate training Jeff Steen, right, at an open house event at Huff Estates Winery – prior to the launch of the Master Taster program. He is pictured (from left) with: Linda Hagerman (office manager, Waring House Restaurant and Inn), Christine Scott (Canada Ontario Job Grant liaison, Career Edge, Picton), Brianne Chapman (retail manager, Huff Estates Winery), Brittany Chatterson (Master Taster student), and Emily Cowan (executive director, Prince Edward County Chamber of Tourism and Commerce).

Niagara College’s wine education programming is pouring out beyond the region’s borders and into Prince Edward County.

The college’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute (CFWI) launched its Master Taster program today with the first course, Sensory Evaluation of Wines 1, at Huff Estates Winery in Bloomfield.

Huff’s in-house sommelier Brian Hanna explained Prince Edward County is a burgeoning VQA viticultural region, and was declared a designated viticultural area in June 2007, joining Niagara and its sub-regions, Lake Erie-North Shore and Pelee Island.

“We at Huff Estates are elated to be the latest venue for the Canadian Food and Wine Institute’s Master Taster program,” said Hanna. “The individuals who have enrolled will be afforded a splendid opportunity to enrich themselves to further delve into the intricacies of wine chemistry, evaluation, viticulture and winemaking. In turn, upon graduation, they will be prime candidates to espouse and promote the uniqueness of Prince Edward County wineries to visitors.”

Jeff Steen, manager of corporate training at the CFWI, said the Master Taster course will provide a training option to the region to assist in the continued growth of its wine professionals.

Focusing solely on fine-tuning the art of tasting and analyzing wines, the part-time studies program is geared to all levels of professionals in the wine industry. The Master Taster program consists of five 14-week courses, which, once complete, are recognized with a Master Taster certificate.

“The certificate has been highlighted as a valuable piece of education, as the program continues to gain recognition across the province,” said Steen.

This is the second new location for the Master Taster program outside of Niagara in recent months. In September 2017, the CFWI launched its Master Taster program in the Lake Erie North Shore area at Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards (in Harrow, Ontario).

Short-term training in culinary, beer, and wine will soon be offered in Aurora as a result of a partnership between the college and the town.

“The courses in Prince Edward County are a great start to how we can grow our influence in our industry and connect with communities across our province. We are excited to start making the county a part of the CFWI family,” said Craig Youdale, CFWI dean.

The Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College is home to unique post-secondary and part-time programs in food, wine and beer education. It is home to Benchmark, the college’s teaching restaurant, as well as the Niagara College Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery – the first of their kind in Canada. In 2018, it will also be home to Canada’s first teaching distillery.


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