History & Education
In 2000, the Niagara on the Lake campus of Niagara College established the Winery and Viticulture Technician program. The program is the first of its kind in Canada in that the Teaching Winery facilitates the learning enterprise of the program. Presently located amidst 38 acres of College vineyards, the teaching winery allows the students to have immediate access to a hands-on experience in a real-time working environment to produce award winning wines. Furthermore the program allows them to obtain skills in three specialty areas; winemaking, viticulture and sales/marketing, that will provide diverse opportunities upon graduation.
Inception of this program was developed in direct consultation with the local wine industry and under the advisement of a Program Advisory Committee. In 2004, the Winery and Viticulture Technician Program received the Pinnacle Award for best supplier of graduates to the tourism industry, and was also awarded Best Program in Canada 2004 by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges.
In the fall of 2008, Niagara College has opened doors to the new post graduate certificate program in Wine Business Management. This intense program uses college science labs, a wine sensory lab, the vineyards, on-site wine equipment, and the Niagara College Teaching Winery Campus Wine Store. This program will provide graduates with a well-rounded business education and a very specialized practical training required for successful operations of future growth in Canadian wine, hospitality and tourism industries. This is the first and only Wine Business Program in Canada.
Niagara College Teaching Winery is the centre for wine education in the Niagara Peninsula and is the only fully licensed teaching winery in Canada. With the focus on quality education, we believe in preparing students for work in the "real" world. Our graduates then enter an exciting career with a wine industry employer in winery operations, viticulture, sales/marketing and wine business management.
The wine industry has worked with Niagara College to develop and fine-tune the following programs so that graduates are highly skilled and ready for their new careers. These intense and unique academic curriculums utilize our science lab, college vineyards, on-site equipment, and work with wine industry educators and professional winemakers.