Almost 900 guests packed the 31st annual Cuvée Grand Tasting in Niagara Falls on March 23 to celebrate excellence in the thriving Ontario grape and wine industry.
Organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the event honours the talented people who work in the $4.4-billion Ontario grape and wine industry.
The Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence, presented to the individual or institution that best furthers the aims and aspirations of Ontario’s wine industry, was awarded to Doug Whitty and 13th Street Winery. Whitty is a third-generation Niagara grape grower and was the 2017 Grape King.
The Winemaker of Excellence Award winner was Bruce Nicholson from Inniskillin, who was selected for his contributions to the industry, his commitment to excellence and his mentorship to winemakers across Canada.
This year’s Cuvée Vineyard of Excellence Award went to Martin Schuele, a grape grower in Beamsville. Sponsored by BASF Canada Inc., the award recognizes a grape grower who promotes excellence in vineyard practices.
“The Cuvée Grand Tasting is a great opportunity for BASF to not only celebrate Ontario wines with our grape customers, but to also introduce those customers to some of the future industry leaders from Brock University and Niagara College,” said Scott Hodgins, crop manager, horticulture for BASF Canada Inc.
Schuele and his family, who grow for Arterra Wines Canada, have about 120 acres of vineyards and it’s been a family-owned operation since they arrived from Germany in the early 1980s.
“Schuele vineyards have long been associated with vineyard excellence,” said CCOVI senior scientist Jim Willwerth. “Martin’s Chardonnay block was pristine with high quality fruit even in the tough 2018 vintage.”
Source: CCOVI March 25, 2019 news release