Dr. Debbie Inglis, director of Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) has been recognized for her countless contributions to the Canadian grape and wine industry at the 2022 Canadian Wine Industry Awards, which took place as part of the 2022 Canadian Wine Growers Symposium on July 11.
Inglis was awarded the Wine Industry Champion Award, which is presented to an individual who has provided exemplary support for the Canadian wine industry through media, research, policy and regulation, education, advocacy or other means, significantly contributing to the overall strength and long-term viability of the industry. The award recognizes the extensive community of Canadian wine champions who are passionate about Canadian wine and industry prosperity beyond those employed directly in the industry.
One factor central to Inglis’ vital contributions to the advancement of viticulture and oenology in Canada is her ability to create connections. Whether it is across the local wine community, between universities nationwide, with government agencies and public stakeholders – or at the core – between researchers and wine industry partners; Inglis is a gifted team builder.
“Dr. Inglis is an academic leader with respect to structuring academic research to make it responsive to industry and community interests,” said Allan Schmidt, CCOVI executive committee industry member. “At the same time, she has shown a profound commitment to the principle that the implications of research should be intelligible and should make a difference to the Canadian grape and wine industry partners.”
Prior to her role at CCOVI, Inglis has been involved in the grape and wine industry virtually her entire life. Her father Stan Murdza was a grape grower, who along with his wife Doreen, bought their first vineyard in Niagara in 1970. Her family was one of a handful of growers that were early adopters of vinifera vines in Canada and began planting Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot noir in the 1970s.
Inglis advised that vineyard, which is now known as Montague Vineyard of Inniskillin, was sort of an experimental vineyard in the 1970s and they used it to learn how to manage varieties, which were at that point, new to the region.
“I look now at how far our industry has come over the last 40 to 50 years, across all of Canada from those early days,” said Inglis. “We continue to identify the best varieties that grow in each region, vinifera and hybrids alike, to produce incredible wines, each with a unique regional style and flare.”
The 2022 Canadian Wine Industry Awards also include the Canadian Wine Industry Award of Distinction, awarded to Pillitteri Estates Winery Founder Gary Pillitteri, and the Karl Kaiser Canadian Winemaker Award, awarded to the late Paul Pender of Tawse Winery.
Source: CCOVI July 13, 2022 newsletter
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