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 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.
The Niagara College Teaching Brewery is a practical learning environment for students in Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program located at the beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake campus. The open-concept 1,500 sq. ft. micro-brewery facility—allowing students to brew their own craft beer on-campus—includes both a large scale system capable of producing 1,000 litres of beer and a smaller pilot system that allows students to brew one keg at a time. This is an ideal set-up for the creation of experimental brews and special beers for events that highlight the interaction between beer, food and wine.
As Canada’s first Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program, we offer extensive hands on training in the Teaching Brewery to prepare graduates for employment in the expanding brewery, microbrewery and brewpub industries. This unique program includes specialized instruction in brewing technology, sensory evaluation, quality control, brewery operations, sales management, and advanced business applications specific to beer-related sectors; teaching students to be leaders in the craft beer industry. Students learn from world-class, award-winning Brewmaster faculty and have access to our on-site hop yard and local farm products to brew a full range of beer styles. The program has an outstanding employment rate and helps to fill a gap in the industry.
Our brand new, state-of-the-art 2,500 sq ft facility located at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus features five stills, four mash tins and ten fermenters that will allow for on-site production of a wide variety of distilled products. The Artisan Distilling program at Niagara College provides students with an in-depth understanding of the scientific, technological and business aspects of distilling and fermentation.