Niagara College Teaching Winery

As the first commercial teaching winery in the country, the Niagara College Teaching Winery (NCT) is the center for applied wine education for the Canadian wine industry. The winery, which officially opened in November 2002, began production in 2001 and operates on a non-profit, cost recovery basis, with all revenue from sales re-invested into the winery program.

Situated on the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus of Niagara College within the Niagara Region of Ontario, the winery is surrounded by an ecological band of wetlands and vineyards at the base of the Niagara Escarpment, a World Biosphere Reserve. This unique setting serves as a living laboratory for the students, providing them with practical, hands-on training that prepares them for the workplace.

The NCT offers a variety of programs for students, including winery and viticulture, and wine business management. Winery and viticulture students are taught the day-to-day responsibilities and inner workings of a winery, from planting grapes to selling wine. Students form teams dedicated to making a specific variety of wines. The Wine Business Management program provides students with expertise in the business, retail, marketing, and export aspects of the growing wine industry.

The NCT also boasts three on-site teaching and research vineyards, covering 38 acres of production vineyards plus the Jack Forrer teaching and demonstration vineyard. The NCT participates in events around the country and the world, including the Niagara Icewine Festival, CuveƩ, In Your Backyard Horticultural Open House, Wine & Herb Festival, New Vintage Festival, Niagara Grape & Wine Festival, Niagara Food Festival, and Taste The Season.

NCT also offers a Wine Sensory Laboratory, completed in April 2007, which enhances the training of students enrolled in wine and viticulture, sommelier, culinary, hospitality, and tourism programs. With 40 wine-tasting stations, recessed light tables, and sinks, the theater-style lab is designed to provide the appropriate physical and technical resources to assess and appreciate wine. The lab also includes a smaller, more traditional wine-tasting room often found at Ontario’s wineries.

The Niagara College Teaching Winery is a destination for wine enthusiasts and students alike. The winery’s location in the heart of Niagara Wine Country, its top facilities, and its dedicated staff make it a premier destination for wine education and appreciation. Whether you’re looking to learn about the art of winemaking or simply looking to taste some of Canada’s finest wines, the NCT is the go-to destination for you.