Student-designed label revealed for inaugural sparkling wine


Students Gaurav AshwaniChelsea Whipps and Christian Scagnetti hold a bottle bearing their winning label design for the Niagara College Teaching Winery’s inaugural sparkling wine.

A team of Niagara College students has a special reason to cheer as the designers of a label for Niagara College’s inaugural sparkling wine.

The winning student-designed label to be featured on bottles of the Niagara College Teaching Winery’s first-ever sparkling wine was announced by a panel of judges from the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute on March 24.

The selected label was designed by a team of three students all in their graduating year: Graphic Design student Chelsea Whipps (St. Catharines) Wine Business Management student Gaurav Ashwani (India) and Winery and Viticulture Technician student Christian Scagnetti (Timmins). The label uses one of the Teaching Winery’s existing brands called ‘Balance’ for the new sparkling featuring balloon graphics. The bottle also includes an elegant gold bottle wrap and the letters ‘NC’ inscribed on the cork.

“The winning label was a difficult choice with so many great submissions that could all be viable options.  In choosing the winner we looked at simplicity colour recognition of NC and an elegance that fits the product in the bottle” said Canadian Food and Wine Institute dean Craig Youdale. “I look forward to having my first bottle of a wine made in-house that all the college community can be proud of and I’m excited that it is a student-driven product from wine to label.”

The students were looking forward to seeing their label on the store shelves and thankful for the opportunity to gain experience.

“It was a very rewarding experience to take part in the project and apply the skills I learned in class” said Ashwani who worked on the marketing aspects of the project. “It will be a very proud moment to see this product on the shelves.”

“This will be an awesome piece for my portfolio – not even just a starter piece for when I graduate but even years down the road” said Whipps who was responsible for the graphic design.  “I had a dry run of exactly how it will be when I’m out in the work world.”

“The project was a unique opportunity to work together with students from other programs. I don’t think any of us would have come up with this on our own” said Scagnetti who made sure proper protocols were followed for the label.

The winning selection marked the culmination of a seven-week student design project which offered participating students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in marketing and design following VQA regulations and label specifics while working for a client on a deadline. Students who participated were paid for their work.

The winning label was selected among four design entries. Three teams who participated each included a student from the college’s Winery and Viticulture Technician Wine Business Management and Graphic Design programs.

Niagara College students have had opportunities to participate in wine label projects for the past five years creating designs for Niagara College’s Teaching Winery as well as local wineries – with great success. A label for the NCTW’s 2012 Balance Sauvignon Blanc created during the 2012-2013 academic year won Best Label Design at the Ontario Wine Awards in 2014.

The first bottles of the Niagara College Teaching Winery’s sparkling are expected to hit the store shelves later this year. The wine marks a significant achievement for the Teaching Winery that serves to enhance the student experience and meet a need in the industry.

“With the production of sparkling wine becoming increasingly popular in the Niagara region the addition of sparkling wine to our Teaching Winery’s portfolio is an example of our College’s hands-on practical approach to learning and our strong connection to industry” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson.

The Niagara College Teaching Winery is the first and only commercial teaching winery in Canada. For details visit

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences advanced technology media applied health and community safety supported by unique learning enterprises in food wine beer horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit


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