Niagara College brings its Master Taster program to Prince Edward County

Niagara College CFWI manager of corporate training Jeff Steen (right) attends an open house event at Huff Estates Winery – prior to the launch of the Master Taster program – along with (from left) Linda Hagerman (office manager, Waring House Restaurant and Inn), Christine Scott (Canada Ontario Job Grant liaison, Career Edge, Picton), Brianne Chapman (retail manager, Huff Estates Winery), Brittany Chatterson (Master Taster student), and Emily Cowan (executive director, Prince Edward County Chamber of Tourism and Commerce).

Niagara College’s wine education programming is seeping beyond the region’s borders.

On February 20, the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute will launch its Master Taster program in Prince Edward County, with the program’s first course, Sensory Evaluation of Wines 1, to be offered at Huff Estates Winery in Bloomfield.

“A key strategy for the Canadian Food and Wine Institute is to bring our unique strengths in training beyond our region, to regions needing our expertise,” said  CFWI dean Craig Youdale. “The courses in Prince Edward County are a great start to how we can grow our influence in our industry and connect with communities across our province. We are excited to start making the county a part of the CFWI family.”

Huff Estates Winery’s in-house sommelier Brian Hanna noted that Prince Edward County is a burgeoning VQA viticultural region, and was declared a designated viticultural area in June 2007, joining Niagara and its sub-regions, Lake Erie-North Shore and Pelee Island.

“We at Huff Estates are elated to be the latest venue for the Canadian Food and Wine Institute’s Master Taster program,” said Hanna. “The individuals who have enrolled will be afforded a splendid opportunity to enrich themselves to further delve into the intricacies of wine chemistry, evaluation, viticulture and winemaking. In turn, upon graduation, they will be prime candidates to espouse and promote the uniqueness of Prince Edward County wineries to visitors.”

Jeff Steen, manager of corporate training at the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, noted that the Master Taster course will provide a training option to the region which will assist in the continued growth of its wine professionals.

Focusing solely on fine-tuning the art of tasting and analyzing wines, the part-time studies program is geared to all levels of professionals in the wine industry. The Master Taster program consists of five 14-week courses, which, once complete, are recognized with a Master Taster certificate. View details about the Master Taster program here.

“The certificate has been highlighted as a valuable piece of education, as the program continues to gain recognition across the province,” said Steen.

This is the second new location for the Master Taster program outside of Niagara in recent months. In September 2017, the CFWI launched its Master Taster program in the Lake Erie North Shore area at Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards (in Harrow, Ontario).

In December, it was  announced that the CFWI’s short-term training in culinary, beer, and wine will soon be offered in Aurora as a result of a partnership between the College and the Town. For details view: NC partners with Town of Aurora to expand Expert Edge training

The Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College is home to unique post-secondary and part-time programs in food, wine and beer education. It is home to Benchmark, the College’s teaching restaurant, as well as the Niagara College Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery – the first of their kind in Canada. In 2018, it will also be home to Canada’s first teaching distillery.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; 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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