Niagara College leasing vineyard for wine program
February 11, 2020, Smiths Falls & Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. – Thanks to a new agreement, Niagara College’s teaching winery will take over operations at a Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyard property owned by Canopy Growth, sowing the seeds for an environmentally sustainable site and new learning opportunities for wine students.
Canopy Growth is leasing the vineyard to the college, and it will be operated by the NC Learning Enterprise Corporation (NCLEC).
Niagara College is home to the first and only commercial teaching winery in Canada as well the first commercial cannabis production program in the country.
Canopy Growth acquired the Concession 5 Vineyard in May 2019 and was seeking to partner with an experienced grape grower committed to maintaining the property in a sustainable manner.
“Ensuring the vineyard continued to operate in a sustainable manner was very important to Canopy Growth as well as the community of Niagara-on-the-Lake,” Jeff Ryan, vice president of government and stakeholder relations at Canopy Growth, said in a press release.
“This partnership maintains the historical use of the property and we could not be more satisfied that it will become a hub for learning to be enjoyed by Niagara College’s students for decades to come.”
College president Dan Patterson applauded Canopy Growth’s decision to preserve the vineyards on the Niagara-on-the-Lake property.
“We are proud to be a part of this historic new partnership that bridges Niagara’s established wine industry with its emerging cannabis production industry, and we’re dedicated to applying our expertise in a manner that will benefit our students and the community.”
Steve Gill, general manager of NCLEC, noted the importance of the wine and cannabis production sectors working together in Niagara and pointed to the new partnership as a testament to what can be achieved.
“This partnership is a win-win-win,” said Gill. “Our wine students gain experience at a second Niagara vineyard, Canopy benefits from our dedication to minimizing impact on its greenhouse operations, and Niagara-on-the-Lake residents gain good neighbours through our commitment to maintaining the vineyards with sustainable farming practices.”
The Concession 5 Vineyard is located on the fertile sub-appellation of Four Mile Creek.