Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI)

Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario
What the facility does

Research institute on cool-climate viticulture, oenology, wine business and wine culture

Areas of expertise

The Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute’s Inniskillin Hall and Consumer Perception Laboratory include a state-of-the-art biotechnology lab, sensory evaluation facilities, oenology and viticulture labs, consumer preference research facility and a research and teaching winery. Inniskillin Hall is also home to the Canadian Wine Library, a cellared collection of Canada’s finest VQA wines available for research, education and promotion. The wine cellar, with a total capacity of 43,000 bottles, includes a Vinotheque of wines made by students during their undergraduate and graduate programs. In 2003, additional investments in CCOVI provided further analytical and molecular instrumentation to support leading-edge research in fermentation biotechnology in the form of the Foss WineScan and a microarray reader for gene expression analysis. CCOVI’s 24,000-square-foot Inniskillin Hall facility includes the Canadian Wine Library, a –40°C freezer and an industry-tasting room in the basement; research labs, including a biotechnology, analytical micromanipulator, computer labs, incubator rooms, cold rooms and teaching and research winery on the main floor; and a viticulture research lab, fermentation lab, six temperature-controlled rooms, a sensory lab and research labs on the second floor.

Research services

CCOVI offers a variety of standard analytical services to the grape and wine industry:

  • Juice analysis for Brix, pH, TA, VA, free SO2, total SO2, malic acid, yeast assimilable nitrogen concentration (YANC)
  • Wine analysis for pH, residual sugar, alcohol, malic acid

Every sample is tested in duplicate using validated methods; standard turnaround time is 7 to 10 days but 24-hour service is available for most analyses at an extra cost.

Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food

Specialized Lab




–40°C freezer room, incubator and cold rooms



Teaching and research winery



HPLC, UV-Vis spectrophotometer, distillation apparatus and other equipment

Comprehensive analytical laboratory for grape berries, musts and wines for analysis of soluble solids, titratable acidity, pH, phenolics and aroma and flavour compounds


FPLC, gel electrophoresis systems

Protein purification and analysis


Micromanipulator, ultracentrifuge



Foss WineScan FT120

Provides analysis of over 30 critical quality-control parameters from wine samples


ScanArray Lite, microarray reader




An analytic tool for investigating and identifying odours


MC/MS with autosampler


CCOVI Consumer Perception and Cognition Laboratory

Equipment and infrastructure for consumer behaviour data collection and analysis (glasses, wine fridge, audio/video data collection systems and quantitative data collection software)

This state-of-the-art research facility utilized by CCOVI aims to provide the knowledge and tools for the wine industry to increase market share for Ontario wines. Some of the work conducted includes:

  • identifying factors affecting consumer perception of wine quality
  • characterizing consumers' views on wine quality and Canadian wines
  • developing new wine styles and predicting consumer acceptability of such wines

This facility has 1,000 square feet of research space and offers an environment and atmosphere that reflects real-life experience for participants, from a wine-tasting bar to a winery retail store. It is equipped with an audio-video system that can record experiments in a controlled environment and a computerized questionnaire system that enables participants to answer questions while performing tasks such as wine tasting.

  • The Canadian Grape and Wine Research Network
  • Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC)
  • Atlantic Wine Institute at Acadia University
  • The Ontario Grapevine and Wine Research Network
  • The University of Guelph
  • Niagara College
  • Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
  • The Grape Growers of Ontario
  • the Wine Council of Ontario
  • The Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario
  • Ontario Grape and Wine Research Inc.



CCOVI in the news