Budding partnership reaps sustainable solutions for Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyard
Canopy Growth leases former Concession 5 Vineyard property to Niagara College
SMITHS FALLS AND NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON — It’s proving to be a vintage year for cultivating partnerships in Niagara.
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 (“Canopy Growth” or the “Company”) (TSX:WEED, NYSE:CGC), sowing the seeds for an environmentally sustainable site and new learning opportunities for the College’s wine students.
Canopy Growth announced today that the Concession 5 Vineyard, located next to its Tweed Farms greenhouses in Niagara-on-the-Lake, will be leased to Niagara College, to be operated by the NC Learning Enterprise Corporation (NCLEC). The College – which is home to the first and only commercial Teaching Winery in Canada, as well the first Commercial Cannabis Production program in the country – is committed to maintaining the vineyard according to environmentally and socially sustainable.
Canopy Growth, known as one of the world’s largest diversified cannabis companies, acquired 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. It found a trusted partner in Niagara College, which has been a leader in wine education for 20 years and has been running a Teaching Winery and vineyards on its recently renamed Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake since 2002.
“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,” said Jeff Ryan, vice president of Government and Stakeholder Relations at Canopy Growth. “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. “
“With grape growing and wine production integral to Niagara’s economy, we applaud Canopy Growth’s decision to preserve the vineyards on this Niagara-on-the-Lake property,” said College president Dan Patterson. “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– including the Teaching Winery, Teaching Brewery, and Teaching Distillery – 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.”
While the NCLEC will not operate retail on the Concession 5 property, the new space will become a secondary production site for the College’s Teaching Winery and will enhance learning opportunities for students in the College’s Winery and Viticulture Technician program.
Students will be exposed to additional environmentally and socially sustainable practices on the Concession 5 site, as well as a different terroir and different grape varietals than the College’s existing on-campus Teaching Winery. Concession 5 Vineyard is located on the fertile sub-appellation of Four Mile Creek – while NC’s on-campus vineyards is located in St. David’s Bench – and its vineyards contain grape varietals that aren’t grown at the College’s Teaching Vineyards, such as Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.
College winemaker Gavin Robertson noted that farming practices will be implemented on the property that exclude any chemical herbicides or insecticides and will use mechanical or cultural means to control weeds and insects. He noted that the Teaching Winery has been employing many sustainable practices on campus – since it shares a small area with a greenhouse, vegetable gardens, and a bee yard at the College – and the new partnership is an opportunity to expand their efforts at a different location.
“Through this collaboration with Canopy Growth, we are enhancing our understanding of sustainable farming practices and the social licence to operate as responsible land stewards in the context of the Ontario grape industry in a way that also benefits how we operate our campus vineyard,” said Robertson, who is also an alumnus of the Winery and Viticulture Technician program (2011). “This knowledge also translates to the curriculum level and has increased our capacity to deliver lessons in sustainable farming to our students.”
Second-year Winery and Viticulture Technician student Sydney Neumann values the hands-on experience she is gaining at the Teaching Winery where she works on wine projects and participates in winery operations as well as vineyard work. She was thrilled to hear that students will have access to a second vineyard where they can enhance their learning of viticulture practices.
“In my first year, we had the opportunity of harvesting Pinot Noir from this site and it was a great way to get my hands dirty so early in the program,” she said. “I know the new vineyard will provide a place for practical learning of viticulture and get students active in watching a vine growth cycle, pruning, scouting, harvesting, and other practices … this sort of learning is what inspires me and is, what I believe, will inspire other students.”
Neumann also believes it is important that the vineyard will be maintained in an environmentally sustainable manner.
“It is essential to teach students how to work in a vineyard in a sustainable fashion that doesn’t negatively impact the environment,” she said. “I, like many others, strongly believe this is the future of the industry.”
Here’s to Future (Educational) Growth.
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About Niagara College
Niagara College’s Teaching Winery (2002) is the first and only commercial teaching winery in Canada. It is located at the College’s Daniel J. Patterson Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, along with the NC Teaching Brewery (2012) and the NC Teaching Distillery (2018) which were also the first of their kind in Canada.
Niagara College also made history in 2018 by launching Commercial Cannabis Production graduate certificate program in fall 2018 – the first of its kind in Canada. The program was designed to meet significant demand for qualified and professional workers in Canada’s pioneering cannabis industry.
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, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.
About Canopy Growth Corporation
Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED, NYSE:CGC) is a world-leading diversified cannabis, hemp and cannabis device company, offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and Softgel capsule forms, as well as medical devices through Canopy Growth’s subsidiary, Storz & Bickel GMbH & Co. KG. From product and process innovation to market execution, Canopy Growth is driven by a passion for leadership and a commitment to building a world-class cannabis company one product, site and country at a time. Canopy Growth has operations in over a dozen countries across five continents.
Canopy Growth’s medical division, Spectrum Therapeutics is proudly dedicated to educating healthcare practitioners, conducting robust clinical research, and furthering the public’s understanding of cannabis, and has devoted millions of dollars toward cutting edge, commercializable research and IP development. Spectrum Therapeutics sells a range of full-spectrum products using its colour-coded classification Spectrum system as well as single cannabinoid Dronabinol under the brand Bionorica Ethics.
Canopy Growth operates retail stores across Canada under its award-winning Tweed and Tokyo Smoke banners. Tweed is a globally recognized cannabis brand which has built a large and loyal following by focusing on quality products and meaningful customer relationships.
From our historic public listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange to our continued international expansion, pride in advancing shareholder value through leadership is engrained in all we do at Canopy Growth. Canopy Growth has established partnerships with leading sector names including cannabis icons Snoop Dogg and Seth Rogen, breeding legends DNA Genetics and Green House Seeds, and Fortune 500 alcohol leader Constellation Brands, to name but a few. Canopy Growth operates eleven licensed cannabis production sites with over 10.5 million square feet of production capacity, including over one million square feet of GMP certified production space. For more information visit www.canopygrowth.com
Notice Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements and information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements or information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Canopy Growth or its subsidiaries to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements or information contained in this news release. Examples of such statements include statements with respect to future land-use. Risks, uncertainties and other factors involved with forward-looking information could cause actual events, results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including the Company’s ability to satisfy provincial sales contracts or provinces purchasing all cannabis allocated to them, and such risks contained in the Company’s annual information form dated June 25, 2019 and filed with Canadian securities regulators available on the Company’s issuer profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information or forward-looking statements in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements included in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company does not undertake an obligation to publicly update such forward-looking information or forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise unless required by applicable securities laws.