The vineyard will be used to grow grapes to be used in NCCC's new Winery Operations Program, which will be housed in the new Niagara Falls Culinary and Hospitality Institute in Niagara Falls.
"We are thrilled to be partners with Freedom Run Winery in creating a hands-on working lab for our students in the Winery Operations Program," said NCCC President James P. Klyczek. "The 300 vines were planted in the spring and the wine produced by our students will be used at college events and should be available in our wine boutique once the new Niagara Falls Culinary and Hospitality Institute is opened. This is another great step in the journey to create a world class Culinary Institute for the students of NCCC and the entire region."
"We are excited about this new partnership with Niagara County Community College," said Larry Manning, vice president of Freedom Run Winery. "It provides students with real work experience at our vineyard that will be invaluable in the industry. We are also eager to become a partner with the college in the Hospitality and Tourism Center in downtown Niagara Falls. It will give the Niagara Wine trail the ability to attract tourists from around the world to our vineyards during the height of the vacation season," added Manning.
The one-acre lab, located at the Freedom Run Winery on Lower Mountain Road in Lockport, consists of seven rows with 300 vines. Plans are to increase the acreage and number of vines in the upcoming years. Half of the vines are Chardonnay and half Merlot and their crop will be used by students enrolled in the 104 Winery Operations and Wine Chemistry courses. The long-term goal is to produce wine under the Culinary Institute name to be used in that facility's restaurant and sold in the Culinary Institute wine boutique.
Students enrolled in the Winery Program will be involved in every step of the process, including the planting, cultivating, harvesting, squeezing of the grapes, storage, bottling and finally distribution and sales. For more information on the NCCC Winery Operations Program, visit the Niagara County Community College website.