The search is over.A viticulturist and an oenologist have been selected and hired at Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), and will soon be on hand supporting grape growers and winemakers with applied research and outreach that follows priorities identified by the industry itself.The two senior positions were created as a result of a funding announcement last December by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This program arises from collaboration between the federal government’s Developing Innovative Agri-Products (DIAP) program, the Grape Growers of Ontario and Brock’s CCOVI. The initiative is a key part of CCOVI’s heightened emphasis on outreach to the grape and wine community.James Willwerth“I am excited to have two leading experts joining the team,” CCOVI director Debbie Inglis said. “CCOVI now has the resources to offer enhanced support to the industry both locally and nationally to assist in further developing the international recognition of our industry.”The new viticulturist is Niagara native and Brock alumnus James J. Willwerth. A quality services sensory co-ordinator with the LCBO, Willwerth brings a strong knowledge in vine physiology, cold hardiness, viticulture practices, soil/irrigation management and integrated pest management.“I am very excited to be working closely with the Canadian grape and wine industry through research and outreach activities,” Willwerth said. “It is a dream come true to be based out of Niagara and work with researchers, grape growers, and winemakers who are as passionate as I am about creating world-class wines.”A graduate of Brock’s Oenology and Viticulture program, he has a thorough understanding of the grape industry and an excellent working relationship with researchers and members of the grape and wine sector. Willwerth’s research in viticulture includes more than 20 publications in refereed journals, presentations and invited addresses to numerous conferences and seminars.Willwerth, a PhD candidate in plant sciences at Brock in the lab of CCOVI researcher Andy Reynolds, holds a certificate in Grape and Wine Technology from Brock University (2004) and a BSc degree in biology from St. Mary’s University in Halifax (2001).George KotseridisCCOVI’s new oenologist, George Kotseridis, brings years of expertise in wine flavour chemistry, fermentation, aging aroma compounds and winemaking technology.For the last seven years, he has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in oenology, wine chemistry and wine technology at the Agricultural University of Athens. He is also an assistant professor of oenology at the University of Athens in Greece. Kotseridis has worked at two analytical laboratories in France, helped develop the oenological laboratory at the Agricultural University of Athens and has collaborated with CCOVI on research of the multicoloured Asian ladybeetle (MALB) taint. Kotseridis’ research in oenology includes over 30 publications in refereed journals, presentations and invited addresses to numerous conferences and seminars.Kotseridis has a diploma in Agriculture Engineering-specialization Food Science and Technology, University of Thessaloniki, Greece (1993); Diplôme National d’Oenologue, University I, Montpellier, France (1994); MSc in viticulture and oenology, Enology Faculty of Bordeaux II, France (1995); Diplôme universitaire à l’aptitude à la degustation des vins, Faculty of Enology Bordeaux II, France (1996); and PhD in wine analytical chemistry, Faculty of Enology Bordeaux II, France (1999).