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Spring Tune-Up and Trade Show

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LET's Mark the beginning of the growing season together

PECWine welcomes you to a one-day educational event offering guest lectures and workshops from industry experts, panel discussions, and equipment demonstrations with numerous networking opportunities. Lunch and coffee will be complementary. To close the event, a limited number of tickets is available for a Prince Edward County Wine Tasting with Master Sommelier John Szabo.

The 2023 edition of the Spring Tune-Up and Trade Show will be held in person on Friday, March 24 at the Wellington and District Community Centre.


Conference and Trade Show $30+HST
This ticket provides admission to all guest lectures and workshops, panel discussions, and trade show. Lunch and coffee breaks are included.

Wine Tasting with John Szabo $50+HST
This ticket offers admission to a wine tasting led by John Szabo, Master Sommelier. Join John for a tasting of top Prince Edward County wines with an eye to the past and future. The formal tasting will feature John's personal selection of five of the most notable wines from Prince Edward County. John will look at the region’s pioneering producers, drawing lessons from their ground breaking efforts to inform a successful future for the PEC wine industry.

Limited seating.

Guest Speakers

Wendy McFadden-Smith

OMAFRA and Brock University

Dr. Wendy McFadden-Smith is the Tender Fruit and Grape IPM Specialist with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. She is also an Adjunct Professor of biological sciences and a professional affiliate of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, both at Brock University. Her research interests are wide and varied and depend very much on the needs and priorities of the tree fruit and grape industries in Ontario. While her specialization is in fungal diseases, she has also worked on biology and management of arthropod pests and viral diseases.

Matthew Clark

The University of Minnesota

Dr. Matt Clark is an Associate Professor of grape breeding and enology at the University of Minnesota. His focus is on developing cold-hardy and disease resistant grapes for wine production as well as for fresh eating. His lab has been studying the genetic control of resistance to phylloxera, an insect pest that affects native grape leaves. He is Project Director for VitisGen3, a national research project on breeding for powdery mildew resistance. He has incorporated routine marker-assisted selection using DNA testing to screen plants for important traits of interest.

Justine Vanden Heuvel

Cornell University

Justine Vanden Heuvel is a Professor of Viticulture and Chair of the Horticulture Section in the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University. Her research focuses on improving the environmental and economic sustainability of winegrowing in cool climates.  Justine teaches the upper-level Viticulture courses at Cornell, including The Science of Grapevines and Advanced Viticulture.

Steven Trussler

CCOVI, Brock University

Steven Trussler is the Micro-Credential Coordinator at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute. He specializes in wine and cider education, developing and delivering professional and continuing education programming related to wine and cider production, sensory evaluation, and laboratory analysis among others. He spent 7 years working as a commercial winemaker and continues to do consulting work within the wine and cider industries. Most recently, he has been working on completing his PhD in Education at the University of Toronto.

Eleanor Cook

Visit The County

Eleanor Cook is the Executive Director of Visit The County, PEC's Destination Marketing and Management Organization (DMMO). Prior to joining the organization, she worked in leading strategic destination development with many municipalities in her role with a Provincial Regional Tourism Organization (RTO). Regenerative tourism development has been a journey from the boardroom to the classroom, from field-professional to Professor, allowing Eleanor to shape Ontario's tourism scene, and mentoring graduates to be future leaders in tourism destination development and marketing.

John Szabo


John Szabo is the first Canadian Master Sommelier and he holds the WSET Diploma with honours. He’s seen the hospitality business from all sides including cooking and washing dishes, serving and sommellerie, importing, teaching, writing ,photographing, speaking, emceeing, consulting and judging wine internationally. He was listed as “Canada’s best-known sommelier” in Meininger’s Wine Business International.  

Today, John is a partner and principal critic for, Canada’s largest wine publication, and buyer for the WineAlign Exchange wine club, as well ascolumnist at Modalina and MarQuee magazines. Most recently, he joined the team at CellArt as content contributor (words and wine!), a company fusing art andd esign with function in one-of-a-kind luxury wine cellars. John is co-host of the newly launched podcast Wine Thieves with WineAlign partner Sara d’Amato. He also contributes occasionally to Wine & Spirits Magazine and freelances for publications such as Meininger’s, Wine Enthusiast, Canopy, and VinCe Magazine.

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9:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Registration and Trade Show open

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM

Guest lecture 1: Integrated Pest Management: an Update and Question/Answer session, Wendy McFadden-Smith, OMAFRA.

Sponsored by Phyxiat Courier

10:45 AM – 11:15 AM

Coffee break

11:15 AM – 11:55 PM

Guest lecture 2: The Challenges of Breeding Cold Hardy Grapes, Matt Clark, University of Minnesota.

11:55 AM – 12:45 PM

Panel discussion 1:  Putting Down Roots – Starting a Vineyard in Prince Edward County, moderated by Astrid Young, Merrill House

12:45 PM – 1:30 PM


1:30 PM – 2:00 PM

Guest lecture 3: New Developments in Precision Viticulture, Justine Vanden Heuvel, Cornell University

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Workshop: Identifying and Fixing Common Faults in Wine and Cider, Steven Trussler, CCOVI, Brock University

Sponsored by Vessel Packaging

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Coffee break

3:30 PM – 3:50 PM

The County Ambassador, Eleanor Cook, Visit The County

3:50 PM – 4:50 PM

Panel discussion 2: What is PEC Terroir?, moderated by MJ Macdonald, The Cellar Sisters & Decanter PEC

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Wine Tasting with John Szabo, WineAlign

frequently asked questions

Can children attend?

Yes, children are welcome to attend.