Ontario Wine Culture

Winemakers (on right) pouring for guests during the walk-around tasting at the Cool Chardonnay World Tour tasting and dinner. Photo courtesy of the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Association

All you need to know about i4C 2019: Ontario’s top wine celebration of the summer

Next weekend the latest chapter of Chardonnay’s great story will unfold in our backyard.

Over nearly a decade the homegrown Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C) has established itself as Ontario’s top wine event, but more importantly a must attend for wine pros and lovers around the globe who want understand the state of the world’s premier white wine grape.

The team behind i4C are firm believers that the best way to get to know Chardonnay is to be as versatile as the grape itself so they’ve put together a weekend full of tastings, lunches, seminars, tours, meet-and-greets and celebrations.

Pouring for one of the tastings during the School of Cool. Photo courtesy of the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Association

The Friday School of Cool seminars featuring winemakers, winegrowers, scientists and journalists sets the tone for the weekend. Equal parts educational and entertaining it never fails to spark lively debate and discussion and leave even the most experienced and knowledgeable attendees with something new to ponder over. This year’s edition looks to continue the tradition with a keynote by renowned London-based writer and Master of Wine Julia Harding and sessions tackling some big questions like the impact and volatility of climate change and the evolving and changing perceptions of wine lovers’ tastes for cool climate Chardonnay. The conversation is certain to spill over into the rest of the weekend, especially at Saturday’s Kick The Dirt event that offers a VIP tour and tasting experience amongst some of Niagara’s best Chardonnay vineyards with the local growers behind the grapes.

A selection of Chardonnays are served at the table at the Cool Chardonnay World Tour dinner. Photo courtesy of the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Association

One of the exciting changes for i4C 2019 is the signature World Tour Tasting and Dinner has a new home at Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. For decades the institute has nurtured local culinary, grape growing and winemaking talent so it’ll be fitting to see the next generation and current i4C stars come together in the college’s garden courtyard. While the World Tour Tasting and Dinner is sold out, there’s still a few tickets available for the tasting only portion of the evening. It’s the only time during the weekend where the winemakers and representatives from all 53 wineries will be on hand in one place to pour all 96 different flavours of cool climate Chardonnay being showcased at i4C 2019.

Food options at Flights of Chardonnay are by purchase. Wine is included in ticket price. Photo courtesy of the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Association

Since the beginning i4C has understood food and cool climate Chardonnay make each other better so even if you missed out on the World Tour Tasting and Dinner you can experience the pairing of Niagara wine country cuisine and Chardonnay in a more laid back and smaller scale at Friday’s Flights of Chardonnay, Sunday’s Moveable Feast Brunch or one of the lunches and brunches hosted at i4C Niagara wineries on Saturday.

Whether it’s a bottle from the globe’s southern most wine region, a winery from the edge of the earth or even the under the radar spot with the killer juice from your own backyard a new favourite wine is waiting to meet you at i4C 2019. See you there with an open glass and a thirsty mind.

#iLIVEchardonnay is one of the event hashtags. Photo courtesy of the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Association

i4C 2019

Date: July 19-21st

Place: Niagara Wine Country

Price: $35-$150

Details & Tickets: coolchardonnay.org

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