Now in its 8th year, the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C) is held every July in the heart of Niagara wine country in Ontario, Canada. 62 wineries from 10 countries come together to celebrate one cool grape for three amazing days. A yearly pilgrimage for wine lovers, media and producers of the world’s best cool climate Chardonnay brings together Ontarians and visitors from around the globe for this one-of-a-kind celebration featuring 24 local Ontario VQA wineries.
The i4C 3-day weekend, July 20th thru 22nd, offers Chardonnay consumers and the wine trade the chance to enjoy an unparalleled selection of cool climate Chardonnay from around the world via a full schedule of seminars, walkaround tastings, winery experiences and unforgettable meals prepared by local Ontario chefs. This year, the i4C welcomes U.S. based and internationally known wine writer, Jon Bonné, as the keynote speaker to kick-off an exciting program on the first day at the highly anticipated School of Cool on Friday, July 20th.
“Chardonnay is one of the most popular and famous varieties around the globe, and I think it’s crucial to understand its state of the art. So, I’m excited to come and discuss one of my favorite grapes, and to learn more about the exceptional work being done in Ontario to produce some world-class examples,” said Jon Bonné, internationally acclaimed author and senior contributing editor of PUNCH.
“The International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration has quickly become one of the world’s most exciting celebrations of cool climate Chardonnay. We are excited for guests of the i4C to discover and taste both local and global expressions of this internationally loved variety. Ontario welcomes the world and is especially excited to showcase our own wine growing region to visitors from all corners of the globe”, said Stacey Mulholland, Chair of the i4C Association and Manager, Visitor Experiences Eastern Estates at Arterra.
The signature event of the weekend is the Cool Chardonnay World Tour, the only event of the weekend where all 113 Chardonnays including sparkling wines are available to taste and are poured by their makers. Guests are invited to wander the grounds of historic Ridley College during the Grand Tasting, then sit down to a family-style feast curated by top Niagara winery chefs including Jason Parsons (Peller Estates), Frank Dodd (Trius Winery), Justin Downes (Vineland Estates), Alex White (Benchmark) and led by Chef Craig Youdale (Canadian Food and Wine Institute) and Chef Ross Midgley (Ravine Vineyard). A team of sommeliers will pour a selection of cool climate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc or Gamay paired with the chefs’ creations. After dinner celebrations include dancing under the stars to a live band or sampling Ontario VQA red wines and local craft beer at the Après Chardonnay bar for a magical evening in wine country.
The School of Cool on Friday, July 20th features three unique sessions led by author Jamie Goode, wine expert Peter Rod and Master Sommelier John Szabo. Weekend long events also include Flights of Chardonnay on Friday, July 20th at the Niagara District Airport and a unique collection of events hosted at i4C member wineries across Niagara as part of the Explore Wine Country Ontario program. Events require pre-booking through the host winery but visit coolchardonnay.org for event details.
Tickets are on sale now. Full details are available at www.coolchardonnay.org