This July, the Niagara region of Ontario will once again welcome the world’s top cool climate Chardonnay producers to celebrate the rebirth of a seriously cool grape. Wine enthusiasts and food lovers are invited to discover and enjoy the many reasons to celebrate everything Chardonnay throughout a weekend full of activities from July 20th to 22nd, 2012.
“It’s about time we had a festival that celebrated the greatness that is Chardonnay” –says Eric Hamacher, Owner and winemaker at Hamacher Wines, Oregon.
The second annual International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C) will showcase over 110 cool climate Chardonnays. Guests will have the ability to ‘blend’ their own Chardonnay experience by choosing from twelve unique events over the three day celebration. Friday evening’s official Kick-Off Party will feature a wandering feast at Jackson Triggs where guests can meet all fifty-five winemakers, followed by a concert featuring a Juno-award winning band in the picturesque vineyard amphitheatre. Connoisseurs can participate in an in-depth winemaker discussion hosted by 2012 i4C Keynote Speaker Stephen Brook of Decanter Magazine on “Extreme Winemaking” then mingle with winemakers at one of eight gourmet
Chardonnay-inspired luncheons at some of Niagara’s most striking wineries. The i4c’s signature event – the Cool Chardonnay World Tour – offers the only opportunity to sample all 110 wines and is set this year in the stunning rhododendron gardens at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. After the tasting, guests can stroll to the al fresco Taste of Canada dinner and cap off the evening with dancing under the stars.
Chardonnay grown in a cool climate is “Chardonnay with vibrancy and life. When Chardonnay ripens properly in a cool environment, the fruit flavors are zesty and strong, but retains an acidity and minerality that makes the wine refreshing” says Michael Brajkovich, winemaker at New Zealand’s Kumeu River, one of 55 International and Canadian wineries participating in the event this July.
The 2012 i4C offers attendees the opportunity to discover the many ways that Chardonnay can be “cool” - from latitude and attitude to misty ocean breezes, from steep alpine vineyard sites to extreme variations in weather conditions. Guests will taste how these various “cool” factors affect Chardonnay, and can also participate in a “Chardonnay Boot Camp and Challenge” at the exclusive Vineland Research and Innovation Centre Sensory Lab. “Our goal is not only to celebrate this fabulous grape, but to empower our guests to discover more fantastic cool climate Chardonnays after the event weekend” says Ron Giesbrecht, winemaker at Henry of Pelham and i4c co-chair of the Educational Program.
Tickets and information are available at www.coolchardonnay.org. Until May 23rd, guests can enter for a chance to win a “Cool i4c weekend” – 2 passes to all i4c events with accommodation.