On its own, ‘i4C’ probably looks like a codeword or an internet-based abbreviation. But it’s actually the an acronym for the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration.
Bringing Attention to Cool Climate Chardonnay
The festival was first conceived after an Ontario-based chardonnay picked up an international award at the 2009 Cellier Awards. Upon this award it was decided to celebrate and showcase the cool climate wines Ontario excels at. From there it’s developed into the kind of occasion that inspires the term ‘pilgrimage’ to describe the bevy of wine enthusiasts that descend on the festival every year.
Even for a subject as apparently narrow as ‘cool climate chardonnay’ acting as the festival’s focus and reason for being, there’s a lot of variety in the wines that fit this category and a lot to talk about on-site. And there are a lot of sites and venues in this celebration.
Entire Weekend Celebrating all things Chardonnay
The signature events across the weekend of 22-24 July in 2016 include big-ticket feasts and panel discussions. The School of Cool event spans Friday and features nearly two dozen speakers and industry guests (with keynote speaker Ian D’Agata) in an open discussion on cool climate viticulture. The Flights of Chardonnay at Niagara Airport is an atmospheric tasting opportunity, and the World Tour Tasting and Dinner at Ridley College in St Catharines is the major showcase of what these industry leaders and estates are capable of in their cool climate wines.
Other events across the weekend feature a variety of vineyards across the region hosting chardonnay-themed lunches. In 2016 these estates include Domaine Queylus, Trius, Pellar Estates, Cave Spring Cellars, Ravine Estate, Redstone – the list keeps going. And the Niagara College Teaching Winery is hosting a seminar on chardonnay and cool climate wines on July 23.
Sixth Chardonnay Event
The i4C is in its sixth year in 2016 and the weekend had grown bigger and bigger every year, now a major wine festival with international attention, connecting estates around the world with Ontario locals and each other. As opposed to the competitive nature of most international wine events, i4C stands out as purely being a weekend of celebration.
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