If there was one must-attend event for local wine lovers in 2011 it was the inaugural International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration. Last year's event brought together a mix of 56 local and international producers who showed guests over 100 reasons why a cool climate Chardonnay just might be the world's greatest white wine.
This year's International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration, i4C for short, builds on last year's event and promises even more. In a month's time international producers from Australia, France, New Zealand, South America and United States will join local producers in Niagara and showcase a world of cool climate Chardonnay. It all begins with a concert by Juno award winning band the Arkells, where guests can also indulge in paired food and a chance to sample 55 cool climate Chardonnays. Attendees can also choose from a series of themed lunches at local wineries where they can interact with local and visiting winemakers and enjoy gourmet paired meals by top local chefs. The signature world tasting event returns with the opportunity to taste from 110 cool climate Chardonnays and an al fresco dinner to follow, which will see a group of local winemakers work with chef Erik Peacock of Wellington Court to create dinner. On Sunday things close out with the already sold-out Moveable Feast Brunch at Ravine.
In the coming weeks Spotlight is providing preview coverage leading up to i4C. Look for interviews with local and international winemakers. We'll be talking to wineries and chefs to get a sneak peak on some of the great lunches. We'll be speaking with organisers to find out some inside details on the festivities as well. You can also get a feel for the event by catching-up on Spotlight's extensive coverage from last year's i4C, which proved this event is not to be missed. With an opportunity to try even more Chardonnay and even more extensive program this year, Niagara really is the only place to be from July 20th to the 22nd.
Written by Mike Di Caro
Michael Di Caro covers all things vinous at Spotlight. His lover affair with Ontario wine began over a decade ago and he’s been in front of tasting bars trying to sweet talk staff into pouring a taste of a library wine or the latest unreleased bottle ever since. Since good wine can’t be made without great grapes, you can also catch him amongst the vines trying to persuade the winemaker into revealing his/her next big thing for you on Spotlight. His epicurean tendencies don’t just stop in the glass either. During the rest of his free time you can find him searching for the perfect bowl of Dan Dan noodles, exploring the city’s best tasting menus or baking cookies and mucking about in the kitchen.