Wine Enthusiasts and Top Producers Gather for 3- Day Celebration of the “Coolest” Grape on Earth: International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration July 22-24, 2011

April 6, 2011, Niagara, Ontario, Canada – This July, 45 international cool climate Chardonnay producers, 15 top Canadian chefs and 700 guests will convene in the vineyards of Niagara, Ontario, Canada for a celebration of the coolest grape on earth—Chardonnay. From exclusive wine tastings to casual, interactive sessions, guests will explore and learn during the inaugural International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4c).
Chardonnay lies patiently waiting to be rediscovered, and is set to have a renaissance at this weekend event. Chardonnay is one of the most widely produced white wines in the world, but suffers from derogatory stereotypes such as the acronym ABC (“Anything But Chardonnay”). At i4c, guests will be treated to “Everything Chardonnay”, experiencing the appreciation of and appeal of this wine that comes from the noblest of white grapes.

The premium producers from across the globe presenting at the event will join together to reinvigorate this seriously cool wine, as guests sample some of the finest examples of cool climate Chardonnay in the world. Guests can compare the regions and terroir of 100 wines from Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Canada, the US, South Africa, Chile, New Zealand and Australia. Confirmed producers include New Zealand’s Pyramid Valley and Mount Difficulty, France’s Domaine Laroche and Château de Meursault, and Argyle Winery and Adelsheim Vineyards from the US.

This casual but in-depth weekend program provides much more than just wine tasting. Guests may mingle with a winemaker from Burgundy over lunch, dine with a winery owner from New Zealand at dinner, or sip with an internationally acclaimed wine writer during a winery excursion. Highlights include various educational sessions and a keynote by Matt Kramer, influential author and Wine Spectator columnist. The serious culinary aspect will be the draw for foodies, as some of Canada’s finest chefs prepare perfect pairings using local foods—Toronto’s Order of Canada award-winning chef Jamie Kennedy presents Saturday’s “Cochon and Chardonnay” celebration and the Friday night Gala features winning chefs from the Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Competition.

The location for the event is a fitting one, given that Chardonnay is the most planted variety in Canada’s most vinous province. Guests will have the opportunity to explore the vineyards and wineries of this picturesque wine region or take in its many tourist attractions, including Niagara Falls, the heritage village of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Wine drinkers who believe it is time for Chardonnay to return to centre stage can be part of the re-birth of “Cool” by purchasing tickets at Full weekend passes are available for $595 per person, and include all seminars, tastings and gourmet meals throughout the weekend. A limited number of single day passes are available for $350 per person. The i4c is an initiative of 28 of Ontario’s finest wine producers and is supported by Founding Sponsors Wine Country Ontario, Grape Growers of Ontario, VINTAGES, LCBO, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, and Niagara College.

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