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The Wine Sisters' Blog

The Coolest Weekend in Niagara Returns for its Eighth Year

Posted on July 10, 2018 by admin

Chardonnay lovers get their fill while talking to winemakers from around the world at I4C

Chardonnay lovers get their fill while talking to winemakers from around the world at I4C 2012

By Erin

Eight years.

Ask any parent, start-up business owner, or presiding government party, eight years can fly by in a blink – and an astonishing amount can happen in that slightly-less-than-a-decade time frame.

I’m sure that’s what the founders of the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (I4C) must be thinking about as we near the weekend of July 20, when hundreds Chardonnay revellers will flock to Niagara to celebrate all things cool once again.

Niagara winemaker Thomas Bachelder, one of i4c's founders, with his eponymous terroir driven wines

Niagara winemaker Thomas Bachelder, one of i4c’s founders, with his eponymous terroir driven wines in 2012

What started as a “what if” – a handful of Ontario winemakers sitting around a fire one summer night in 2009, celebrating the global sweep of the late Le Clos Jordanne winery’s triumphant victory in Montreal. Le Clos’ 2005 Claystone Terrace Chardonnay just bested contenders from Burgundy and California to take top honours in a blind taste competition. The surprise upset didn’t really surprise local wine makers – Chardonnay thrives in our soils, but it was time the rest of the world knew it too. And so began the idea to celebrate cool climate Chardonnay and once and for all snuff out the Anything But Chardonnay poo-pooers.

Eight years later, not only is the festival more popular than ever, but it continues to gain strength and capture attention. This year, 63 wineries (24 from Ontario, 39 from around the world) will showcase their wines over the 3-day party. Wineries as far away as New Zealand, Argentina – and even King Burgundy continue to take part.

Several hundred Chardonnay lovers at I4C's World Tour Tasting featuring wineries from around the globe

Several hundred Chardonnay lovers at I4C’s World Tour Tasting in 2013 which featured dozens of wineries from around the globe

With tastings, winery visits, and grand parties happening all weekend, this comprehensive but relaxed weekend is easily one of our favourites of the year. (Check out our photos and past I4C blogs from 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016).

A new experience by the Grape Growers of Ontario called “Kick the Dirt” has been introduced this year. Designed to take the vine-curious into the vineyard and discover our terroir first hand, this looks like it could become a personal favourite.

There are still a few tickets available for a handful of events happening through out the weekend, but if you can’t make it out to Niagara you don’t have to miss out on the fun – there’s more than three dozen premium Ontario Chardonnays that will be featured at I4C and also available at the LCBO. A handful are listed below.

wine bottle flowers

13th Street “Viscek Vineyard” Chardonnay 2016
VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula
$29.95 LCBO 575902

Chateau des Charmes “Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard” Chardonnay 2015
VQA Niagara
$24.95 LCBO 578153

Rosehall Run “JCR Rosehall Vineyard” Chardonnay 2016
VQA Prince Edward County
$34.95 LCBO 326512

Thirty Bench Winemakers “Small Lot” Chardonnay 2015
VQA Beamsville Bench
$34.95 LCBO 203703

Westcott Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2016
VQA Vinemount Ridge
$26.95 LCBO 424507

Now in it’s 8th consecutive year, the International Cool Climate Celebration runs from July 20 – 22. Tickets are selling fast, but there are some still available. Visit coolchardonnay.org to get yours.

Posted in learning about wine, Parties, travel, White Wine, wine and food pairing, wine cellar | 0 Comments

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