The Kick-Off to Cool
Fifty-five of the world’s finest cool climate Chardonnay producers have gathered in Niagara in anticipation of the second annual Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4c). Throughout the weekend from July 20th to 22nd, 2012 attendees have the opportunity to “blend” their own event by choosing from ten (10) educational tastings and dining experiences located at various Niagara wineries and key industry partners including the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (VRIC) and CCOVI at Brock University.
The Official Kick-off Party on July 20, hosted by Jackson Triggs Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, will feature an official opening ceremony followed by a moveable feast. The sold out evening will cap off with a performance by the Juno-award winning local rockers, The Arkells, in the winery’s picturesque amphitheatre. On Saturday, connoisseurs can participate in an in-depth winemaker discussion hosted by 2012 i4c’s Keynote Speaker Stephen Brook of Decanter Magazine on “Extreme Winemaking” then indulge in one of six gourmet luncheons at some of Niagara’s most stunning winery locations. Tickets for select luncheons are still available, including “Vine to Glass, Farm to Table”; an educational tasting and Chardonnay-inspired lunch prepared by renowned Chef, Stephen Treadwell at 13th Street Winery.
I4c’s signature event on Saturday, July 21 – the Cool Chardonnay World Tour and Beyond the Barrel Dinner – offers the only opportunity to sample all 110 wines and mingle with all 55 winemakers and Stephen Brook in the rhododendron gardens at VRIC. Following the tasting which begins at 5:30pm on Saturday, guests will make their way to the al fresco Beyond the Barrel dinner presented by Chef Erik Peacock of Wellington Court and seven of Ontario’s celebrated winemaking ‘Chefs’. “Winemakers obviously have fabulous palates, but I was surprised at the level of sophistication in the kitchen” said Peacock. The “Beyond the Barrel” dinner will showcase the signature dishes of seven Ontario winemakers, including Flat Rock Cellars winemaker Ross Wise’s “Lobster Mac & Cheese” and Rosehall Run’s Dan Sullivan’s “Chardonnay smoked and slow-roasted cochon”. The evening will conclude with entertainment and dancing under the stars.
Remaining tickets for the Cool Chardonnay World Tour and Beyond the Barrel dinner and the “Wild about Chardonnay” luncheon at Rosewood Estate, and “Vine to Glass, Farm to Table” at 13th Street Winery are available by visiting www.coolchardonnay.org.
If you’re not able to attend, make sure to check back here. Niagara’s own Andrea Kaiser will be reporting on the event for Tidings Magazine. The International Cool Climate Chardonnay Association is a not-for-profit group of 28 inspired Ontario winemakers and winery owners, devoted to the renaissance of Chardonnay.