International Cool Climate Wine Symposium set to highlight Canada’s wine industry

Momentum is building as Canada gets ready to welcome the world to Brock University for the 2020 International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS).

From July 12 to 17, 2020, leading researchers, winemakers, grape growers, educators and media from around the world will gather at Brock for the 10th instalment of the symposium. This will mark the first time that the ICCWS, which takes place every four years, has come to Canada.

Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) is working alongside its research and industry partners to plan the event, which will focus on how climate change is driving innovation in the grape and wine industry.

“This is an issue that impacts all cool climate wine regions,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “The ICCWS will give researchers from all areas of the grape and wine value chain the chance to showcase the latest research and discuss innovative practices that can help ensure the vitality of cool climate winemaking.”

As 2020 approaches, conference organizers have launched a new website that will serve as the key source of information for delegates who plan on attending the conference. Although registration doesn’t open until next summer, interested individuals can use the website to sign-up for the ICCWS’ mailing list and learn more about Canada’s wine regions and conference programming.

In addition to the conference sessions at Brock, delegates will also have the opportunity to participate in pre- and post-conference programming that will showcase Canada’s wine regions from coast-to-coast.

Dan Paszkowski, Canadian Vintners Association President and Chief Executive Officer, said Canada’s wine and grape producers are eager to welcome international delegates to the country.

“The ICCWS offers an exceptional opportunity to showcase the wines of Canada to the world, tell our cool climate wine story and share the true diversity of Canada’s award-winning terroirs as delegates taste wines from Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec,” Paszkowski said.

A unique feature of the conference will be the presentation of wines from The Great Chardo Swap. Organized by CCOVI oenologist Belinda Kemp, the swap will showcase terroir and winemaker ingenuity through Niagara Chardonnay to conference attendees. The activity has 12 winemakers using grapes from two well-established Niagara vineyards to craft one-of-a-kind Chardonnays, with six winemakers working with juice from each site.

Other than using the same juice, closures and bottles, winemakers have free rein to craft their wines however they like. All of the wines will be part of a grand tasting at the ICCWS, with the winemakers discussing how the decisions they made during the winemaking process impacted the final wine.

The initiative will also be featured at the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration during its “School of Cool” Education Day on Friday, July 17, 2020. The Great Chardo Swap wines will be auctioned-off, with the proceeds donated to the Karl J. Kaiser Memorial Fund to establish scholarships for students studying oenology and viticulture at Brock University.

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