31 May 2019
Canada will welcome the world to Brock University next summer for one of the most prestigious wine conferences, the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS).
From July 12 to 16, 2020, leading researchers, winemakers, grape growers, educators and media from across the globe will gather at Brock for the 10th instalment of the symposium, which takes place every four years.
Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) is planning the event alongside its research and industry partners across the country. This is the first time the conference has come to Canada and it 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 diverse fields the chance to showcase the cutting-edge work they are doing and discuss innovative practices that can help ensure the vitality of cool climate grape growing and winemaking.”
Brock is pleased to welcome Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Schmidt as the opening keynote speaker. Schmidt is an expert on issues of climate change and has his own cool climate vineyard and winery. He is also Vice-Chancellor and President of the Australian National University.
“The International Cool Climate Wine Symposium is where the world of science and industry gets together every four years to better understand how to make outstanding wines in cool climates,” said Schmidt.
“The climate is changing and changing rapidly. ICCWS 2020 is chance for cool climate winemakers, like myself, to get on top of the science and experiences from around the world to ensure they are relevant in this fast changing and highly competitive environment.”
Schmidt has joked on social media that he is looking forward to visiting Canada and meeting Niagara’s Brian Schmidt, winemaker at Vineland Estates, to cause some confusion.
ICCWS conference sessions will focus on viticulture, oenology, wine business and science communication. Each of the four themes will include a number of speakers, seminars, master classes and workshops.
Regina Vanderlinde, President of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), has been named as the oenology keynote speaker and will talk about the global wine overview to climate adaptation and the challenges of adopting new technology in wineries.
As the viticulture keynote speaker, Elizabeth Wolkovich from the University of British Columbia will share her research on how climate change affects different wine grape varieties and how shifting varieties may help growers.
The science communication keynote speaker will be Kimberly Nicholas, Associate Professor of Sustainability Science at Lund University in Sweden. Her research focuses on sustainable farming systems, the wine industry under climate change, and linking research with policy and practice to support a zero-emissions society.
In addition to the conference sessions at Brock, in the heart of the Niagara wine region, those attending will also have the opportunity to participate in pre- and post-conference programming that will showcase Canada’s wine regions from coast to coast.
International delegates will be introduced to Canadian wines and local culinary offerings through a number of special farm-to-table dinner options at local wineries, a Taste of Canada event and a banquet dinner at Brock University.
Abstract submissions for technical sessions and poster presentations as well as registration for the ICCWS opens in August. Learn more about the conference at iccws2020.ca.