About Us

COOL FACTS ABOUT THE I4C

  • 150 wineries from 37 cool climate wine regions have participated between 2011-2015.
  • Over 670 different Chardonnays have been poured
  • Keynote speakers: Matt Kramer 2011 & 2015 (Wine Spectator, USA), Stephen Brook 2012  (Decanter Magazine, UK) Steven Spurrier 2013(Decanter Magazine, UK) and Tim Atkin 2014 (wine-searcher.com, UK)
  • Special guest speakers: UK author Jamie Goode, NY Master of Wine Christy Canterbury and Cool Climate expert Blake Gray
  • Special guest chef Vikram Vij (2013) and the Dream Team of Niagara Chefs (2014 & 2015)
  • 2,000 guests annually, including 30+ media guests and 20+ Toronto and Montreal sommeliers
  • 12 events annually, held in stunning Niagara vineyards
  • Over 75 million traditional media impressions, plus 19 million social media impressions

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THE I4C STORY:

Summer 2009: A handful of winemakers lounged in lawn chairs around a summer fire celebrating the success of one of their own. They gathered to raise a toast to the Canadian wine that had just triumphed at the 2009 Cellier Wine Awards in Montreal. In Canada’s own version of Bottle Shock – a Niagara wine won the prestigious award, surpassing Burgundian and California Chardonnays in a blind taste test. (The wine: Claystone Terrace Chardonnay 2005 from Le Clos Jordanne.)

The significance of this win wasn’t lost on those celebrating, and the wheels were turning as the glasses were swirling.  These winemakers have long believed that Chardonnay – one of the most widely cultivated varietals in Ontario – is deserving of a renaissance… It’s resilient and refined. It can be steely or floral, complex or focused. It expresses terroir better than any other grape we grow. And when Chardonnay is complemented with a bit of cool – cool by altitude, by latitude, by marine influence or by climatic conditions – and can create magical wines that can easily refute the already waning “ABC – Anything but Chardonnay” movement.

The outcome of that impromptu backyard celebration is a much bigger one – the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (the “i4C”). Twenty-eight Ontario wineries started the not-for-profit group in April 2010, devoted to reinstating the dignity of Chardonnay. Over the past three years, this group has invited premium cool climate Chardonnay producers from across the globe to join the cause, presenting some of the finest examples of cool climate Chardonnay in the world at the annual event.  In this short time, the i4C has created  a home for excellence in Chardonnay – a casual but in-depth weekend celebration of wine, food and learning, with an eye to reinvigorating a seriously cool wine.

It’s time for Chardonnay to return to centre stage.  It’s time for the re-birth of Cool…

TESTIMONIALS

“The success of i4C15 illustrates symbiotic relationships between foreign and Canadian wine producers. The future is collaboration, not isolation.” – Anthony Gismondi, Wine reviewer/writer

“The perfect blend of sophisticated appreciation and unsophisticated fun.” – Stephen Brook, when asked about his visit to i4C.

“It was a spectacular event, the best industry and consumer tasting to be held in Ontario thus far. I’m already looking forward to next year.” – John Szabo, July 2012

“I Became Convinced that Ontario is the World’s Least-Known Great Wine Zone. This past June I was in Ontario because I was asked to be a speaker at a conference on cool-climate Chardonnays. It was my third trip to Ontario, which, for a West Coast boy is a long ways away, and I was reminded yet again of how extraordinary Ontario wines can be. I was also reminded of how largely unknown these wines are to the larger world.”- Matt Kramer, “What I Learned This Year,” Wine Spectator

“Events like i4C prove we have what it takes to make serious wines that can compete on a world scale.”
-Wes Wiens, VineTech Canada and 2013 Niagara Grape King

“To return to the International Cool Climate (Chardonnay Celebration) is a great privilege. Ontario wines are the epitome of cool climate, which puts them right on the cutting edge. I’m anxious to taste the latest, as quality keeps surging, seemingly with every new vintage.” – Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator Magazine

“Ontario is quickly establishing itself as the most exciting wine region in the new world.”
– Norm Hardie, Winemaker/Proprietor Norman Hardie Wines

FOUNDING MEMBER WINERIES

13th Street Winery
Angels Gate Winery*
Bachelder Niagara
Cave Spring Cellars
Chateau des Charmes
Closson Chase Vineyards*
Coyote’s Run Estate Winery*
Flat Rock Cellars
Henry of Pelham Estate Winery
Hidden Bench Vineyards & Winery
Huff Estates*
Inniskillin Wines
Jackson Triggs
Lailey Vineyard Wines*
Le Clos Jordanne*
Malivoire Wine Company
Niagara College Teaching Winery
Norman Hardie Wines
Pearl Morissette Estate Winery
Peller Estates
Pillitteri Estates Winery*
Pondview Estate Winery*
Ravine Vineyards
Reif Estate Winery*
Rosehall Run Vineyards*
Rosewood Estate Winery*
Southbrook Vineyards*
Stratus Vineyards
Tawse Winery
Trius Winery at Hillebrand
Vineland Estates Winery*

* Not pouring at the 2016 Celebration

TO SEE A LIST OF THE I4C ALUMNI WINERIES PLEASE VISIT THE ‘WINERIES’ PAGE