By Leah Spooner, Vineroutes
The 12th year of the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (branded as i4C by those associated with the three-day event) was certainly a well anticipated one after a two-year hiatus from the annual in-person celebrations. The Wine Marketing Association of Ontario, Grape Growers of Ontario, and 57 VQA Ontario wineries, put together an incredibly memorable weekend to honour the quality and excellence of Ontario VQA chardonnay.
Friday morning began with wine enthusiasts buzzing around, greeting one another and catching up before entering the ‘School of Cool’ – a kick-off to the many events and tastings of the weekend that shed a light on cool climate chardonnay.
The School of Cool’s moderator, wine and spirits columnist Chris Waters, opened the sessions with not only his highly creditable insight, but his charm and humour, that actively engaged the audience throughout the event. “How do you define cool climate? Usually the term freshness comes to mind, and brightness and vibrancy. So, here you have warmer areas and you have more generous fruit, but you also have vitality,” explains Waters, speaking on the terroir of Niagara.