Enjoying the pleasures of cool climate Chardonnay at last year's event at Niagara Airport.

Enjoying the pleasures of cool climate Chardonnay at last year’s Friday night i4C event at Niagara Airport. Hopefully the weather will be as stunning next week!


Last year I attended my very first i4C (read: International Cool Climate Celebration) in Niagara, and after enjoying it immensely, wrote about my experiences for this website.

Next week sees this year’s incarnation, and I have to say that I am very much looking forward to so many aspects of these upcoming celebrations.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 2,000 cool climate wine-loving guests will be rubbing shoulders with 59 cool climate winemakers. These winemakers (both local and international) will be pouring 150 specially selected wines at a wide variety of events including some gloriously nerdy seminars, lunches, dinners, walk-around tastings, and brunches. 

In tasting through a preview of a number of this year’s local wines, I was astonished at the quality of many of them. Of particular note for me were the 2014 Trius “Showcase Wild Ferment” Chardonnay, Lincoln Lakeshore VQA, the 2015 Stratus Chardonnay, Niagara-On-The-Lake VQA, the 2014 Malivoire “Moira Vineyard” Chardonnay, Beamsville Bench VQA, the 2015 Creekside “Queenston Road Vineyard” Chardonnay, St. David’s Bench VQA, and the 2015 Adamo Estate “Wismer-Foxcroft Vineyard” Chardonnay, Twenty Mile Bench VQA. That’s a great spread of Niagara sub-appellations right there, and shows the immense breadth of Chardonnay styles that this region is capable of.

I’ve been raving about i4C ever since my maiden visit last year, and every so often, as I’m trying to sell the event to anyone who’ll listen, I come across someone who gives me that old “but I don’t like Chardonnay” line. My response to that is usually something the lines of What?! That’s like saying you don’t like the colour blue. There are so many shades of blue, just as there are styles of Chardonnay. Or I tell them that’s like saying they don’t like jazz, when there are so many, many varied styles of jazz out there in the world. I myself cannot abide Dixieland jazz as it is the soundtrack to my nightmares, whereas I am quite fond of a little latin jazz, and occasionally dabble in the more Alice Coltrane end of free jazz. It’s all down to a combination of personal taste and nuance. I think that those folks who think that they don’t like Chardonnay as a grape simply haven’t been tasting the right ones. There’s a Chardonnay to suit every palate and purse, and the selection on offer for tasting (and imbibing) at i4C is simply astonishingly good.

As well as the stellar selection of wines (there a quite a few cool climate reds up there for the tasting also), there’s also a seriously impressive roster of local chefs who’ll be providing the weekend’s culinary expositions. 

So once again, I heartily recommend you take a few days out of your schedule next week to attend i4C 2017. It would be marvellous to see you there!

For more information and tickets click here.

Jamie Drummond

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he hopes that there’s going to be another Diamondboxx-fuelled barndance this year…