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Discover the future of cool-climate chardonnay at i4C’s ‘School of Cool’

June 3, 2024

The International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (or i4C as it is nicknamed, and now branded) taking place this summer, has established itself as a premier event dedicated to the appreciation and advancement of cool-climate chardonnay.

Since its inception in 2011, the i4C has brought together 271 wineries from 85 cool climate wine regions, pouring over 1,168 different chardonnays and sparkling/blanc de blancs. This celebration offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of cool-climate chardonnay, with educational sessions, tastings, and networking events that promise to enrich your understanding and appreciation of this versatile grape.

Click here to purchase your ticket to this year’s School of Cool

Whether you’re a wine industry professional, a sommelier, a winemaker, or simply a passionate wine enthusiast, the ‘School of Cool’ at i4C offers an unparalleled opportunity to deepen your knowledge and appreciation of chardonnay. Don’t miss this chance to learn from the best, taste the finest cool-climate wines, and connect with the vibrant community of chardonnay lovers.

School of Cool

The School of Cool is a day-long event designed to educate and inspire. (Photo courtesy of i4C)

Below is what’s on the agenda for this year’s School of Cool seminars taking place Thursday, July 18 between 9am and 6pm:

School is back in session!

This year’s School of Cool is a day-long event designed to educate and inspire, featuring a headlining keynote address by the esteemed Master Sommelier, Stefan Neumann. Neumann’s insights and expertise will set the stage for a day of learning, exploration, and connection.

Tickets include:
  • Keynote address by Stefan Neumann
  • Three industry sessions with tastings
  • Coffee break
  • Full lunch
  • Walk-Around Tasting from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM

The Walk-Around Tasting, included in the ticket purchase, provides a chance to sample an array of cool-climate chardonnays and interact with the producers behind them.

School of Cool

Secure your School of Cool tickets today and prepare for an unforgettable day of education, exploration, and enjoyment. (Photo: i4C)

Why attend the School of Cool?

The School of Cool at i4C is more than just an educational event; it’s an immersive experience that offers invaluable insights into the world of cool-climate chardonnay. Here’s why you should attend:

  1. Expert Knowledge: Gain insights from Stefan Neumann, Master Sommelier, and other leading industry experts.
  2. Educational Sessions: Participate in dynamic and informative sessions that cover critical topics such as climate change, sparkling wine trends, and the diverse expressions of chardonnay.
  3. Networking Opportunities: Connect with fellow wine enthusiasts, industry professionals, and producers during the coffee breaks and lunch.
  4. Exclusive Tastings: Enjoy guided tastings during the sessions and the extensive Walk-Around Tasting, featuring a range of cool-climate chardonnays.
  5. Comprehensive Experience: Your ticket includes all sessions, tastings, meals, and access to the keynote address, ensuring a rich and fulfilling experience.

8:30 AM: Registration Opens
Start your day with coffee and light food items as you register and prepare for an immersive experience.

9:30 AM: Doors Open
Get ready to dive into the day’s activities with fellow wine enthusiasts.

9:45 AM: Opening Remarks & Keynote Address
Stefan Neumann will deliver the keynote address, offering his unique perspective on the current state and future of cool-climate Chardonnay. With his extensive background and passion for wine, Neumann’s address is sure to inspire and provoke thought.

Session 1: The Only Constant is Change

In this first session, join a moderated panel of outstanding global and local producers as they delve into the accelerated pace of climate change since our 2019 session, “It’s not the Heat, it’s the Volatility”. Learn from producers’ firsthand encounters with weather extremes and their significant impacts. The discussion will cover a broad spectrum of climate challenges, from unpredictable precipitation swings to early budbreaks and unexpected winter cold spells.

Discover how these changes are shaping wine styles and the innovative approaches enabling adaptation. With a particular focus on chardonnay, explore its unique resilience and vulnerabilities, and consider the future challenges and opportunities over the next five years.

Session 2: Bubbles on the Rise

Sparkling wine continues to grow in popularity, and chardonnay is leading the charge with its legendary adaptability to different climates, terroirs and techniques. This session invites you to explore the traditional method sparkling style choices from new and established producers. Discover how local and international winemakers are putting their unique spin on bubbly, creating exciting new expressions that delight the palate.

Lunch and Networking

Enjoy a full lunch and networking opportunities with fellow attendees. This break allows for informal conversations and connections, enhancing the community feel of the event.

Session 3: Chardonnay Unbound

Embark on a journey through the captivating world of chardonnay as we unveil its diverse styles and expressions in this exclusive seminar. Guided by expert commentary and a tasting session, delve deep into the nuances of one of the world’s most beloved grape varieties. From crisp and mineral-driven profiles to opulent and buttery textures, chardonnay’s spectrum of flavours reflects its terroir and winemaking techniques. This session will illuminate the intricacies of chardonnay, offering a comprehensive understanding of its various profiles and characteristics.

Coffee Break and Networking

Take a short break to recharge with coffee and light refreshments. This is another great opportunity to connect with industry peers, share insights from the day’s sessions, and discuss the future of cool-climate chardonnay.

Walk-Around Tasting

Conclude your day with a delightful Walk-Around Tasting, featuring an impressive selection of cool-climate Chardonnays. Engage directly with producers, savour diverse expressions of chardonnay, and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow wine lovers.

Key information for attendees

Complimentary parking is available at Niagara College, with a shuttle service provided to the event location at White Oaks Resort. Note that there is no on-site parking at White Oaks Resort. Shuttle details will be available on the website.

Secure your tickets today and prepare for an unforgettable day of education, exploration, and enjoyment. Visit for more information and to purchase your tickets.

See you at the School of Cool!


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