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School of Cool

School of Cool
Date: July 20, 2018
Time: 8:30am - 5:00pm
Type: Food + Wine Festival
Venue: White Oaks Resort
Address: 253 Taylor Road 
City: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

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School of Cool

The School of Cool

July 20, 8:30am - 5:00pm

Presented by VQA Wines of Ontario, The Wine Marketing Association of Ontario and the Grape Growers of Ontario

The i4C welcomes Wines of Chablis as the i4C 2018 School of Cool Hospitality Sponsor

Join special guests and some of the brightest talents in the world of Cool Climate viticulture and winemaking as they explore three provocative topics with accompanying tastings.

7:30am - Registration
8:30am - Keynote address by Keynote speaker, industry sessions, break for lunch
3:30pm - Industry Networking Event - A meet-and-greet event for international winemakers and media and Ontario wine-industry guests, with a selection of Chardonnays poured by their makers in a collegial setting.

Session Topics
Session 1: The Perception of Chardonnay
Moderator: Jamie Goode
In this soessin we'll be exploring sensory science and our perception of wine. Among other topics we will address individual differences, and whether our wine preferences are in some way predetermined by our biology. Are great tasters made or are they born? Also, how do we decide which wines are 'great', as opposed to just ordinary? Who gets to decide, and on what basis? And, more broadly, what is the nature of wine perception and expertise? Drawing on insights from psychology, physiology, neuroscience and even philosophy, we'll address these questions through the lens of eight superb - but quite different - cool-climate Chardonnays.

Session 2: Desert Island Combo - Chardonnay and Cheese
Moderator: Peter Rod
If you had to choose a combination of one grape variety or classic blend and one food type to sustain you on a desert island for the rest of your life, what would it be? Champagne and Lobster? Not bad. Cabernet and Lamb? Delicious. Tokaji Aszu and Foie Gras? Yum. I'd like to propose another excellent option. One that promises a unique flavour and textural experience each and every day - Chardonnay and Cheese. Both products offer a vast array of styles which means there is a Chardonnay for pretty much any mood, and countless cheeses to satisfy your every whim. In this session we will explore a range of different styles of Ontario Chardonnay each partnered with a fine Canadian cheese. With the guidance of our expert panel, the goal will be to ascertain where wine style fits into the pairing equation. Because we aren't on a desert island, we will also include several cheese plate accompaniments to see how they can vastly improve or diminish this gastronomic experience. After this session, it will just come down to choosing which island to desert yourself on!

Session 3: Raising Chardonnay
Moderator: John Szabo, MS
Considering the worldwide pendulum swing over the last decade or so, from the hey-day of heavily oaked, toasty, buttery Chardonnay to a decidedly less woody, flinty style, the topic of raising Chardonnay is as timely as ever. And for a subject more often than not observed superficially, it’s also time to delve deeper. In this session, we’ll take a hard look at the vessel options available for fermenting and ageing Chardonnay before bottling. Using a range of premium wines to illustrate, the panel discussion will revolve around the past, present and future of the variety, following fashion or tradition, fixed philosophies or markets, and essentially what, exactly, informs each winemaker’s decision on where and how long to age their wines before release. Small vs. Large wood, wood type (oak, acacia, chestnut) new or old, light or heavy toast, concrete, clay, terra cotta or stainless? Terroir, personal philosophy, savvy marketing? Let’s explore.

Tickets include three industry sessions with tastings, keynote address, lunch sponsored by Wines of Chablis, and industry networking session. Complimentary parking at Niagara College and shuttle to the event - no parking on site at White Oaks resort.

Session details will be available at



The International Cool Climate Chardonnay Association, our agents, and many of our guests, may take photos and/or video at any of our events. These images may be posted to our website or social media platforms, or may be used in other ways for the express purpose of promoting the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration. By attending any of our events, you are deemed to consent to such use for yourself and your guests. 

Better yet, share your experience with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @coolchardonnay and tag #i4C18

Tickets are non-refundable.




Ticket Type

150.00 CAD

School of Cool

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Charity Name: Food Banks Canada

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Food Banks Canada

Food Banks Canada is a national charitable organization representing the food bank community across Canada. Together with our network of more than 500 food banks and 3000 agencies, we serve approximately 85% of people accessing emergency food programs nationwide. Our mission is to meet the short term need for food and find long-term solutions to reduce hunger. Visit for more information.

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