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UK promises ‘wow factor’ symposium

The organisers of the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium 2016 have updated supporters on the line-up as they promised to deliver an event “worthy of our industry and ambitions”.

With 18 months still to go until the symposium, which takes place in Brighton from Thursday 26 until Saturday 28 May 2016, directly after the London Wine Fair, many of the speakers, subjects and sponsors have now been confirmed.

Addressing members of the English wine industry and UK trade at a briefing in London this week, ICCWS committee chairman Bruce Tindale stressed a desire to shown off the host nation’s growing prowess as a producer, not just a trader or consumer.

“The UK wine industry is bright and successful and poised to become a major player,” he said of the qualities that helped to secure the country as host of ICCWS 2016 in the first place. “This is our time.”

Following a welcome event at Brighton Pavilion the evening before the main programme kicks off, the three day symposium will be opened by Jancis Robinson MW.

Other speakers include the UK’s Oz Clarke and Jamie Goode, alongside a host of international figures from countries as diverse as Finland, China, Germany and New Zealand.

Among the sessions already confirmed will be “Emerging vineyard diseases” with Dr Mark Sosnowski, “Placing cool climate wines on the UK market” with Justin Howard-Sneyd MW, and “Wine production in challenging climates” with Professor Dr Huiquin Ma.

Although the symposium itself is primarily trade-focused, the final day will overlap with the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival, allowing organisers to add a consumer slant to the event. Official supporter Laithwaites Wine will also host the “Laithwaites Cool Wine Show” to extend this consumer-oriented element still further.

Noting the additional momentum that will be generated by the event’s proximity to the London Wine Fair, Tindale suggested that these combined allegiances would give the whole symposium “real wow factor”.

Tindale promised that the symposium, which is being developed in consultation with an international advisory board of more than 40 industry experts, “will reflect the latest thinking and developments around the world”, from winemaking techniques to winemaking research and commercial market analysis.

As for the opportunity this event offers to the UK’s own wineries, many of whom will be hosting visitors as part of activities surrounding the symposium, he remarked: “We’re a young industry so there have been relatively few opportunities to show what we have to offer the world.”

Noting that there were still opportunities for additional sponsors and patrons to come on board, while an “early bird” discount remains open for delegates, Tindale concluded: “We’re making good progress in achieving a symposium that is worthy of our industry and ambitions.”

For more information about the event and line up, visit

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