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ICCWS marks UK wine industry’s ‘coming of age’

The ninth International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS) served to celebrate the UK’s “coming of age” as a wine producing region, believes Jancis Robinson MW.

Bruce Tindale, ICCWS 2016 chariman, congratulates Debbie Inglis of Brock University, Canada after the announcement of the chosen country for the next International Cool Climate Wine Symposium which will be Canada. (Photo: Julia Claxton)

Some 600 international delegates from 30 different countries gathered in Brighton last week at the ninth ICCWS, the most important academic wine conference ever to be held in the UK, focusing on the intricacies of producing wines in cool climate regions. Over three days, the Symposium brought together global industry experts in academia, winegrowing, producing and marketing to share and build new contacts for future collaboration and learning.

“It is no coincidence that Britain is hosting this hugely significant event that effectively celebrates the coming of age of England and Wales as wine-producing countries,” said Jancis Robinson MW in her opening keynote speech.

“Perhaps the end result of all the knowledge shared… will be to encourage wine producers in many more cooler vineyard settings around the world – not least in the new wine regions of northern Europe. Could Copenhagen or Stockholm be a future setting for a Cool Climate Wine Symposium?”

Robinson also used her opening speech to appeal to the UK’s department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) to reinstate funding for the UK wine industry, drawing attention to the fact that it had withdrawn funding for wine training at a time when the industry is at an important stage in its development.

Speaking of the UK’s growing wine industry, Sam Lindo, chairman of the United Kingdom Vineyards Association and winemaker at Camel Valley Vineyard, said: “We are approaching the size that deserves proper coordinated research. Now would be a good time to have more openness.”

The tenth ICCWS will now move to Canada in 2020 and, in the meantime, it is hoped that the success of the 2016 event for England and Wales will inspire other emerging cool climate wine producing regions to grow and develop.

Canada has been named as the host country for the tenth ICCWS, which will take place in 2020 at Brock University in Ontario – home to the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI).

“We are excited for the opportunity to provide our international colleagues with an engaging conference programme,” said director of the CCOVI Debbie Inglis. “With ever-changing conditions within the grape and wine industry, the conference will examine how adversity drives innovation to achieve success.”

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