“In years to come, this will be seen to have been the definitive ICCWS, the one others can only aspire to.”
Bruce Tindale, ICCWS 2016 planning committee
An array of cool climate regions joined the cream of the English wine industry amid the glitz of Vintners’ Hall at the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium’s autumn Patrons’ Circle event on Monday. Leading speakers Oz Clarke and Justin Howard-Sneyd MW mingled with patrons, sponsors, and key members of the organising committees, including programme committee chair, Plumpton College’s Chris Foss.
With less than seven months to go until the ICCWS lands in Brighton, the evening offered an opportunity for Bruce Tindale, chair of the planning committee, to update sponsors on the “truly spectacular programme”. “In years to come, this will be seen to have been the definitive ICCWS, the one others can only aspire to,” Tindale said.
“Jancis will be opening the programme; Jamie Goode will close proceedings and Oz Clarke will lead a session on tasting English still wines,” he said. ‘Essi Avellan MW, who co-wrote the World Encyclopaedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine with Tom Stephenson, will lead a session on tasting English sparkling wines.”
“The ICCWS is going to put English wine on the main stage at a time when the English wine scene is in a good position,” said patron and Biddenden Vineyard MD Julian Barnes. “I am really proud that the ICCWS will be coming here,” said Abigail Barlow of fellow patron, BD Creative. “I love English wine and I want to support the industry.”
The UK hosting the event “represents the progress of the indigenous industry,” said patron and UK Vine co-founder, James Graham. “It is a coming of age.”
“Because developments are moving so quickly, with different blends, grapes and styles, it is really important that we [UK wine industry] don’t get left behind,” said Elizabeth Merrett of patron Denbies, adding “We have got to take the opportunity we are given to show people the best possible wines that we have.”
Tindale thanked the Vintners’ Company for hosting the evening, and Patrons Albury Vineyard, Bluebell Vineyard, Bolney, Chapel Down, Denbies, Nutbourne, Wines of Chile and Wines of Germany, for supplying the wines, including a dessert wine from Denbies, a Nutbourne magnum of Sussex Reserve, and a bevvy of sparklers.
The target now is to sell delegate tickets, Tindale said. “Can you please speak to as many people as possible. This is our symposium; let’s make sure we deliver an occasion we are truly proud of and which reflects magnificently on our wonderful and ever more successful industry.”
An edited version of this piece first appeared in the UK Vine Newsletter, edited by James Graham, seen here with committee member, Susanna Forbes.
For a full list of ICCWS 2016 patrons visit the website and see below for some more pictures from the night!
Words: Susanna Forbes, drinkbritain.com
Photos: Cath Lowe Photography
To join the Patrons’ Circle please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information