The UK's status as a serious producer of cool-climate sparkling wines has been further cemented by the announcement that the ninth International Cool Climate Symposium will take place in the UK.
Plumpton College: host for 2016
The four-yearly conference, which is being held this week in Tasmania, will be a joint effort between Sussex’s Plumpton College, the Institute of Masters of Wine, University of Brighton, the trade organisation English Wine Producers, and the UK Vineyards Association.
‘Organising this will be a daunting task but it’s high time we did it,’ said Chris Foss, head of Plumpton’s wine department. ‘It will help put us on the map as it helped New Zealand after they hosted it in 1988.’
For the 2016 event, Plumpton will host wine tours while plenary sessions, workshops, and most networking activities will be held in Brighton. The Brighton Arts Festival is likely to overlap with the event.
The International Cool Climate Symposium accepted the English group’s proposal because, a spokesman said, in 15 years of commercial production traditional English sparking wines have won numerous awards, and the UK is a key market for wine exports and a centre for wine education.
‘When you look at the current production statistics for this year’s host Tasmania, I see much the same occurring in the UK by 2016,’ symposium delegate Mike Roberts, owner of Sussex’s Ridgeview Vineyards & Winery, told Decanter.com.
‘Like Tasmania now, we expect to be producing 8m bottles by 2016 and, again like Tasmania, with a large percentage of sparkling wines.’
Founded in 1984 with the first ICCS held that year in Eugene, Oregon, the ICCS happens every four years, with the exception of this year, which takes place two years after the 7th ICCS in 2010 in Seattle. It has only been in Europe once, in 1992 in Mainz, Germany.
Written by David Furer in Tasmania