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UPDATED: Niagara’s International Cool Climate Wine Symposium, Ontario Wine awards both postponed

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant uncertainty and risk to public health around the globe, the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS) 2020 Advisory Organizing Committee has made the decision to postpone its upcoming conference until 2021.

The ICCWS 2020, which was slated to take place this July, will now be held at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada from July 25 to 29, 2021.

This difficult decision was made after careful evaluation of all currently available information from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Niagara Region Public Health, and the World Health Organization. The province of Ontario, where the conference was scheduled to be held, is currently operating under a state of emergency. That, combined with global travel restrictions and other rapidly evolving COVID-19 response measures, led the committee to determine that postponing the ICCWS is in the best interest of all attendees, partners, sponsors and organizers.

“With the great degree of uncertainty that lies ahead, we believe postponing the conference is the best option to ensure a safe and successful event for all involved,” said Debbie Inglis, Chair of the ICCWS 2020 Advisory Organizing Committee and Director of Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute. “While we are disappointed that we will not be able to come together to celebrate innovations and advances in cool climate grape, wine and business research this year, we place everyone’s health, safety and well-being above all else. We look forward to showcasing our Canadian grape and wine industry to the world when we host ICCWS in July 2021.”

All registered delegates, invited speakers, sponsors and trade show exhibitors will be contacted directly in the coming days with more information. All payments made for conference registration, sponsorships and trade show booths will be honoured and applied to the 2021 date. Refunds will be issued to those who do not want payments used for the rescheduled date.

“We appreciate your ongoing support in this extremely difficult time and wish you all the very best in the weeks and months to come,” said Inglis.

The ICCWS was being held in conjunction with the annual International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4c, which at this moment is still going forward.

Also announced today, the Ontario Wine Awards have been postponed.

Here’s the full text from organizers:

As you all know, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is facing an issue of enormous scale and uncertainty. It has never been more important for all of us to ensure the safety of our partners, teammates and communities.

Therefore, with reluctance, we have made the difficult decision to postpone this year’s Ontario Wine Awards.

We hope to be able to mount the competition later this year. Our mission, since the creation of the Ontario Wine Awards 26 years ago, has been to celebrate and promote Ontario’s VQA wines – a goal we intend to continue striving for in spite of current difficulties.