International Cool Climate Wine Symposium returns to NZ

Misha’s Vineyard in Cenrtal Otago. Image Misha’s Vineyard

New Zealand will play host to the 2026 International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS) from 25-28 January, the New Zealand Society for Viticulture and Oenology (NZSVO) has announced.

Having successfully hosted this globally renowned conference twice previously, the NZSVO sees its winning bid as an acclamation of their previous efforts and a confirmation of the world-wide interest in New Zealand wine.

“It is quite the coup that the NZSVO have secured another opportunity to host the ICCWS,” says Philip Gregan, CEO of NZ Winegrowers.

“It will be such a pleasure to share the NZ wine story with our industry peers and reveal how far we’ve come since NZ last hosted the ICCWS 20 years ago.”

The NZSVO exists for the promotion and dissemination of technical information in viticulture, oenology and related sciences for the benefit of the grape and wine industries of New Zealand.

The primary role of its committee of ten is to organise annual technical workshops for their industry colleagues with the intention of discussing current trends, sharing knowledge and providing analytic insights.

The committee is comprised of industry leaders, mentors and innovators and together they provide a well versed approach to curating engaging and educational workshop programs. Several of the current committee members contributed to the successful hosting of NZ’s previous two ICCWS.

“We are beyond excited to host a third ICCWS,” says NZSVO chair, Jeff Sinnott.

“New Zealand has grown so much since we last hosted and this past experience puts us in a unique position to create an immersive and engaging event.”

The NZSVO commenced their application to host the 11th ICCWS in 2019, prior to borders closing to COVID-19 and prior to the completion of the Te Pae conference centre in Christchurch. Three years on, and the state-of-the-art Te Pae now completed and open, NZSVO knows it is the ideal host for the 2026 event.

Its committee is embracing the opportunity to extend their skill sets to drive the design of a three day ‘Pure Innovation’ conference program.

“There are some very exciting research projects and industry trials happening at the moment and we hope to bring them to light in four years’ time,” said Sinnott.

NZSVO have support from several of NZ’s most respected affiliate organisations including Plant and Food, Bragato Research Institute, Lincoln University and Auckland University.

“We all contribute deep industry knowledge to the planning process, not to mention an impressive list of colleagues and contacts,” said Sinnott.

“The challenge may actually be keeping the programme to just three days.”

In addition to sharing cutting edge technology and the latest industry research, the NZSVO is committed to offering an immersive NZ experience.

“We have partnered with Tourism New Zealand and NZ Winegrowers to offer delegates a mix of experience packages for the shoulder dates of our conference,” said Sinnott.

“We have such a beautiful country and diverse range of wine growing regions. It would be a disservice not to provide visiting delegates with the opportunity to experience NZ beyond the event four walls.”

The ICCWS 2022 was hosted by Brock University, in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. It was the responsibility of their committee to select the next host country for the conference.


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