ICS events

2016 International Chardonnay Symposium Pays Homage To France in Pismo Beach

Producers from the birthplace of Chardonnay, and a much-anticipated French Forum panel discussion, will be featured at the upcoming annual celebration.

The International Chardonnay Symposium, the world’s foremost gathering of top global Chardonnay winemakers, sommeliers, journalists, wine industry leaders, foodies and oenophiles will feature a star-studded panel and guided tasting tour of the most storied and seminal Chardonnay regions in France at this year’s celebration May 12-14.

“France has long been the standard-bearer of Chardonnay, and this spotlight and panel discussion comes at an exciting time since France’s classic, lean-and-bright style is clearly influencing winemakers the world over, especially here in California,” says Brian Talley, a Symposium advisory board member and owner of Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande, California.

Several French producers will be pouring at the Grand Tasting on Saturday, May 14, and attendees of the French Forum on Friday, May 13 will participate in an expert-led exploration of France’s quintessential Chardonnay regions, such as Chablis Champagne, Montrachet, Pouilly-Fuissé, Languedoc-Roussillon and Meursault.

Moderated by Master Sommelier Bob Bath, from the Culinary Institute of America, the French Forum panel includes Claude Rouquet from the Boisset Collection, Bruno Laclotte from Charton et Trebuchet, Bernard Retornez from Maison Louis Latour, Jean-Rèmy Rapeneau from Champagne G.H. Martel, Kyle Kaplan from Piper-Heidsieck, and Geoffroy de La Besnardière from Domaine de l’Arjolle.

The French Forum is but one of many panel discussions and happenings at this annual global gathering set among the stunning coastal communities of Pismo Beach, Avila Beach and the Edna Valley wine region.

The other panel discussions include:

  • Wente Clone Comparative Tasting
  • What’s Oak Got to Do With It?
  • Pairing Chardonnay With Artisanal Cheeses
  • Taste the Difference: Exploring California’s Distinct Chardonnay Regions
  • Hone Your Chardonnay Blind-Tasting Skills

The Grand Tasting, with 80-plus wineries, will be held at the picturesque Greengate Ranch & Vineyard ( on Saturday, May 14. Additional events include a Vintners’ Wine Tech Symposium, Sommelier Chardonnay Challenge, La Paulée Dinner and Vintners Awards Ceremony, and new to this year’s Symposium, the Pét-Nat/Sparkling Wine & Oysters Gala.

For more information on the Symposium, and for tickets to the Grand Tasting or other events —including the French Forum— please visit When you book your stay at an ICS sponsoring hotel, you will to receive discount on all event tickets.