Sussex’s fine wine symposium

The International Cool Climate Wine Symposium comes to Brighton for the first time ever in May and to find out more about this ground-breaking event we caught up with Bryony Wright of the ICCWS.

What is the ICCSW?
The International Cool Climate Wine Symposium takes place every four years, bringing together the world’s top movers and shakers in the production, marketing and sale of fine wines from cool climate wine regions.

Why is it taking place in Sussex?
Firstly, because it’s close to a number of top English wineries and Plumpton College, Britain’s Centre of Excellence in Wine education, training and research. Secondly, because it offers excellent access to London and internationally via Gatwick airport – and lastly because Brighton is one of the most cosmopolitan and exciting coastal towns in the UK with plenty of culture and entertainment to offer international visitors.

How does cool climate wine differ to warm climate wine?
In a nutshell: think finesse and elegance rather than tropical or jammy fruit with higher levels of alcohol.

How do English wines compare with those overseas?
English winemaking is still in its infancy, but it’s fair to say that recognition is growing overseas that our wines are already world class. I firmly believe that the quality of our sparkling wine is so good that, in 30 years time, we will be giving Champagne a serious market share problem in the UK.

ICCWSLOGOWhat wine is best for breakfast?
To me, breakfast is all about sparkling wine – with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs if possible!

How long before we do more proper reds?
The UK’s red wines are getting better and better. To be honest, I’ve not tasted many specifically from Sussex, but I would recommend seeking out Litmus Pinot Noir, sourced from vineyards in Surrey, and also Ancre Hill Pinot Noir from Wales.

What does the future hold for Sussex wine?
I think we’ll see increasing acreage of vineyards being planted in the area and more excellent wines coming onto the market, which is all good news for us in terms of job and tourism opportunities as well as vinous enjoyment.

Where will the ICCWS be held and what can we expect?
The Symposium itself takes place at the Brighton Hilton from 26 to 28 May, and all details are available on

About Daniel White
Dan has written numerous articles for Title Sussex. He no longer works for Title Media and has made a confident career in the world of coffee!