Firenze announced the winners of its local ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ awards for 2013 on November 8 at a gala dinner at the Palazzo Pitti during the annual general meeting of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network. Over 200 members of the local wine and tourism trade as well as the delegates of the nine Great Wine Capitals attended.
Wine Tourism Restaurant: Castiglion del Bosco
Its magnificent accommodations are only one facet of life at Castiglion del Bosco. Now as in the past, when this was a busy agricultural and social centre serving a diverse resident community, Castiglion del Bosco is a living country estate. Today, its unparalleled amenities reflect the true essence of ‘la vera Toscana’ — luxurious relaxation, exceptional cuisine and great outdoor activities, all set against the picturesque backdrop of the Val d’Orcia. Two restaurants and a culinary academy allow guests to enjoy authentic Tuscan dishes based on simplicity, freshness and flavor. castigliondelbosco.com
Accommodation (ex-aequo): Fattoria Lavacchio
Organic farm with four country houses fully restored in respect of the environment and the true Tuscan traditions. They offer very comfortable accommodation, settled in an enchanting and evocative countryside, assuring the guests an unforgettable stay. The offer is enriched by the restaurant, respecting the most authentic Tuscan cuisine. It takes the name from the windmill of the village, recently restored and used to grind the organic wheat. Inside the farm horse riding is available, as well as ceramic and cooking courses, wine and olive oil tasting, trekking pathways, a swimming pool. fattorialavacchio.com
Fattoria del Lavacchio was also given a 2013 International Best Of Wine Tourism award.
Accommodation (ex-aequo): Borgo di Vescine
It is a 13th century village of Etruscan origin, whose ancient dwellings have been transformed into charming guest rooms, in perfect harmony with the surrounding countryside. The evocative atmosphere, the sensation of time standing still make the holiday here very special. The wine shop offers tasting of the different wines produced by the Paladin family, while in the old cellar in Castelvecchi suggestive wine tastings are available, guided by skilled staff. A cosy restaurant with a fireplace, a swimming pool with panoramic view and a privat tennis court enrich the cosy accommodations. vescine.it
Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences: Castello del Trebbio
Built by the Pazzi family in 1184, today it is a farm owned since 1968 by the Baj Macario family. The estate offers high quality products such as wine, extra virgin olive oil and pure saffron as well as several activities such as accommodation in country houses, wine and olive oil tasting and tours in the 900 year old castle cellars, and special packages for unforgettable weddings. A special wine tour is introduced by actors in Renaissance style costumes which act following the plot of the conspiracy of the Pazzi family, who took place in 1478 against he Medici family. castellodeltrebbio.eu
Art & Culture: Cantine Leonardo Da Vinci
A wine co-operative accredited in 2007 for the innovations implemented in these years “from the field to the cellar”, today it is a pioneering winery also in terms of protecting the environment. The Casale di Valle estate has been restored and converted into a reception and accommodation facility.
The cultural credits list inside the church of St. Ippolito and Cassiano a painting of the Pietà, attributed to Antonio Mini, a pupil of Michelangelo. Moreover, with a visit to Leonardo’s Museum in Vinci it is possible to get a free wine tasting and winery tour at Cantine Leonardo da Vinci. cantineleonardo.it
Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices: Fattoria di Lamole
A winery owned by the Socci family for centuries, who started in 2003 the restoring of the terraces in the vineyards and the following planting of new vines, aiming at reaching an optimal level of mechanization as well as maintaining untouched a typical landscape elements. The stones in the wall are like accumulators of heat and contribute to produce a very fine wine, the chromatic symphony of the landscape goes alongside with the symphony of the aromas of Lamole’s wine. They offer a cosy accommodation in the country house called Le Volpaie, laying in front of the vineyards and the woods. fattoriadilamole.it
Wine Tourism Services: Associazione Toscana In
It is an association of wineries of the Valdelsa region, offering a wide range of services to local visitors. They propose accommodation in farm houses, wine tours, guided visits, cultural events. They recently opened a farmer retail shop in an old school in the countryside selling their seasonal organic products, the wine, natural cosmetics, local handcraft works. They offer a fidelity card to all guests staying in the wineries with discounts and special offers for the services provided and they have created a private network which promotes the peculiarities of the territory. toscana-in.com
About the Great Wine Capitals Global Network
Founded in 1999, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network is an alliance of nine internationally renowned wine regions – Bordeaux, France; Cape Town, South Africa; Christchurch/South Island, New Zealand; Florence, Italy; Mainz/Rheinhessen, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; Bilbao/Rioja, Spain and San Francisco/Napa Valley, USA. The Best Of Wine Tourism awards serve as an industry benchmark for excellence and recognize leading wineries and wine-tourism related businesses within each Great Wine Capital that have distinguished themselves in areas such as innovation, service and sustainable practices. For more information visit: greatwinecapitals.com.
Written by Decanter