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Bodegas Luis Cañas in Villabuena de Álava was the scene on September 29 of the 2017 ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ awards ceremony for the Bilbao|Rioja partnership in the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.

Bilbao Rioja Best of Wine Tourism

One of the highlights of the early evening event for the 150 guests was the beautiful autumn sunset against the backdrop of a sea of vineyards surrounding the winery.

The 2017 ‘Best of Wine Tourism’ winners are:

Innovative Wine Tourism experiences: Bodegas Ramón Bilbao (Haro)

Ramón Bilbao is a classic winery in Haro, founded in 1924. The company’s wine tourism offer joins tradition and modernity, a sensory experience beginning with the history of the winery’s early years and ending with a virtual reality tour with barrels, bottles and glasses of wine in a world of magic.

Architecture and Landscapes: Bodegas y Viñedos de Páganos (Laguardia)

The winery was founded by the Eguren family and features two spectacular vineyards – ‘El Puntido’ and ‘La Nieta’ and a modern winery sculpted underground like the wineries of the family’s ancestors. In the large underground caves the company ages the wines produced in the vineyards above.

Art and Culture: Bodegas Valdelana (Elciego)

Valdelana’s wine tourism offer is based on the vast artistic and cultural heritage of the world of wine. Its latest creation is a trip through prehistoric times featuring megalithic tombs, archaeological excavations and old hermitages located on the family’s land. The visit continues through 15th century cellars, an ethnographic museum and a 16th century chapel and ends at the ‘Varietal Balcony’, a spectacular vantage point with views of vineyards and the Ebro river.

In addition to these awards, the jury gave a special prize to Wine Fandango, a wine bar and restaurant in Logroño, where a group of young entrepreneurs have created a space to familiarize people their age with wine culture. Activities include wine list featuring over 100 wines, most of which are available by the glass, wine and food pairings created by chef Aitor Esnal, wine and music pairings and ‘vinous voyages’ with tastings of different vintages of the same wine.

About the Great Wine Capitals Global Network

Founded in 1999, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network is an alliance of eight internationally renowned wine regions – Adelaide, South Australia; Bordeaux, France; Cape Town, South Africa; Mainz|Rheinhessen, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; Bilbao|Rioja, Spain and San Francisco|Napa Valley, USA. The Best Of Wine Tourism awards are an industry benchmark for excellence, recognising 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 www.greatwinecapitals.com.