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On November 9th, Casona Veramonte in Chile’s Casablanca Valley was the scene of the 2018 international ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ awards ceremony sponsored by the Great Wine Capitals Global Network. The ceremony took place during the gala dinner that marked the end of the Network’s annual general meeting.

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International Best of Wine Tourism 2018 winners

The international award winners are chosen from among the ‘Best Of’ winners from each Great Wine Capital. This year, there were 377 entrants and 59 local award winners worldwide.

The ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ Awards have gone from strength to strength since their inception. To date, 4 222 companies have entered the contest, and 633 properties have received an award.

The 2018 International Best Of Wine Tourism award winners are:

Adelaide | South Australia – Penfolds Magill Estate

A recent upgrade of the Penfolds Magill Estate Cellar Door, Restaurant and Kitchen, included specifically designed spaces to allow visitors to engage, explore and discover the quality and history of the Penfolds brand.
Penfolds Chief Winemaker and Great Wine Capitals Global Ambassador Peter Gago was thrilled to win the International Best of Wine Tourism Award for Best Wine Tourism Services.
“Our aim is to engage and educate wine enthusiasts about our wine in a meaningful way, through our exclusive cellar door and dining experiences, as well as tours, tastings and experientials,” he said.
“Any visitor to Penfolds Magill Estate – whether local, interstate or international – absorbs the most from our quality wine experiences. They’re real. They’re memorable. They are unique.

Bilbao | Rioja – Bodegas Ollauri Conde de los Andes

In Ollauri’s winery quarter, three centuries-old buildings and a spectacular network of underground cellars make up Bodegas Ollauri-Conde de los Andes.

The cellars were excavated at two different times: the oldest, from the 15th and 16th centuries show Hispano-Arabic architectural influences. The remaining cellars were built by stonemasons from Galicia in northwestern Spain in the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, following extensive reconstruction, there is a two kilometer-long underground network, a legacy open to the public in the oldest cellar still in use in Spain.

Bordeaux – Château de Reignac

In the Entre-Deux-Mers region, the Château de Reignac offers a magical setting where a host of surprises awaits visitors. A Garden of Scents and a greenhouse designed by Eiffel stand alongside a beautiful 16th century building. In just a few years, Reignyx, the little character sketched on a notebook or photos, has become the mascot of the Chateau. Born directly from the imagination of Nicolas Lesaint, the technical manager of the estate, he follows the chateau’s daily adventures in the most enjoyable and entertaining manner but also as an acute observer of everyday life.
A star on social media and a communication icon, Reignyx is a new personality in the chateau. Along with the guide, he provides a cute and quirky perspective to visitors.

Mainz | Rheinhessen – Weingut Neus

The winery including the appropriate building and park ensemble was renovated after it became property of the Mainz business family Schmitz in March 2013. The villa from the Gründerzeit was built between 1881 and 1883 according to the neoclassical style and was classified as a highly modern farm building in those days.
Along the protected farm villa and the winery there is a large protected park with an old tree population that invites you to stroll along. The carefully renovated rooms radiate a special ambiance. With intentionally used style elements it was possible to modernise the grand winery building appropriately and to create a tasteful atmosphere for wine presentations.
The newly designed wine house in which you can taste the winery’s own spätburgunder wines also radiates timeless elegance. In 2016 it was awarded the architecture prize for wine by the Rhineland-Palatinate Chamber of Architects.

Mendoza – Wine Rock – Monteviejo and Park Hyatt Hotel

Week of the Wine Rock is the fusion of two companies, Park Hyatt Mendoza and Bodega Monteviejo. It is an experience that joins gastronomy, wines and art led by the conductive thread that is music, more specifically, rock. Activities related to the art of plastic artists begin at the hotel. One of the activities within the week is the Master of Food and Wine, where the chefs cook dishes inspired by rock songs or that have the name of the song itself. Later, the musicians present their own wines that were designed by Marcelo Peleritti, the renowned winemaker of Bodega Monteviejo.

The following day, an art event in the winery, Plus + Arte is held, showing works of art of local artists. Finally, there is a rock concert on the last day, where people can taste the best wines and food.

Porto – Casa do Rio – Quinta do Vallado

Featuring the perfect combination of modern architecture in nature, with only 8 suites facing Douro River, it is an unique hotel, strategically located between the vineyards and the river and with an outstanding view.
Suspended between two supporting pillars, the wooden building – which hovers above the land smartly avoiding a line of seasonal running water, presents itself as a premium Hotel in the middle of nature.
Guests can relax in the “Infinity Pool” with a privileged view of the Douro river and with several relaxing areas, Casa do Rio is the ideal choice for those looking for a unique experience, where it is possible to explore the Douro Superior region and enjoy an activity program exclusively designed for each guest.

San Francisco | Napa Valley – Etude Winery

Etude serves as a model for sustainable viticulture and wine production. The vision for Grace Benoist Ranch encompassed a long-term concept of sustainability that included sensitivity to the environment, minimal impact on neighbors and the community and economic feasibility to implement and maintain the program. Through careful planning and thoughtful design, the Etude team has continually worked to protect our land, operate in a sustainable, forward-thinking fashion and craft world-class wines with minimal intervention by the winemaker, revealing only the essence of the vineyard. Etude strictly adheres to sustainable agricultural practices that enable them to farm in concert with the surrounding environment.

Etude is certified Napa Green, implements Fish Friendly Farming and adheres to the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing. Always looking towards the future, the Etude winemaking team strives for the best and most responsible practices in their vineyard and is constantly seeking new approaches toward excellence and sustainability.

Valparaiso | Casablanca Valley – Estancia El Cuadro

Estancia El Cuadro offers the wine tourist a wide range of activities on its winery and ranch in the Casablanca Valley. Among these experiences are horse-drawn carriage rides through the vineyards, a tour of the grapevine garden where a viticulturist explains 26 grape varieties and the characteristics of the soil, a range of wine tastings and tours of the property and a Chilean rodeo, where cowboys (huasos) show the visitor their horsemanship skills as well as the tack worn by the horse and the outfit worn by the cowboy.

Verona – Zeni 1870

The Zeni family represents a united family dedicated to the production of the best wines from the region around Verona. Passion, sacrifice, ambition and strategies have been painting the way for more than 140 years between the hills of Bardolino and those of the Valpolicella as a gift of love towards this land, so rich in history and traditions.

The wine museum explains the whole process of winemaking through the succession of thematic areas: from the cultivation of vines to the transformation of the grapes and up to the bottling. Visitors can also book guided tasting tours and let themselves submerge into a guided sensorial journey through the world of wine and our ancient territory.

In April 2017 the Zeni winery has opened an Olfactory Gallery offering a new experience to whoever wants to explore the harmony of our wines through the olfactory sense.


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 – Adelaide|South Australia; Bordeaux, France; Mainz|Rheinhessen, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; Bilbao|Rioja, Spain; San Francisco|Napa Valley, USA, Valparaiso|Casablanca Valley, Chile and Verona, Italy.

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 www.greatwinecapitals.com.