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The international ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ awards were announced during a gala dinner at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens on November 8.

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Great Wine Capitals announce the 2019 International Best of Wine Tourism winners

The ceremony marked the end of the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Great Wine Capitals in Adelaide, South Australia.

The international award winners are chosen from among the ‘Best Of’ winners from each Great Wine Capital. This year, there were 384 entrants and 65 local award winners worldwide.

The ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ Awards have gone from strength to strength since their inception. To date, 4606 companies have entered the contest, and 698 properties have received an award.

The 2019 winners are:

Château Smith Haut-Lafitte (Bordeaux)

In front of the château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, the iconic bronze hare watches over its vineyard. Art and culture have always inspired the Cathiard family, and the pairing with vines is unique. The dreamy “art and vine” tour invites visitors to discover the most beautiful sculptures in the estate from a new angle, as closely as possible to the plants amidst the vine rows, and punctuated with interesting anecdotes. The estate has recently expanded with a preserved ten hectares “Senses Forest”: a Land’Art poetic path peppered with exceptional art works and sensory experiences which wind between trees, flowers, streams, lights and shades, in symbiosis with the philosophy of Château Smith Haut Lafitte: respect for the environment and biodiversity.

St. Supéry Estate Vineyards (San Francisco-Napa Valley)

St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery is a 100% Estate Grown, sustainably farmed winery located in the renowned Rutherford growing region in the heart of Napa Valley. All the estate acreage owned by St. Supéry is farmed sustainably using minimal intervention and cultivation. St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery champions wine education and exploration, offering a series of interactive wine experiences designed for all levels of wine enthusiasts.

Les Celliers de Sion (Lausanne)

Les Celliers de Sion invites you on a unique discovery of the history and wines of the Bonvin and Varone estates. The Oenotourism Centre has been designed to offer you an experience that is completely unprecedented in Switzerland. You’ll also get the chance to discover every facet of the majestic hillside, which benefits from dramatic views over the Rhône Valley. Come to one of the original tastings and learn all about the local wines and their flavours, right in the heart of the cellar…

A unique and entertaining sensory experience awaits you at that new centre. You’ll discover an innovative and modern site that truly has something for everyone!

GUT LEBEN am Morstein (Mainz|Rheinhessen)

GUT LEBEN am Morstein convinced the jury in two categories: The regional Best Of Wine Tourism Award 2019 in “Wine Gastronomy” as well as in “Art & Culture” goes to the operators of the winegrower’s villa, awoken from the Sleeping Beauty Castle. The event gastronomy and conference location with a hotel has enriched cultural life in the region since November 2017.

Culture and events at the highest level attract visitors to the vaulted cellars. Selected artists of various genres such as Lars Reichow, Quadro Nuevo, Wolfgang Haffner and the Aris Quartet are guests here. An exceptional, spacious tunnel vault – the former wine cellar – with excellent acoustics and space for 250 guests creates unforgettable experiences. The enjoyment of art completes a rich offer of fine wines from Rheinhessen.

Tenuta Canova (Verona)

Masi’s story begins at the end of the 18th century when the Boscaini family acquired premium vineyard sites in the small valley called “Vaio dei Masi”, in the heart of the Valpolicella Classica region. The Masi Wine Discovery Museum is an experience dedicated to the world of wine with a multimedia and multi-sensorial path, rich in educational and emotional values where wine and food narrate the ancient art of “know how to make quality”.

Why? For having created a new interactive experience within the “Masi Wine Experience” circuit in the Tenuta Canova Wine Museum, enriching the offer of the Veronese territory and confirming the commitment to the dissemination of the Italian wine culture. For creating a wine experience journey and turning it into an opportunity for knowledge, exploration and relaxation with “Masi Wine Experience”, the culture and hospitality project that Masi offers to the public by opening not just the doors of its historic headquarters in Valpolicella but also the other centres of hospitality where Masi’s spirit and philosophy have become the guiding principles.

d’Arenberg (McLaren Vale, Adelaide)

The d’Arenberg Cube is an iconic, award-winning architectural puzzle, where guests can relax, have fun and soak in the stunning views. The five storey multi-function centre and tourism destination, designed by Chester Osborn, was inspired by the complexities and puzzles of winemaking. Offering a selection of interactive, educational and gastronomical experiences, guests can lose themselves at the d’Arenberg Cube for hours.

The d’Arenberg Cube is a very literal representation of architecture and landscape. The exterior is made entirely of glass, combined with a complex pattern adorning the façade. Its striking contemporary design provides a stark contrast to the natural beauty of its vineyard surroundings to create a venue that is anything but ordinary.

‘The Cube acts as a main attraction for the region – and the number of visitors have revealed that it clearly works!’

La Rioja Wine Train (Bilbao|Rioja)

Organised by La Rioja Government, The Rioja Wine Train involves both public and private initiatives in favour of wine tourism and Rioja wine promotion.

This activity combines a funny dramatized route of a special Logroño-Haro roundtrip train between vineyards, the enhancement of the viticultural and architectural heritage, the landscape and gastronomy. Everything in collaboration with Renfe – Spanish Railways National Network -, the municipalities visited and the centennial wineries whose facilities in Haro and nearby towns are opened to travellers.

The House of Sandeman Hostel and Suites (Porto)

First Branded Hostel in the world, considered by “The Guardian” as “one of the Ten Best New Luxury Hostels”.

Unique location inside the building bought by George Sandeman in 1811, which still today is used for ageing Sandeman Porto Wine and welcomes more than 130.000 visitors from all over the world. Unique view to the Douro river and Oporto city most iconic buildings. High quality hospitality service.

43 king sized, custom designed single beds in 4 dorm rooms, and 12 suites decorated with original Sandeman artwork.

Several Port related experiences on offer: a traditional guided tour to the Port Wine Cellars, a late afternoon cocktail at the reception – bar, or dinner in the The George restaurant & terrace (presents a selection of typical flavours from the north of Portugal with contemporary twists, paired with the best Portuguese wines and a cocktail menu with original suggestions inspired by Port Wine).

Casa Vigil (Mendoza)

Casa Vigil winery offers an unforgettable experience, where wine and literature blend into the magic world of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. This is a non-conventional art gallery: Three rooms with connecting tunnels lead the way to the Inferno, a provocative and seductive place filled with wine barrels and art pieces. After roaming over the corridors of Purgatory, the walk finally takes us to Paradise, where a delicious homemade lunch with reminiscences of family recipes is paired with Enemigo wines –items of cult among wine enthusiasts. Casa Vigil stages a different art exhibition together with a new menu each season of the year. The only requirement: displaying Mendoza’s truly local art. Since 2015, each exhibit has been displaying jointly the works of a painter and a sculptor for a 3-month period. More than 25000 people per year visit the exhibitions, which gives local artists a valuable opportunity to sell their art pieces. The winery and the artists cooperate with the development of the surrounding area, by offering workshops to children and organising activities with the local school.

Casa Mirador Casas del Bosque Winery (Valparaíso|Casablanca Valley)

A place built in complete harmony with the environment, on top of a hill surrounded by vineyards. A magical place, with a privileged view, where you can feel the sea breezes coming from the Pacific. Visitors will see an old hawthorn tree, a typical Chilean species, that will welcome us and invite us to remain in silence for a few minutes to appreciate the impressive view of the valley.


About the Great Wine Capitals Global Network

Founded in 1999, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network is an alliance of ten internationally renowned wine regions – Adelaide|South Australia; Bordeaux, France; Lausanne|Switzerland; 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 recognise 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.