Promotional featureThe Bilbao-Rioja 2019 Best Of Wine Tourism award ceremony took place on October 18 at Bodega Conde de los Andes, a 2018 International ‘Best Of’ award winner.
Bilbao Rioja Best Of Wine Tourism Awards 2019
Over 200 guests attended, including local and regional officials, wineries, tourism boards and restaurants from Bilbao and the Rioja region.
The jury analyzed the merits of 19 candidates and decided to select four Best Of award winners and a special honorable mention:
Bohedal is a small family winery founded in 1917. Today, three generations of the family – grandmother, mother and daughter improve on the 100 year old family tradition of deeply caring for their vineyards and wine by offering a range of original seasonal wine tourism experiences such as ‘wine and flowers’ tastings for Mothers’ Day, ‘wine and chocolate’ for Valentine’s Day, and grape tastings during the harvest, as well as tasting wines aged in different kinds of oak barrels and picnics in the vineyards at different times of the year. Children are welcome. While their parents participate in one of the winery’s experiences, their children learn about winemaking by tasting grape juice and painting wine bottles.
The Wine Train is part of Rioja and the Five Senses, a yearlong program of activities centered on wine culture, concentrating on the five senses of taste, smell, touch, hearing and sight. Within the program exploring each ‘sense’, a train travels from Logroño to Haro and back, stopping to visit wineries. During the trip, a performance by a costumed theater company entertains and educates the passengers.
MUWI is the abbreviation of music and wine. It is the summer session of the ACTUAL music festival that brings popular musical groups to La Rioja just after New Year’s. MUWI’s three days of concerts take place in Bodegas Franco-Españolas where festivalgoers are treated to concerts, wine and tapas on the lawn and in the cellars of the winery.
This route concentrates on wineries in the picturesque village of Villabuena in the Rioja Alavesa zone of Rioja. You can visit four wineries (which four depends on your language preference) where you taste their best wines with tapas and finish the tour with a tutored tasting in the wine bar of the Hotel Viura in the center of the village.
The Bilbao-Rioja award winners will compete with the winners from the other Great Wine Capitals regions for the International Best Of awards. These will be announced at a gala dinner held during the Great Wine Capitals annual meeting in Adelaide, South Australia on November 8.
The honorable mention was for Juan Manuel Lavín, the owner of the Hotel Villa de Laguardia Wine and Oil Spa and Villa Lucía, a wine museum and cultural center. Lavín is a tireless promoter of wine, food, wine culture and wine tourism in Rioja.
Juan Sáenz de Buruaga, president of the Bilbao-Rioja steering committee, thanked Bodegas Conde de los Andes for hosting the awards ceremony. “I would like to congratulate the candidates for the excellent projects presented this year, with their emphasis on innovation, creativity and local landscape and for the development of new wine tourism services that help to develop the local economy, create employment and reverse rural depopulation.”
Jaime García-Calzada, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of La Rioja pointed out that “these awards are our way of recognizing the enormous effort made by wineries especially but also by all companies involved in the world of wine and wine tourism to reach a common goal: developing and promoting this area of tourism.”
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 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.