Promotional featureThe 16th Best Of Wine Tourism Award Ceremony revolved around prizes given to the best wine tourism activities in the Bordeaux region this year.
Bordeaux Best Of Wine Tourism awards 2019 unveiled
22 trophies were handed out, including 7 gold ones. The ceremony took place on the 23rd of October at the Bordeaux Gironde Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The next challenge for the “Golden Best Of” award winners is to compete for a “super” International Best Of Wine Tourism award which results will be unveiled on the 8th of November in Adelaide, South Australia 14 nominees, 7 Gold trophies and 1 “Jury Special award”
Every year, the Best of Wine Tourism competition rewards the most outstanding wine tourism locations. Launched in Bordeaux in 2002, the competition now includes an international stage thanks to the Great Wine Capitals Global Network* which includes cities and their associated wine regions from “Old Europe” and the “New World”.
2019 Best Of Wine Tourism winners in Bordeaux
ARCHITECTURE AND LANDSCAPE – CHÂTEAU LES CARMES HAUT-BRION (Gold)
The Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion succeeds in combining tradition with modernity. The bold architecture blends naturally into the surroundings of its authentic and historical park, with two-hundred-year-old trees testifying to the rich history of the site. The estate is unveiled through a new entrance redesigned with spikes pointing down on an ironwork gate, connecting it to the urban environment. The cellar is a raw metal blade plunging in the terroir, like a ship floating on a body of water. This unique architectural work, designed by Philippe Starck, anchors Les Carmes Haut-Brion in the 21st century. A panoramic terrace allows visitors to admire the whole estate, surrounded by the city of Bordeaux.
Nominees in this category : Château Lafon-Rochet, Château Roquefort
ART AND CULTURE – CHÂTEAU SMITH-HAUT-LAFITTE (Gold)
In front of 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 “art and vine” dreamy tour invites visitors to discover the most beautiful sculptures of the estate from a new angle, as closely as possible to the plant amidst the vine rows, and punctuated with interesting anecdotes. The estate has recently expanded with a preserved 10 hectare “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 Smith Haut Lafitte: respect for the environment and the biodiversity.
Nominees in this category : Château Larrivet Haut-Brion, Maison des Vins de Cadillac
INNOVATIVE WINE TOURISM EXPERIENCES – CHÂTEAU VÉNUS (Gold)
Château Vénus gives visitors the opportunity to discover the Bordeaux vineyards from a different angle. Located amidst the Graves Appellation, the estate offers airplane tours to lovers of unusual experiences and beautiful landscapes. These first-flight leisure trips accessible to all, enable you to glimpse an exceptionally rich landscape, including castles, estates and spectacular scenery. The passenger will enjoy the magnificent views over the vineyards of Graves and Sauternes, but also Saint-Émilion, Pessac-Léognan or the Bassin d’Arcachon. Several tailor-made options can be considered. And the owner of the estate will fly you himself! Get ready for an imminent take off from a runway surrounded by the vines.
Nominees in this category : Château Marquis de Terme, Château Monconseil Gazin, Château du Payre
ACCOMMODATION – CHÂTEAU LA TOUR CARNET (Gold)
Escape into the magic of the Middle Ages and live a unique experience steeped in history at Château La Tour Carnet. To enter into this historic gem, you will have to cross its elegant drawbridge and pass over the shimmering moat. You will then have the privilege of falling asleep in one of the two sumptuously decorated suites “Michel de Montaigne” and “La Boétie”. One reveals beautiful woodwork and rich fabrics worthy of a royal palace, while the other boasts a decor inspired by the Renaissance and a black marble bathroom. Quality and attention to detail are trademarks of this experience. High-end customised services to suit your preferences and needs can also be organised by your butler.
Nominees in this category : Domaine de Chelivette
WINE TOURISME RESTAURANTS – CHÂTEAU GUIRAUD (Gold)
A pioneer in biodynamics, château Guiraud also became the first 1855 Classified First Growth estate to open an on-site restaurant, “La Chapelle”. Guests can prolong and enhance their sweet moment of discovery with a terroir-inspired gourmet meal in the setting of a former 18th century protestant chapel. The restaurant provides different atmospheres, just like a family home in the country. The use of local and organic produce has pride of place, both in the plate and in the glass. A beautiful story begins in the Sauternes region, around the table and moments of true conviviality, in a beautifully preserved environment committed to Nature.
Nominees in this category : Château de Candale, Château Carbonneau
SUSTAINABLE WINE TOURISM PRACTICES – CHÂTEAU CLIMENS (Gold)
Château Climens is one of the few Grand Cru Bordeaux estates to be certified biodynamic. Chemical sprays have been replaced by natural products, including infusions from dynamised plants which grow alongside the vines. Visitors can get a better grasp of this approach to biodynamics when invited to visit a unique place of the chateau, the “tisanerie”. This drying room, steeped in a charming rusticity, stores a large collection of plants used to treat the vines so they can yield more and better to its passionate owner. To complete this special visit and increase the visitors’ awareness about this philosophy, a film on biodynamics is shown before going on to taste the famous sweet wine.
Nominees in this category : Château Vilatte, Château de Chantegrive
WINE TOURISME SERVICES – CHÂTEAU PRIEURÉ-LICHINE (Gold)
At the heart of the Margaux appellation, Château Prieuré-Lichine takes pride in its prestigious Grand Cru Classé. This former Benedictine priory was extended in the 90s with a spacious shop featuring an avant-garde architecture and enjoying a panoramic view on the vineyards and the wine cellars. The estate perpetuates the tradition of hospitality cultivated by Alexis Lichine by opening its doors all year round to individual visitors and groups of up to 65 people. Workshops, themed visits and tastings allows one to be introduced to the culture of wine and the art of living of the Bordeaux region. In addition to the wines of the domain, the shop offers a selection of delicacies and accessories related to the world of wine.
Nominees in this category : Château Pape Clément, Blast – Bordeaux Food Truck Festival
JURY’S SPECIAL AWARD: DOMAINE DU GRAND MAYNE
Founded in 1985, the Domaine du Grand Mayne is located on the heights of the Côte de Duras appellation, in Lot-et-Garonne. The story behind its creation is unusual. It is owned by a group of over 600 customers who became shareholders and ambassadors of the Domaine. This large community of wine lovers went as far as to harvest during a festive weekend, paint the entrance of the Domaine and create its labels. This Club succeeded in combining wine with arts, knowledge transmission and conviviality. Visitors can share such values through different artistic and immersive workshops: “sculpt me a wine”, “paint me a vineyard” … against the backdrop of a vineyard bathed in scenic beauty.
Outstanding facts from the 2018 competition in Bordeaux
There were over 71 contestants this year, a third of whom were competing for the first time. According to the organisers: “Deciding on the winners is becoming increasingly difficult because the quality of the candidates is constantly improving”. This year, 5 award winners are located in the Graves and Sauternes area.
The Gold Best Of winners compete for the international trophy
The adventure therefore continues for the 7 Bordeaux winners of a Golden Best Of awards, who now competing for a “super” International Best Of Wine Tourism International award. This second round pits the Bordeaux winners against all other members of the Great Wine Capitals network*. The names of the 2019 International Best Of Wine Tourism award winners will be announced at a ceremony in Adelaide on the 8th of November during the Annual General Meeting of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.
An internationally-recognized label
The Best Of winners in Bordeaux have been awarded this internationally-acknowledged label; they will also benefit of communication tools to enhance awareness of what their offer. This includes a website, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts, press relations, promotional activities, and a wine tourism brochure. These various means will enable journalists, travel agencies, tour operators, and the general public to be informed.
The winners also join the very select Best Of Club, which holds regular themed meetings and organizes B2B events
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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, Bilbao|Rioja, Spain Bordeaux, France; Lausanne, Switzerland, Mainz|Rheinhessen, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; 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 greatwinecapitals.com