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The “Best Of” Wine Tourism Prizes, awarded on an annual basis in the Bilbao-Rioja region, were presented on September 18 at a ceremony organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Alava at Marqués de Riscal’s “City of Wine” (Elciego, Alava) in recognition of the work of seven wineries and companies in several categories related to the field of wine tourism. The awards ceremony was attended by some 450 guests.
The “Best Of” competition is open to wineries within the Rioja wine district and companies in the wine tourism sector in the Bilbao-Rioja region of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network and recognise seven categories of excellence in wine tourism: Accommodation; Restaurant; Architecture, Parks and Gardens; Art and Culture; Innovative Experiences in Wine Tourism; Wine Tourism Services; and Sustainable Practices of Wine Tourism. This year, a total of 50 candidates submitted entries, representing 45 wineries and companies.
The “Best Of” Wine Tourism Prizes are an initiative of Great Wine Capitals (GWC – www.greatwinecapitals.com), made up of eight large capitals linked to wine-producing regions of internationally recognised prestige: Bilbao-Rioja, Bordeaux, Cape Town, Florence, Mainz, Mendoza, Porto and San Francisco-Napa Valley.
Since 2003, it has organised a selection of the most outstanding wine tourism elements, called the “Best Of” Wine and Tourism Awards.
Find out all the winners on www.greatwinecapitals.com
The winners of the sixth “Best Of” Wine Tourism competition in Bilbao-Rioja are as follows:
MARQUÉS DE RISCAL, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL
Marqués de Riscal represents the efforts of this old winery in Elciego to promote modernity and innovation in the City of Wine project. Designed by the prestigious architect Frank Gehry, it has 43 luxuriously appointed rooms. The hotel is run by the Starwood Hotels & Resorts chain, under its prestigious trademark The Luxury Collection, one of the world’s leading companies in the catering and leisure industry. The hotel has a catalogue of services that offer tourists intense experiences in the world of wine.
Restaurante Azurmendi is located in the village of Larrabetxu, Bizkaia. Under the direction of its innovative chef, this restaurant has been included in the international circuit of the most prestigious restaurants. A pleasant environment in which wines are given the same painstaking care as food. Its select international wine list is guaranteed to satisfy even the most demanding connoisseurs.
Architecture, Parks and Gardens
Logroño (La Rioja)
Bodegas Darien, nearLogroño, is engaged in the promotion of wine tourism, through a combination of tradition and modernity. Its avant-garde architecture is admired by all visitors. The merits of this singular architectural ensemble include its perfect integration with the landscape, energy sustainability, functionality and the incorporation of the latest winemaking techniques.
Art and Culture
FUNDACIÓN DINASTÍA – VIVANCO
Briones (La Rioja)
The Dinastía Vivanco Foundation Wine Documentation Centre located in Briones, La Rioja, has become an international reference thanks to the new technologies it employs, offering its collection to the entire world. The archive includes a range of documents dating from the 15th century to the most recent works.
BODEGAS ALICIA ROJAS
Ausejo (La Rioja)
Located in Ausejo, La Rioja and with 800 hectares of vineyards planted with a number of different varieties, Bodegas Alicia Rojas is an innovative project that gives tourists an insight into winemaking. It facilitates experimentation and seeks to increase the knowledge of visitors, giving priority to respect for conservation and the environment.
Wine Tourism Services
FUNDACIÓN LOGROÑO TURISMO – BODEGAS DE LOGROÑO – CATHARSIS PROJECT
Logroño (La Rioja)
The Catharsis project is promoted by the Logroño Committee of Wineries and is a co-ordinated project in which the wineries and the Logroño Tourism Foundation collaborate to offer an overall wine experience. The success enjoyed by this annual cycle that brings together wine tourism, culture and gastronomy increases year by year.
Sustainable Practices of Wine Tourism
Logroño (La Rioja)
Located in Logroño, Viña Ijalba is a perfect example of a winery committed to the environment. In Viña Ijalba, sustainable practices are applied at each stage of the winemaking process: in the use of water, power, land, the removal of waste and the care of ecosystems. The winery does outstanding work in the recovery of soils and native grape varieties as a symbol of its love for the land of wine.
More information: www.greatwinecapitals.com