Over 250 wine and tourism world professionals gathered last October 11 in the reception rooms at the fairy-tale Château d’Agassac, in Ludon-Medoc (north of Bordeaux) for the prestigious Best Of Wine Tourism Awards Ceremony.
The awards were delivered by the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, who have been operating around the world for the past 10 years.
They were hosted by Château d’Agassac, last year’s winner of an International Best Of award.
Among the 77 applicants who entered, 17 remarkable places in terms of welcoming visitors, won awards, with six receiving a Gold Best Of Wine Tourism!
… and the winners are:
Château Faugères (AOC St.Emilion, Architecture & Landscapes)
Winegrowing at Château Faugères, a Grand Cru Classé, is natural and sustainable. This 37 hectare estate, entitled to the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru appellation, boasts a superb 18th century manor house and an amazing new cellar built in 2009. This was designed by the internationally famous architect Mario Botta; who created an altogether impressive building, a veritable cathedral of wine perfectly integrated into its natural surroundings on the plateau opposite the château. Above and beyond its outstanding architecture, Château Faugères offers an educational walk through the vines with markers to inform visitors about the specific nature of each plot.
Maison des Vins de Cadillac (for its new family-orientated museum, in the Art & Culture category)
The new Vines and Wines Museum at the Maison des Vins de Cadillac is housed in La Closière, an attractive 18th century manor house. Visitors can take advantage of an informative and entertaining tour perfectly adapted to families. The exhibition is dynamic, educational and interactive. If features panels (in French, English and braille), scale models, an “olfactory piano”, winemaking tools, different-size bottles and activities for children. If visitors desire, the tour can end with a tasting of regional wines, including sweet white ones, as well as a look at the boutique.
Château Saint Ahon (Cru Bourgeois in AOC Haut-Médoc in the Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences category)
Owned by Charles de Montesquieu in the 18th century, Château Saint Ahon is a listed “remarkable monument”. Located at the gateway to the Médoc, 20 minutes from the city of Bordeaux, the château has set up an entertaining wine-themed circuit, Les Jardins de Mirabel, especially designed for families. Visitors can explore this at their own rhythm to admire the vines, flora, and fauna while gleaning information from panels and taking a fun quiz (suitable for people of all ages). There is a picnic area as well as games for children in order to make visits both relaxing and enjoyable.
Château Carbonneau (in AOC Sainte Foy Bordeaux, in the Accommodation category)
Château Carbonneau is a 50-hectare family estate with 20 hectares of vines. It is ideally situated near the Dordogne, between Saint-Emilion and Bergerac on the slopes of the Sainte-Foy Bordeaux appellation. The impressive 19th century château has five bedrooms and a luxury table d’hôte of international reputation in a beautiful green setting. It is approved by Gites de France and rated “4 épis”. Guests can take advantage of a large swimming pool or enjoy walking around vast grounds with a magnificent glasshouse, one-of-a-kind in the Gironde department.
Château Bouscaut (AOC Pessac-Léognan, in the Wine Tourism Services category)
Located in the heart of Pessac-Léognan appellation, twenty minutes from Bordeaux, this vineyard was already famous in the 17th century and currently has 50 hectares of vines. Bouscaut has recently finished a far-reaching renovation of the château and built a new barrel cellar decorated with staves. Two rooms overlooking the cellars were set aside to offer visitors numerous wine related activities: matching wine and food, blending different grape varieties, “gourmet days”, etc. … A boutique was recently opened as well. The Château hosts professional events and can also provide accommodation.
Château Haut Garrigue / Terroir Feely (Saussignac, Dordorgne, in the Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices category)
Wine has been made at Château Haut-Garrigue / Terroir Feely for several years in a way devoted to protecting the environment. The vineyard has received organic and biodynamic certification. This estate full of history (the main building dates from the 18th century), with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside, offers visitors a chance to see how wine can be made sustainably during a tour of the cellars, tasting, self-guided walking tour, opportunity to make their own wine, staying on site, etc. Everything is done in a spirit of sharing, learning, and friendliness.
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 – Bordeaux, France; Cape Town, South Africa; Christchurch-South Island, New Zealand; Florence, Italy; Mainz-Rheinhessen, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; Bilbao-Rioja, Spain and San Francisco-Napa Valley, USA. 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.
Written by Decanter