On February 27th the award ceremony for the Best Of Wine Tourism 2014 winners took place in the beautiful setting of Palazzo Capponi in Florence. About 200 persons attended. The ceremony was organised within the program 'God Save the Wine', one of the most famous regular wine events in Florence, created by the multifaceted sommelier Andrea Gori. The Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce Massimo Pezzano and the Counsellor for Agriculture of the Florence County Government Pietro Roselli gave the winners their trophy, created by the Spanish artist Jose Antonio Olarte, a work of art that can also be seen in all the awarded wineries in the other Great Wine Capital regions.
Castello di Gabbiano, San Felice winery, Enotria, Castello di Poppiano, Castello La Leccia, Tenuta di Poggio Casciano from Ruffino, Panzanello winery and Col d’Orcia were on show with their wines ready for the wine tasting. A mouthwatering buffet from the Fusion bar by Ferragamo was served to the journalists and guests.
All the winners were very enthusiastic about their prize and the ceremony and expressed their feelings during the interviews made by Andrea Gori, dressed in costume for the occasion to celebrate Fat Thursday.
Accommodation (two ex aequo)
Castello di Gabbiano: castellogabbiano.it
The charming ambiance of the rooms in the medieval castle completes the elegance of the apartments located in the country house dating back to the 16th century. The eleven rooms, each of them with its unique décor, and careful touch for detail, create together a perfect symphony and are managed by a very professional staff. The winery offers a real immersion into the Chianti Classico wine production world.
Castello di Gabbiano was also the winner of an international Best Of Wine Tourism Award for 2014, presented at a ceremony in St.Helena California in November 2013.
Agricola San Felice: agricolasanfelice.it
An elegant hotel (affiliated with Relais & Chateux international chain) created by a magnificent restoration of a medieval borgo, a small architectural gem perfectly preserved in the charming landscape of Chianti region. The refined hotel located between the main villa and the medieval houses offers luxurious rooms and suites, all furnished with top handmade Tuscan furniture and all of the most up-to-date amenities. A swimming pool, a spa centre, meeting rooms and tennis courts complement traditions such as a wine shop, where it’s possible to have professional guided wine tasting tours.
Wine Tourism Restaurants: Enotria – Firenze enotriawine.it
Gilda and Maurizio run this wine cellar and restaurant in the centre of Florence whose name means “land of wine”. Quality and tradition are the characteristics of the cuisine: the dishes are the result of a balanced search for the best raw materials: oil, meat, legumes and aromatic herbs give sense to the act of eating. The cellar is constantly updated and offers a great choice of large and small producers. The restaurant, simple and cosy, hosts the premises of the Florence Wine Society, an association of wine and food enthusiasts which organises regular events and wine tasting.
Architecture and Landscapes: Castello La Leccia www.castellolaleccia.com
The castle, mentioned in historical documents of 1077, has suffered from raids and devastation throughout history, including the second world war. A recent restoration with eco-friendly materials and techniques transformed it into a modern and cosy farm house, with 12 rooms, elegantly furnished, all with views over the surrounding countryside, wooden floors, beamed ceilings, pastel colours, precious fabrics and designed furniture, in order to create a warm and sophisticated atmosphere. The owners’ love for this land led to creating a place where you feel spoiled every moment of the day.
Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences: Tenute Ruffino – Poggio Casciano ruffino.it
A beautiful renaissance villa (15th century), built on the ruins of a medieval building, the air is pervaded with history and art. It hosts the office of Ruffino’s agronomic team, and the communication department, a showcase of the company’s Tuscan production, enriched by a priceless antique etching collection with subjects related to wine. The vineyards are monitored with hydro-climatic stations (a project led by Florence University), the grapes are subject to microvinifications which provide the result for understanding the relationship between a certain variety and a specific microclimate.
Art & Culture: Castello di Poppiano Guicciardini www.conteguicciardini.it
The farm and the castle have belonged to the Guicciardini family since 1199, where wine and olive oil were already produced in the 15th century. Since the Sixties radical changes to the estate led to the modern vineyards and cellar, progress always carried out with respect to tradition. In the enchanting atmosphere of the castle it is possible to enjoy wine tastings and tours to the cellar and to the olive mill, to attend summer music and food events and to taste the best wines of the property, fruit of love for the earth, surrounded by centuries of history.
Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices: Az. Agr. Panzanello panzanello.it
An organic farm since 1998, Panzanello’s size permits looking after the smallest details in every phase of production. From the vines to the cellar, from the land to the vats, the link that unites the hearts and the minds of those who work and live here is their love for the land and their passion for wine. The estate also includes an old villa, the home of the owners, the recently restored cellar, a cosy tasting room and terraces from which one can enjoy a magnificent typically Tuscan view.
Comfortable, attractive lodgings are available for holidays at the farm.
Special Jury Award: Col d’Orcia coldorcia.it
One of the oldest established wineries of Montalcino, organic certified since 2010: a process started in order to become the largest organic wine producing farm in all Tuscany. It is one of the most active producers in the region in terms of research and development, guided by the principle that wine quality results from achieving a perfect balance between the vine and its environment.
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 – Bordeaux, France; Cape Town|Cape Winelands, South Africa; Christchurch|South Island, New Zealand; Florence, Italy; Mainz|Rheinhessen, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; Bilbao|Rioja, Spain; San Francisco|Napa Valley, USA and Valparaiso|Casablanca Valley, Chile.
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