After the international winners of the Best of Wine Tourism competition have been honored in Christchurch last November 4th, the Italian section of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network has planned its official award ceremony to take place in Florence at the beginning of the year 2011.
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The seven gold and two special jury award winners will be presented to a select audience, in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, an important historical building once owned to the Medici family and now headquarters of the Florence County Government, located in the very heart of the city center.
A group of specialized journalists will have a unique chance to visit all the excellent properties, and experience the best wine tourism offers during a two-day educational tour through the Tuscan countryside, to be held at the end of the event.
The Florence Best of Wine Tourism Winners are:
Architecture, parks and gardens
International winner – Villa Vignamaggio
One of the oldest wine estates in the heart of Chianti Classico, dating back to the 14th century Renaissance times. the villa is listed in the register of Italian historical buildings and is surrounded by an elegant Italian garden. It was the birthplace of Lisa Gherardini, the Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo.
Silvia Mettini of Vignamaggio said, “Vignamaggio has always believed in wine tourism. Sipping a glass of Chianti Classico in the places where it was born, grown and produced, gives you a pleasantly different sensation instead of drinking it in a closed or distant setting. Knowing and seeing what happens from the bunch of grapes to the bottle, intensifies each one’s relationship with the wine. We are honored to receive the 2011 Best Of Wine Tourism award, and we hope it will give us the opportunity to get in touch with lots of wine lovers, to share with them these emotions”
Borgo Scopeto Relais
A top quality estate amidst vineyards and olive trees overlooking the city of Siena. Carefully restored, it offers a combination of antique and fashionable furniture blend in a charming and elegant atmosphere, where wine and the wine culture are promoted in many different ways.
Wine tourism restaurant
The name means “land of wine”: quality and tradition are the characteristics of the cuisine, based on the search for the best raw materials and offering a great choice of local and national wines. It is the seat of the Florence Wine Society, an association of wine and food enthusiasts.
Art and Culture
I Lecci Centro per la Cultura del Vino – Center of Wine Culture
A museum of the grape and wine, a conference center and a wine bar on a hill surrounded by vineyards and olive trees, offering history and tradition of wine as well as the laboratory of the senses, a new experience for adults and children.
Innovative Wine Tourism Experience
Fattoria Torre a Cona
The farm and the magnificent villa lay amongst rolling hills south-west of Florence. The new wine shop with the tasting area was created from the old granary barn mixing cutting edge technology and recycled materials, an ideal setting to learn about wine and olive oil with the help of the skilled and professional staff.
Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices
The estate is run by the sisters Silvia and Simona, who constantly promote the wines and the agricultural activities with web 2.0 tools, in order to create a community which shares their experiences, their stories, good practises in the vineyards, and wine tastings.
Special Jury award – Architecture, parks and gardens
Cantine Leonardo – Dalle Vigna Spa
A wine shop, restaurant and wine bar created from an agricultural annex, offering wine tours and visits in the biological garden, the ancient fruit orchard and Leonardo’s vineyard, designed by the genius.
Special Jury award – Accomodation
Villa Le Piazzole
The service of a luxury hotel combined with the privacy and cosiness of a private house, amid the beautiful hills about 1000 metres from the Ponte Vecchio.
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; Bilbao-Rioja, Spain; Cape Town, South Africa; Christchurch-South Island, New Zealand; Florence, Italy; Mainz-Rheinhessen, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; 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 http://www.greatwinecapitals.com.
Photos: Villa Vignamaggio, 2011 international Best Of winner.