San Francisco | Napa Valley Innovators Receive International Accolades

As one of the globally renowned “Great Wine Capitals”, San Francisco | Napa Valley is home to the founders of America’s fine wine industry and legendary entrepreneurs whose pioneering spirit, passion for winemaking and dedication to preservation have grown The Napa Valley into the highly acclaimed wine, food arts and wellness destination that it is today.

With San Francisco’s close proximity to the Napa Valley, the destination provides visitors with the rare opportunity to explore and experience one of the best wine regions in the world. San Francisco is repeatedly named one of the top food and wine destinations in the world and many of San Francisco’s restaurants showcase Napa Valley’s fine reds, whites and sparkling wines on their wine lists.

Each year, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network (GWCGN) offers hospitality leaders throughout San Francisco and The Napa Valley the opportunity to showcase their best practices in wine tourism across the globe and acknowledges the achievements of leading innovators with the Best Of Wine Tourism Awards.

There are seven categories in which these awards are presented: restaurants, accommodations,architecture, parks and gardens, art and culture, innovative wine tourism services, and sustainable wine tourism practices.

Recognized for their outstanding commitment to creating exceptional and innovative offerings for visitors, the regional winners of the 2011 San Francisco | Napa Valley Best Of Wine Tourism Awards are:

·        Accommodation: The Westin Verasa, Napa  

·        Wine Tourism Restaurants: La Toque

·        Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices: HALL Wines

·        Architecture, Parks & Gardens: Clos Pegase

·        Art & Culture: Robert Mondavi Winery

·        Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences: Conn Creek Winery

·        Wine Tourism Services: Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation

All regional Best Of winners will now move forward to compete in the international awards, which will be judged by an international panel of respected wine tourism professionals and presented at The Great Wine Capitals Global Network’s annual meeting, which will be held this November in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“Congratulations to the 2011 Best Of winners. We’re thrilled to see so many Napa Valley tourism partners recognized for providing extraordinary and innovative offerings for our guests,” said Clay Gregory, president and CEO of The Napa Valley Destination Council. “The awards present a wonderful opportunity for local businesses to shine and showcase their unique offerings on an international level.”

“We are proud to be part of Great Wine Capitals Global Network and to see our members honored in the 2011 Best Of Wine Tourism Awards,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We’re glad that we can offer visitors to San Francisco the best of both worlds – a world-class city that is just an hour from world-class winemakers.

”The Best Of Wine Tourism Awards were determined by a panel of judges within the industry and from the San Francisco/Napa Valley region. This year’s judges included Paul Franson, editor at Napa Life; Michael Dellar of the Lark Creek Restaurant Group; Holly Krasner, Marketing & Communications Consultant; Lisa Adams Walter of Adams Walter Communications; and Gregory Silvi, President of Cana Associates.

Photo of winners:

GWC BestOfWinners_2011_SF-NV

L-R: Don Shindle and Dan Bock,The Westin Verasa, Napa; Jocelyn Hoar, Robert Mondavi Winery; Sanford  Theodore and Jackie Downer, Clos Pegase; Paul Asikainen,Conn Creek Winery; Bronwyn  Ney and Ed Curry, HALL; Ken Frank, La Toque;Chris Nasser and Mark Jarrell, Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation

(Photo by Katherine Zimmer)

About 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 international 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.

Copy submitted by The Napa Valley Destination Council

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