California’s Grgich Hills Estate and Rioja’s Marques de Riscal were among the winners of the 2008 International Best of Wine Tourism Awards, honoured last week at a ceremony in Oporto, Portugal.
The winners of the most innovative wine tourism programmes were chosen from over 320 properties across five continents, competing in categories such as Arts & Culture, Architecture, Accommodation and Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences.
All winners were selected from the member cities that make up the Great Wine Capitals Association, including Bordeaux, Bilbao-Rioja, Melbourne, Mendoza, and San Francisco-Napa Valley.
Grgich Hills Estate, which won for its Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices, was praised for its commitment to sustainable winemaking through biodynamic winemaking practices and use of solar energy.
Rioja’s Marques de Riscal, a striking pink and gold titanium structure designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, picked up the award for best Architecture, while Castello di Meleto in Chianti, a complex of six converted apartments surrounded by wine cellars and olive oil mills, won the Accommodation award.
The ‘hands-on, multi sensory’ Planète Bordeaux was named Best Innovative Wine Tourism Experience, while Vergelegen Wine Estate in Cape Town was named best for Arts & Culture.
The Best of Wine Tourism Awards, now in their fifth year, are chosen by the Great Wine Capitals Global Network. The full list can be viewed on http://www.greatwinecapitals.com
Written by Lucy Shaw