NORTH AMERICAN INNOVATORS RECEIVE ACCOLADES FOR EXCELLENCE IN WINE TOURISM

As one of ten recognized Great Wine Capitals, San Francisco|Napa Valley has awarded its hospitality leaders the 2014 Best Of Wine Tourism regional designations in seven categories, as well as one international Best Of award for the business most representative of the North American region as a whole. A Decanter.com promotion

Photo credit: Megan Reeves Photography

The seven categories in which regional Best Of awards are presented include accommodation, restaurants, architecture & landscape, art & culture, innovative wine tourism experiences, wine tourism services, and sustainable wine tourism practices. An international Best Of award is bestowed upon one wine tourism business within each region that is deemed best in class across all ten Great Wine Capitals by an international jury. An additional level of recognition – The Regional Wine Tourism Award of Merit – has been awarded to two businesses as an honorable mention recognizing a high level of commitment to wine tourism.

These awards were presented at the annual general meeting’s gala dinner of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, held this year on November 7 at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley. This year’s judges include the following esteemed colleagues: author and sommelier Courtney Cochran, editor of Mutineer magazine Brian Kropf, Dining Around radio host Joel Riddell, social media consultant Andrew Healy and Arts Council Napa Valley CEO Olivia Everett.

The 2014 Best Of regional San Francisco|Napa Valley winners are:

Accommodation – Bardessono Hotel & Spa (Napa Valley)
Bardessono is a uniquely defined experience in hospitality that weds deep green, with luxury, a subtle aesthetic, privacy and graciousness. The hotel is California’s first and the world’s only luxury LEED Platinum built and certified hotel.

Wine Tourism Restaurants – Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch (Napa Valley)
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch features the seasonal, ingredient driven American farmhouse cooking of chef Stephen Barber. Featuring an authentic, farm-to-table menu with ingredients foraged from local sources and feature Long Meadow Ranch’s all natural grass-fed beef, organic and sustainably produced wine, eggs, fruits, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and honey.

Architecture & Landscape – Cuvaison Estate Wines (Napa Valley)
Cuvaison Estate Wines implements sustainable design strategies that include rainwater collection, denim insulation, passive cooling and reclaimed/FSC-certified wood siding and millwork. Gould-Evans Architecture, a national award-winning architectural firm, designed the winery and tasting room’s intriguing architecture.

Art and Culture – The Hess Collection (Napa Valley)
The Hess Collection winery is a historic site in a native stone building hewn by masons in 1903. The winery is now joined by The Hess Art Collection, a world-class showcase of contemporary art. Donald Hess is recognized as one of the top collectors of contemporary art, and his passion is shared without charge for visitors to The Hess Art Museum at The Hess Collection Winery.

Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences – Raymond Vineyards (Napa Valley)
Inspired by the vision of Proprietor Jean-Charles Boisset, Raymond is a dynamic destination dedicated to inspiring its guests’ passion for fine wine in an environment of exploration, creativity, and elegant whimsicality, where each in a series of diverse experiences progresses visitors into another world of discovery and exceptional wines.

Wine Tourism Services – The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (Napa Valley)
As one of two colleges in the Napa Valley that offer wine education, the CIA’s programs focus on wine tasting, theory, service and enjoyment. Their extensive wine cellars, expert instructors, and nearly limitless resources within the food and wine industry allow us to offer state of the art wine and beverage education to professionals and enthusiasts.

Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices – CADE Estate Winery (Napa Valley)
At CADE Estate, they believe that winemaking should honor the land, both aesthetically and ecologically. The environmentally responsible construction of CADE includes solar panels, naturally regulated caves, reclaimed and recycled materials and much more. They are proud to be the first organically farmed LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certified estate winery in Napa Valley.

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 http://www.greatwinecapitals.com.

Written by John Abbott