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On Thursday, 9th November, the closing ceremony of the Annual General Meeting of Great Wine Capitals took place at the Veramonte Winery in Casablanca. This event brought to a close the activities which took place over the course of last week in Valparaíso and Casablanca, with the participation of over 90 international delegates and well-known figures within the winegrowing and wine tourism industry. This has positioned Valparaíso Casablanca Valley as an important centre within the worldwide wine industry.
The highlights of the week’s activities included the visit to the President of the Republic in Santiago and the audience granted by her to the Executive Committee, during which they addressed the issue of the wine industry as well as the rise of wine tourism in various wine-producing regions in the Old and New Worlds over the last few years. Another highlight was the “Sustainability, wine tourism, heritage and culture” conference during which a number of speakers addressed many aspects of the current state of the wine industry in Chile. The speakers included Javiera Montes, the Chilean Undersecretary of Tourism, as well as Olga Barbosa, Rafael Guilisasti, Daniel Pardo and Gonzalo Ilabaca.
Mario Agliati, the chairman of the Casablanca Valley Winegrowers Association (Asociación de Empresarios Vitivinícolas del Valle de Casablanca) and current president-elect of the Great Wine Capitals Network explained “An event of this importance is very significant for Chile in that it builds connections between different winegrowing capitals, which in turn will generate new commercial links helping to encourage and diversify the industry”. The mayor of Casablanca, Rodrigo Martínez, added “Casablanca is proud to be a member of this network, which will help strengthen our relationship with Valparaíso, given that together we are able to offer a more comprehensive and diverse touristic package, providing a singular experience for visitors to Valparaíso Casablanca Valley”.
This annual meeting was not only about working groups, conferences and on-site tours. There were also opportunities to relax and taste the best wines from the GWC capitals, such as during the International Wine Tasting, which took place in the charming Club Naval de Valparaíso. In the course of the evening, guests tasted the best wines from Verona, Bordeaux, Mainz, Mendoza, Adelaide, Rioja and Porto as well as from the host capital, Valparaíso Casablanca Valley, who offered the guests a delightful night of aromas and tastes that certainly made the perfect contrast with the wide range of cheeses and pairings.
The meeting had its grand finale and closing ceremony at Viña Veramonte, where more than 250 guests from the wine industry, the world of politics, media and international delegates enjoyed a perfect night, including the much awaited Best of Wine Tourism 2018 international competition award ceremony. The aim of this competition is to recognise businesses in each member region that have stood out in terms of the excellence of their facilities and providing quality experiences to visitors in various categories.
These are the international prize winners by region:
Adelaide | South Australia: Penfolds Magill Estate
Bilbao | Rioja : Bodegas Ollauri Conde de los Andes
Bordeaux: Château de Reignac
Mainz | Rheinhessen: Neus Winery
Mendoza: Wine Rock - Montevejo and Park Hyatt Mendoza
Porto: Casa do Rio - Quinta do Vallado
San Francisco, Napa Valley: Etude Winery
Verona: Zeni 1870
Valparaiso | Casablanca Valley: Viña Estancia El Cuadro
Valparaíso | Casablanca proved itself to be a welcoming host for the more than 90 international delegates who visited Chile over the course of the week. Comparing the experience of the wine industry in Chile with that in their own countries allowed them to elaborate new proposals and ideas to help encourage, diversify and improve the industry. In addition, representing their wine capital, Viña Estancia el Cuadro was awarded the International Prize for Art and Culture. This achievement is a demonstration of the quality of Valparaíso Casablanca Valley’s tourism services, which have undoubtedly been improving year by year, including new hotel projects and even more employment opportunities in the area.