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This is where the westerly winds blow through the valley, bringing the fresh breeze that speaks of freedom, strength, renewal. Westwind Wines is the name of a traditional winery in the middle of Wachenheim, right on the border between the two wine regions of Rheinhessen and the Palatinate. It's aptly named indeed: In the middle of the ancient village, Thilo and Jochen Hein set a daring new building – a modern tower with a bright-green gate and a spectacular inside which now inspires wine-tasters and the winemakers alike.

But it is the inside and the downstairs for which the Hein family won the Best of Wine Tourism Award 2018 for sustainability: Solar panels on the barn and a heating system that runs with vine stock wood from the vineyards. And downstairs, old stones are formed onto a Lapidarium in the ages-old cellars. A small staircase leads into a concrete cellar. Here, oak barrels contain the estate's red wines, and from here, passages connect the modern with the ancient cellars underneath the winery.

 

Thanks to their open door philosophy, welcoming guest for tastings, lunches and dinners in the property, Château de la Dauphine have already received two GOLD BEST OFs, in the categories of “Architecture & Landscape” in 2014, and “Food” in 2016.

They have now added another GOLD Best Of Wine Tourism award for “Sustainable wine tourism practices”, for their new Green Tour. This 'Visite Nature' will appeal to anyone looking to understand the challenges that face vine growers. The tour gives guests an intimate understanding of the ethical and environmental initiatives at the property.

Before the arrival of electricity, pumps, air conditioning and heating, wineries dug underground cellars to vinify and age their wines.  A fine example of this architecture is Bodega Conde de los Andes in Ollauri, the largest underground network of ageing cellars in the Rioja region. Loving maintenance and respect for ancient winemaking traditions by the owners, the Murua family, earned the winery an award for sustainable wine tourism from the Great Wine Capitals Global Network in 2018.

For Pam and Tony Barich of Whistling Kite Vineyards in South Australia’s Riverland district, the answer to creating a sustainable and healthy future are organics and biodynamics.

Hop aboard a hand-built replica of a California Street Cable Car, the ones used in San Francisco from the late 1890s to the early 1930s, for a Napa Valley Wine Tasting tour adventure through the beautiful Napa Valley. Every detail, from the all-wooden carriage to the solid brass bell, is an authentic feature right off the original blueprints. This Napa Valley wine tour is an experience you will never forget.

There are never enough excuses to pay a visit to the enchanted Douro Valley, one of the most prominent wine regions in the world. Therefore I was very glad to accept the invitation of CoolTour Oporto, the regional winner of the “Wine Tourism Services” category of the Best of Wine Tourism 2018 awards, to go on a group guided tour to the Douro Valley.

Entre Copas or ‘between glasses’ is where most of the fun in wine happens. Between a couple glasses of wine one evening with a friend; over a romantic glass or two of sparkling wine on a date; or over a cheeky glass of wine at lunch with a colleague. It is between the glasses where conversation happens and personal connections form, and that’s exactly the ethos behind the Entre Copas event at the Sheraton’s Mirador restaurant in Mendoza, Argentina.

In 2008, twenty young winemakers started a crazy project: wine on the bank of the Rhine river in Mainz, open air, after work and mostly with standing visitors. "It was cozy in the beginning", Alina Engel laughs, "by now, the size of the crowd is crazy!" Ten years later, the Mainzer Weinsalon is an award-winning classic, and Alina welcomes us in the classy new vinothek of her Winery Meyerhof in Flonheim, deep in the heart of Rheinhessen.

Wine tourism and wine experience, that's why they won the Best of Tourism Award 2018 of the Great Wine Capitals for wine tourism services here.

If you are looking for a vineyard visit with a difference, Château Lamothe Bergeron could be just the place.  On his arrival Laurent Mery, the General Manager of Château Lamothe Bergeron in Haut Médoc, declared that the property would be open for business to both wine professionals and amateurs alike and he has been true to his word. As of 2015, the chateau has opened its doors to visitors, from the reception and conference rooms to the bedrooms, the underground cellars and tasting rooms and the park around the property.

In 2018 they added the Gold 'Best Of' for wine tourism services to their trophies shelf.

The Penfolds name has long been synonymous with South Australia and the wine industry. With properties in both Magill (near Adelaide) and the Barossa Valley tourists have travelled throughout the state to experience one of the world’s most iconic wine brands. A recent redevelopment at the brand’s spiritual home, Penfolds Magill Estate has significantly raised the bar on delivering wine tourism experiences.

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