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You could spend a lot of time at Seppeltsfield Estate these days without actually taking part in a conventional cellar door tasting.

The relaunch of the historic Barossa Valley winery last November after an 18-month redevelopment has put an even greater focus on cuisine (at the new Fino restaurant on site), art and craft (at the Jam Factory on site), a diverse events program, heritage experiences and even guided Segway tours of the property.

The judges in South Australia’s inaugural Best of Wine Tourism Awards were also impressed, naming Seppeltsfield the winner in two categories: for Wine Tourism Services and Art and Culture. The awards were held as part of Adelaide’s membership of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network. Seppeltsfield went on to compete in the international finals in Portugal in November and took home the prestigious title of Best Wine Tourism Service.

There are wineries that look great, and others that function well. Sadly it feels like somewhat of a rarity when they achieve both. But the Great Wine Capitals’ global architecture winner last year is a rare gem that really does achieve both, and will please the most exacting oenophile as well as the most passionate architect.

The new Zuccardi Piedra Infinita winery in the Uco Valley was born out of desire, rather than necessity. The Zuccardi family have a large, functional and busy winery to the east of Mendoza, in Maipu. With each new generation of the family, the winery has expanded and the horizons lifted. It homes the winemaking facilities for several wine labels (including their popular day-to-day wine label, Santa Julia), two restaurants, an olive farm, and an art gallery. And there is room to expand.

The Trefethen Family Winery, originally known as Eshcol, was founded in 1886, a period of great viticultural activity in the Napa Valley.  Phylloxera and Prohibition however, brought wine production to a halt and the winery fell into disrepair until 1968 when John and Janet Trefethen set out to restore it to its former glory. Trefethen won a Global 'Best Of Wine Tourism' award for architecture from the Great Wine Capitals Global Network for this achievement.

Coming from Vila Real and descending the terraced mountain by the beautiful national road that configures amazing viewpoints at each curve of the journey, a black silhouette appears on my left. There is something subtle in the way that Quinta da Gaivosa’s new winery marks the landscape of the Alto Douro wine region.

Startling, it tells a story made of dreams and achievements, fusing into the landscape that embraces it, that of the first demarcated wine region of the world, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.

These are more than enough reasons for Quinta da Gaivosa to be the winner of the Great Wine Capitals 2017 Best of Wine Tourism regional award in the Architecture and Landscape category.

Pauser's Quartier in Flonheim, in the heart of Rheinhessen, is a place where modern architecture meets wine-caressing traditions. Here, they serve spicy Syrahs as good as sweet Kerner whites – and while rooted firmly in the soil, they reach for the stars of wine-making.  Pauser earned the Great Wine Capital Best of Wine Tourism Award in 2017 in the category of Architecture & Landscapes.

In 2012 Château de Ferrand was included in the select club of Grand Crus Classés of Saint Emilion but its long history stretches back over 300 years.

Since its construction, started in 1702, it has only been in the ownership of two families, which may go some way to explain the preservation of this exquisite site, not only the Chateau itself but also the park around the property.

No surprise then that the property was awarded the Best Of Wine Tourism Award for Architecture in 2016.

 

It’s not easy to find Viñedos & Bodegas de Páganos. The estate is near the bottom of a hill between the villages of Laguardia and Páganos, leading you to believe that the owners, the Eguren family,  just want to be left alone to quietly go about their business.  And what a business it is!

The estate won an international ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ award for Architecture and Landscapes for its stunning ensemble of vineyards, winery and ageing cellars in the Alavesa subregion of Rioja.

Primo Estate in McLaren Vale has won the Architecture and Landscape category in South Australia’s inaugural Best of Wine Tourism Awards. The awards were held as part of Adelaide’s membership of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.

The Monverde Wine Experience Hotel, hidden in the golden vineyards of the Green Wine Region, was the regional winner of the “Accommodation” category of the Best of Wine Tourism 2017 awards. Opened less than two years ago it has quickly become a worldwide reference in Wine Tourism.

Rosell Boher Lodge (http://www.rosellboherlodge.com/) has hit the nail on the head when it comes to taking advantage of Mendoza’s beautiful vineyard vistas and mesmerising sunsets. Each individual lodge has its own rooftop deck with sofas, sun-loungers, a wood-burning fireplace and a warm, bubbling jacuzzi. It’s a slice of wine country heaven.

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