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The Douro Museum – a Territory Museum is the perfect gateway to discover the Douro Demarcated Region, declared a World Heritage by UNESCO as a evolving and living cultural landscape. In a multisensory approach, it creates connections throughout its territory reaching communities and projecting Douro's heritage well beyond its borders. Its creativeness and networking earned it the regional distinction of Best of Wine Tourism 2017 in the Art and Culture category.

It isn’t often that a winery wins the same award two years in a row, but when it comes to the case of Monteviejo and the Great Wine Capitals Arts and Culture Award, it couldn’t be more deserved.

Monteviejo has set the bar high for cultural activities at a winery as their Art and Culture Director Gabriela Nafissi tirelessly creates new projects with different local and national artists and collaborators.

"Wine is Art" is the motto of the Wilmshof, a small winery in Selzen, a wine village south of Mainz. It describes exactly what Katrin and Tobias Mohr won the Great Wine Capital Art and Culture Award 2017 for: A unique fusion of the art of wine making with the arts itself, celebrating a "new aesthetics" and an holistic approach, as the jury enthused. No wonder when the winemaker is an artist and his wife an interior designer. "This is our second vocation", Katrin Mohr says with a smile.

Château Siran dates from the 17th century ideally situated for wine tourism, just fifteen minutes from Bordeaux, on the famous Margaux gravel terroir. Surrounded by the great growths of the appellation, it takes its name from the 15th century Lord Guilhem de Siran. After renovation in 2013, the Château reopened its doors with wine tourism in mind.

Bodegas Valdelana, in the village of Elciego in Rioja Alavesa, is right behind the huge Marqués de Riscal winery/hotel complex, but it should not be overlooked by the discerning wine tourist.  It offers everything a visitor could ask for, and more. It’s no wonder that Valdelana received a “Best Of Wine Tourism award in the Art and Culture category in 2017.

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.

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