Best Of Wine Tourism

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.

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.

Few restaurants in Mendoza have picked up a cult following quite as quickly as Casa Vigil did. Within a year of opening, the restaurant had become one of the top listings on Trip Advisor - pipping hundreds of other restaurants to the post.

What is so special about the experience of Casa Vigil, you might ask. The answer is there in the name - Casa Vigil literally means the House of Vigil, and Vigil happens to refer to one of Argentina’s most respected winemakers, Alejandro Vigil. The tables here book up well in advance as wine lovers congregate from all over the globe in order to enjoy an intimate experience of Alejandro Vigil’s El Enemigo wines and dine in his home restaurant in the vine garden next to his boutique winery. With this in mind, the Mendoza jury awarded Casa Vigil a regional ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ award for a wine tourism restaurant.

Porto Calém Wine Cellars recently won the Best Innovative Wine Tourism Experience of Portugal award. It was presented by the Best Of Wine Tourism 2018 Awards, an event organized by the Great Wine Capitals Global Network. They were kind enough to fly me to Portugal in order to see the fancy new High Tech exhibition that has won them so many awards.

Monteviejo Wine Rock has been one of the greatest musical and wine highlights in Argentina’s calendar since its inception in 2011, and today - thanks to a collaboration with the Park Hyatt in Mendoza city - it has spawned into a week-long event involving hundreds of artists, musicians and chefs, and thousands of wine bottles!

It’s no surprise that Wine Rock Week took home a Great Wine Capitals Award for Innovative Experiences in its very first year, 2017, and well deserved that it went on to become the global winner. The event has become one of epic proportions, however its roots go deep and have humble beginnings - starting with a winemaker and a musician who shared a bond for good wine and good music…

Château de Reignac is a familiar name in the 'Best Of' family. Ideally situated in the Entre deux Mers, halfway between Bordeaux and Saint Emilion, the property is firmly on the wine tourism map.

Constant innovation means they previously won the 'Best Of Wine Tourism' award for Innovation in 2016 and now they have done it again with another Gold award in 2018 and a World 'Best Of' award for their innovative experience.

Imagine you’re a young couple with two small children.  You’re also wine lovers and would like to visit a Rioja winery.  But you have a problem:  you can’t find a baby sitter and your parents are busy.  What do you do with the kids?  The answer is simple – bring them with you to Bodegas Valdemar where they have an experience that is tailor-made for children:  “In Search of the Magic Grapes”. Bodegas Valdemar received a ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ award for innovative wine tourism experiences from the Great Wine Capitals Global Network for this program.

Truth be told, the biggest asset of any region is not its produce or its landscape, it is its people. Those with a multi-generational connection to the land so deep it’s impossible to ignore, nor replicate. In the Eden Valley this is certainly true of founding families Henschke and Angas (of Hutton Vale Farm). Their heart-felt authenticity is contagious and with their new offering, the Ultimate Authentic Barossa Experience, are putting the region on the world stage.

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