Great Wine Capitals

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…

The old tower on the left hand used to be the home of the Count of Leiningen, built in 1345. "This was called the old castle", Heiko Dettweiler says, "we even have parts of the old ramparts, even a moat of sorts." Welcome to Rheinhessen where they live with an ages old history and transform it into a truly heavenly and very modern wine experience. Weingut Dätwyl breathes 700 years of history, yet is far from old fashioned. If the Palatinate is the Tuscany of Germany, this here is the Mediterranean paradise. No wonder they won a Best Of Wine Tourism Award in 2018 for Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences.

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.

The Hess Collection winery has earned international recognition for its wine, culinary and visitor programs while providing free public access to Donald Hess’ extensive private contemporary Art Museum.

A jury of experts from San Francisco and the Napa Valley conferred on The Hess Collection a Best Of Wine Tourism award in the Art & Culture category for 2018.

http://www.casadelvisitante.com/eng#sthash.MlPBKNGU.dpbs

Santa Julia has several innovative wines under their belt (fancy a glass of Ekigaina or Arinarnoa anyone?) but what draws people into their fold are all the ‘extras’ on offer - an olive oil production factory, two restaurants, bike rides through the vines, cooking classes and an art gallery, all of which led it to win the Great Wine Capitals award for Best Arts and Culture in Mendoza last year.

This is where in summer Shakespeare dances, where Grandpa Jean gives his features to the wine bottles and where a male Miss Marple roams the landscape. Books and stories have a home right next to the wine bottles in the sales room, and in summer, the huge yard turns into a stage: "My parents started the theater thing 25 years ago", Andreas Wagner says "That was quite unusual back then."

There’s an energy about some places which simply draws you in - a cheeky, light-hearted and genuine spirit that is simply, enchanting. With its spectacular views over rolling vineyards to the coast and the Lloyd family at the helm, Coriole vineyards is one such place. And it's in beautiful McLaren Vale, South Australia...

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