Great Wine Capitals Global Network

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 most heartwarming moment at the 2019 Bilbao-Rioja ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ awards ceremony was the standing ovation given to three women from Bodegas Bohedal for their innovative wine tourism program. Three generations of women not only run the winery but have created experiences that perfectly define the family’s passion for wine, with a feminine touch and great attention to detail.

In my opinion you will never get enough of the gently rolling hills of McLaren Vale, but if you are looking to offer your eyes a bit more excitement the winner for the Best of International Wine Tourism has got you covered! The d’Arenberg Cube will have you lapping up the big picture, while needing time to soak up all the amazing details, too.

Actually, the d’Arenberg Cube is a 2018 winner in two categories: International Best Wine Tourism, and – of course – Architecture and Landscape. Although the Cube is a new and unexpected addition for the region since last year, it is not an unexpected winner in these categories. A building made entirely out of glass, shaped like a Rubik’s cube, which surprisingly enough seems to really fit in the Mourvèdre vineyard surrounding it – that is a feat we all need to take a closer look at.

The Rioja Wine Train takes wine lovers on a fascinating trip to the Haro Train Station District, home of seven wineries, five of which were founded in the 19th century.  During the daylong experience a theater company and the wineries themselves entertain and educate the travelers about the importance of the railroad to the international expansion of Rioja wines. 

The Great Wine Capitals Global Network recognized this initiative by bestowing on The Rioja Wine Train a 2019 regional award from Bilbao-Rioja as well as an international ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ award.

There’s no doubting the wine credentials of Bodega Casa Vigil. Owned by one of Argentina’s most prized winemakers, Alejandro Vigil, this is a wine production of top draw. However Bodega Casa Vigil is about more than just making fantastic wines from local grapes. It is also about respecting the environment those grapes come from. The green credentials and community focus of this family winery and restaurant is what deservedly led to a Great Wine Capitals Award for Best Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices in 2018.

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.

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.

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.

Cais da Villa Restaurant recently won the Best Wine Restaurant of Portugal award. It was presented by the Best Of Wine Tourism 2018 Awards, an event organized by the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.   I was very curious to discover the wonders that Chef Daniel Gomes and his team are producing.

Come experience Napa Valley from the original rancher’s perspective - riding through the vineyards on horseback!  This 30-minute trail ride is a fantastic way to take in the breathtaking vistas of the Rapp Ranch Estate and the surrounding hills of Coombsville. 

Unlike any experience offered in the valley, Shadybrook’s vineyard horseback ride coupled with their estate wine paired tasting, stand as a hallmark for any adventurers’ trip to Napa Valley.  In recognition of this initiative, Shadybrook Estate received a 2018 ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ award for Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences.

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