Great Wine Capitals

The wine estates of the South Africa’s Western Cape region have, perhaps an unfair advantage when it comes to attracting wine-loving travelers. Surrounded by towering mountain peaks, and two oceans within easy reach from the vineyards, dramatic scenery is taken as a given.

Which means estates need to work hard to set themselves apart in creating a memorable experience to surround the act of tasting the fruits of the vines. And nobody in the Cape does that better than La Motte wine estate in Franschhoek.

It's not really that surprising that Chateau Lynch Bages was announced as Best of Wine Tourism Grand prizewinner for France, despite the stiff competition. The owner, Jean-Michel Cazes, has been welcoming visitors to his family estate ever since he took over in 1975. He was a pioneer of wine tourism - long before the phrase was invented.

Filipe Morato Gomes enjoyed the perfect day trip to the beautiful Douro region - by van, boat and train and finally to Quinta do Bomfim where the port winemaking process was expertly explained. This experience was organized by Sara Dias of 'Oporto & Douro Moments. It's not surprising that 'Moments' won a Best Of Wine Tourism' award for Services in 2016!

Bodega Séptima, part of Spain's Codorniú group, not only offers visitors a spectacular view of the nearby Andes mountain range but also a first class dining and wine pairing experience.

Quinta da Boeira, a magnificent estate in Vila Nova de Gaia, across the douro from Porto, is a lovingly restored 19th century estate built by a Portuguese man who emigrated to Brazil.  Today it is a center devoted to remembering the Portuguese ships that sailed the seven seas in voyages of discovery, to wine and to art.

It’s no surprise that O Fournier was selected as Great Wine Capital’s winner for winery architecture last year - it represents the fearless innovation and remarkable character that is shaping up Mendoza’s wine industry today.

By Amanda Barnes

With this post about Quixote Winery in the Napa Valley, the Great Wine Capitals begins a series of articles about the winners of a 2016 'Best Of Wine Tourism' award in the Architecture category.

 

In 1989, Carl Doumani discovered the work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, a Viennese painter, architect, ecologist and philosopher. Believing that the wine world had transformed a beverage of consummate pleasure into an absurdly serious pursuit, he commissioned Hundertwasser to design a winery to combat these notions.

By Gisela Kirschstein

(All photos by Gisela Kirschstein)

by Susana Ribeiro

Gemieira, Ponte de Lima, is the home of Carmo's Boutique Hotel, a charming 5-star establishment which belongs to the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Amongst its many achievements is the Best of Wine Tourism 2016 award, in the accommodation category.

by Amanda Barnes

The best way to experience Mendoza is out in the vineyards overlooking the awesome Andes mountains, and the ultimate spot that combines the life of the vineyards with the remoteness and grandeur of the Andes is the Uco Valley.

Since I moved to Mendoza in 2009, I’ve seen wineries and hotels laying roots closer and closer to the Andes each year, and last year when Casa de Uco officially opened it became the wine resort perhaps closest to the Andes of them all.

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