The ‘Best Of’ Wine Tourism awards

BestOf color_editWine tourism is starting to jump in Rioja.  After years of thinking that opening to tourists was an unnecessary expense, winery owners here have finally realized that it’s not only a great way to sell wine but also to build relationships with  customers and teach them about wine culture.  This is especially important in Spain, where per capita consumption of wine is decreasing year after year and young people show little interest in our product.

Enter the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, made up of Bilbao/Rioja, Bordeaux, Cape Town, Firenze, Mainz/Rheinhessen, Mendoza, Porto and San Francisco/Napa Valley.  Founded in 1999,  one of its aims is to promote tourism, especially wine tourism, among its members.   The Network created the ‘Best Of’ wine tourism awards in 2004 to honor the best wine tourism initiatives in several categories.  Each member city organizes its local award contest, with the winners in each category competing among themselves for the international awards.

The awards have been a huge success, drawing a lot of attention, both to the winners and to the network.

Bilbao/Rioja celebrated its 2010 ‘Best Of’ winners at aceremony held at the historic Citadel in Pamplona on October 1.

The winners are:

Accommodation:  Hotel Hospedería Villa de Ábalos (

Architecture, Parks and Gardens:  Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España (

Art and Culture:  Finca Valpiedra (

Innovative Experiences and Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices:  Bodegas Muga (

Restaurant: Remenetxe (

Winery Tourism Services: Rioja Alavesa Wine Route (

The international winners will be announced at an awards ceremony during the annual meeting of the network in Bordeaux on November 1.

For more information about the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, follow this link:

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