Celebrating innovation and excellence in wine tourism throughout the nine wine regions in the world, wineries across the Western Cape entered into the prestigious Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards.
These awards provide an opportunity for wineries and other visitor-serving businesses in each region to gain exposure and recognition for their commitment to presenting leading wine tourism options while giving visitors a one-stop list of the best places to experience.
This international annual competition is designed to reward the wineries in each of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network’s member cities, for their excellence in seven different categories, including:
• Wine Tourism Restaurants
• Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices
• Architecture & Landscape
• Art & Culture
• Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences
• Wine Tourism Services
Wesgro worked closely with Vinpro, a non-profit company that represents 2, 500 South African wine producers, cellars and industry stakeholders in finalising these awards.
The 2021 winners are:Accommodation
Winner: Lanzerac Wine Estate Wine Tourism Restaurants
Winner: Delaire Graff EstateSustainable Wine Tourism Practice
Winner: La Motte Wine EstateArchitecture & Landscape
Winner: Delaire Graff EstateArt & Culture
Winner: La Motte Wine Estate Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences
Winner: Creation Wines Wine Tourism Services
Winner: La Motte Wine Estate
"We are proud of each of our members who have pushed through the challenges our industry has faced this year by continuing to excel and innovate, and in so doing, showcasing South Africa as a world-class wine tourism destination," said Marisah Nieuwoudt, Vinpro wine tourism manager.
The judging process entailed an in-depth reviewing process. The applications received were reviewed and scored based on the standard criteria. Our seven expert judges then visited the wineries within each of their categories.
These visits were conducted as "ghost visits", meaning that the wine farms did not know when these judges will be visiting. Based on the application received and the "ghost visits" conducted, our expert and roving judges attended an adjudication review, whereby each expert judge presented their findings to our roving judges and a winner was selected from each category.
The judging panel for this year’s competition consisted of three roving judges and seven expert judges facilitated by Andre Morgenthal, judges included:
• Rhian van Wyk Deputy - Cape Winelands District Municipality,
• Maryna Calow - Wines of South Africa (WOSA),
• Unathi Mantshongo - Vinpro Consultant Europe,
• Teddy Ntsente - Tourism Grading Council South Africa,
• Jenny Handley - Gourmet Guide,
• Shelley Fuller - Fruit & Wine Programme Manager at WWF,
• Dr Luyanda Mpahlwa - Design Space Africa, Margi Biggs – Managing Director - Specialised Tours & Events,
• Illana Clayton - CEO at Travel Smart Crew, Spencer Fondaumiere - ASI diploma Sommelier and vice-chair of the South African Sommeliers Association.
"The ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ Awards serve as an industry benchmark for excellence in wine tourism, and we are honoured to have worked closely with Vinpro to recognise the wineries and wine-tourism related businesses with the highest standards. We also thank the judges for their time and effort, and well done to all our winners." concluded Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris.