"Best of Wine Tourism 2012": Portuguese winners
24 November 11
Four Portuguese wineries and wine tourism operators have been awarded in the 2012 International Best of Wine Tourism prize by the Great Wine Capitals Global Network in a ceremony held in Mainz, Germany.
Amongst 58 other winners, “Quinta do Portal”, “Casa Semarkinhas”, “Solar de Merufe” and “Caves Offley” were selected for their infrastructures, sustainable practices and activities offered to visitors. Solar de Merufe, a manor house of the North of Portugal (Vinho Verde Wine Region) which dates back to the 12th century, was selected as National Winner in the “Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices" category for their creation of authentic products based in biological systems. Casa Semarkinhas, a Villa on the banks of the Douro River was the National Winner in the category of "Accommodation” for the outstanding setting dominating the Douro River and stunning views from the terrace and infinite swimming pool. Caves de Vinho do Porto Offley, Offley Port Wine Cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia has been selected as National Winner in the category of “Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences” for their welcoming guiding team, the tour of the Cellar and the quiet, calm and relaxed tasting room. Finally, Quinta do Portal was the Global Winner in the category of “Architecture and Landscapes” for its Cellar designed by Álvaro Siza, winner of the Pritzker Prize, with highlights on the stunning contemporary profile of the cellar and its integration into the stark beauty of the Douro valley. Quinta do Portal had already been awarded Best of Wine Tourism in 2009 and 2007 in the categories of “Sustainable Practices” and “Accommodation” for their house “Casa das Pipas”. Founded in 1999, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network is an alliance of nine internationally renowned wine regions - Bordeaux, France; Cape Town, South Africa; Christchurch-South Island, New Zealand; Florence, Italy; Mainz-Rheinhessen, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; Bilbao-Rioja, Spain and San Francisco-Napa Valley, USA. The Best of Wine Tourism awards serve as an industry benchmark for excellence and recognize leading wineries and wine-tourism related businesses within each Great Wine Capital that have distinguished themselves in areas such as innovation, service and sustainable practices. For more information visit http://www.greatwinecapitals.com and also: Solar de Merufe http://quintasolardemerufe.com Casa Semarkinhas http://www.dourovillarental.com Caves de Vinho do Porto Offley www.sograpevinhos.eu Quinta do Portal www.quintadoportal.com