By Mathew Lyons / harpers.co.uk
Argentina’s Zuccardi Valle de Uco has won the inaugural World’s Best Vineyard award, it has been announced.
South American wineries featured heavily in the top ten, with Uruguay’s Bodega Garzón taking second place, Argentina’s Catena Zapata in fifth and Chile’s Montes and Clos Apalta wineries tying for sixth.
Chile has eight listings overall in the top 50, the most for any country.
Ridgeview in Sussex was the only UK vineyard to make it onto the list.
Zuccardi also took home the trophy for best winery in South America. The European winner was Spain’s López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, while New Zealand’s Rippon won for Australasia, Robert Mondavi for North America, Vergelegen for Africa and Lebanon’s Chateau Heritage for the Middle East and Asia.
José Alberto Zuccardi, managing director of Zuccardi Valle de Uco, said: “As a family, we put a lot of passion in what we do; there are three generations of us all working together at the winery.
“Our objective is to give consumers the full experience from the Uco Valley, through the wine, the ingredients in our restaurant which is sourced locally, and even the earth, as we use local concrete for the winery. It’s all about the terroir. Everything we do is an expression of Argentina, and specifically an expression of Uco Valley.”
The new awards are sponsored by the International Wine Challenge (IWC), which is returning to London this evening where Harpers will be reporting on the event.
The aim of the new awards is to draw attention to the quality of wine tourism around the world. Vineyards were judged on the visitor experience, with the flexible criteria including the quality of the restaurant, the staff, pricing and accessibility.
The awards were chosen by an academy of some 500 leading wine aficionados, sommeliers, and luxury travel correspondents worldwide.
Award founder, Andrew Reed said: “Wine is produced in almost 60 countries around the world and is hugely important to many national economies. In the USA alone some 17% of all leisure travellers get involved in culinary and wine related travel.
“The World’s Best Vineyards to Visit not only highlights these amazing destinations but it also helps raise their profile amongst national and international tourists alike.”
Check back later on this evening for the full run down of tonight’s IWC - the coverage of which will be available in the July issue of the magazine.
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