As one of nine recognized “Great Wine Capitals”, the San Francisco/Napa Valley area is awarding hospitality leaders throughout the region 2013 Best Of Wine Tourism designations in seven categories.
Each year, a panel of peers from within the industry convenes to recognize the wine-related businesses they feel are most innovative and successful at showcasing their region’s wine tourism strengths and best practices.
The seven categories in which Best Of awards are presented include accommodation, restaurants, architecture & landscape, art & culture, innovative wine tourism experiences, wine tourism services, and sustainable wine tourism practices.
An additional level of recognition created in 2012 at the judges’ request – The Regional Wine Tourism Award of Merit – is given to one or two businesses in each category as an honorable mention to acknowledge their high level of commitment to wine tourism.
The 2013 Best Of Wine Tourism Awards regional judges included Michael Dellar of Lark Creek Restaurant Group, Courtney Cochran, San Francisco sommelier and author of Hip Tastes: A Fresh Guide to Wine, Virginia Miller of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Courtney Humiston of TabletoGrave.com and viticultural consultant.
The 2013 Best Of regional San Francisco/Napa Valley winners were announced at a celebration in downtown Napa Thursday afternoon:
Accommodation – The Carneros Inn, A Plumpjack Resort (Napa Valley)
Recognized for its elegant design, excellence in spa and commitment to hospitality, The Carneros Inn’s countryside locale and modern interiors capture the region’s distinct charm.
Award of Merit – Calistoga Ranch, An Auberge Resort
Award of Merit – The Napa River Inn at Historic Napa Mill
Wine Tourism Restaurants – Press Club (San Francisco)
Offering California’s finest wines and beers in a sophisticated, social atmosphere, Press Club’s wine bar and lounge serves a menu of seasonal small plates and thoughtful pairings creating the ultimate wine experience.
Award of Merit – Carpe Diem Wine Bar
Award of Merit – Farmstead Restaurant
Architecture & Landscape – Quintessa (Napa Valley)
Agustin and Valeria Huneeus developed the state-of-the art and biodynamic Quintessa in 1990 to establish the property as one of the great red wine estates of the world using a traditional winemaking process.
Award of Merit - Jarvis
Art and Culture – Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley (Napa Valley)
Ma(i)sonry’s art, design and collective wine-tasting gallery is located inside a 1904 stone building looking out over the collective’s sculpture garden, offering guests a differentiated lifestyle experience in wine country.
Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences – Long Meadow Ranch Winery (Napa Valley)
Long Meadow Ranch’s 650 acres of historic ranch nested atop the Mayacamas Mountains produce award-winning wines, extra virgin olive oils, grass-fed beef, eggs and heirloom fruits and vegetables. Guests are welcome to explore the ranch, winery and a traditional olive oil mill.
Award of Merit – Raymond Vineyards
Award of Merit – The Winery SF
Wine Tourism Services – The Napa Valley Welcome Center (Napa Valley)
Opened in April, 2011, the 2,400 square-foot center offers a mix of high-tech and traditional services to provide visitors the best and most informative welcome to the Napa Valley.
Award of Merit – di Rosa Preserve
Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices – Jarvis (Napa Valley)
Operated entirely by solar power, Jarvis’ vineyards are green-certified by the California Land Stewardship Institute and its 45,000 square feet of wine caves remain 61 degrees year round requiring no heat or cooling.
Award of Merit – CONSTANT at Diamond Mountain Vineyard
All regional Best Of award winners will now move forward to compete for the global awards, which will be judged by an international panel of respected wine tourism professionals and presented at the annual general meeting of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, to be held in early November in Florence, Italy. The international judges choose one overall winner for each region, selecting from the seven regional Best Of title-holders.