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"World's Best Vineyard" Competition


liuzhou

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For the last week I’ve been receiving daily reports from a friend, 李燕萍 (Li Yanping), who also uses the English name Aileen Lee and who is a judge in the "World's Best Vineyard" Competition taking place in Rioja, Spain. The competition was founded in 2019 by William Reed Business Media, a century-old family-owned media company, which is also a member of World's 50 Best Restaurants. 50 Best Restaurants, the World's 50 Best Bars and the International Wine Challenge (IWC).

The "World's Best Vineyards" competition is designed to encourage and promote the development of the wine industry and wine tourism by selecting the world's top wine tourism destinations (in this case, wine estates that provide tourism facilities and wine tasting experiences and are open to the public).

Each year the competition are divided into multiple divisions, by a nomination system (wineries can not directly register for the competition). Each division will select one or two experts or media persons with high influence in the local wine and tourism industry to serve as the chair(s) of the jury of the division, and the chair of the jury is responsible for the 36 selected Influential wine experts, media, lecturers, bartenders, tourism and gourmet professionals who have visited many of the world's wine-producing areas to serve as judges in the list of "the best vineyards in the world" with the best travel experience. They adhere to the principle of objectivity and fairness, according to the landscape of the winery, restaurants, hotels, services, prices, transportation, humanities and other aspects of the evaluation, comprehensive performance outstanding, can be selected as "the best vineyard in the world" (World's Best Vineyards) Top 100 list. If judges vote for the wine estates in their own division, they can't have more than three to show fairness。
 

On the evening of July 12, local time, the "World's Best Vineyards" competition (World's Best Vineyards) awards ceremony was held in Rioja, one of Spain's most famous UVE-producing regions. During the award ceremony, the organizers announced the list of the "World's Best Vineyards" this year.

Aileen, the founder of the International Voice of Wine, was invited to attend the award ceremony as the vice chairman of the China jury and noted that this year is the first time in the five years since the "World's Best Vineyards" competition that a Chinese winery has made the top 100 list. Two Chinese wineries on the list - Canaan Winery in Huailai, Hebei Province, and Grace Vineyard in Shanxi Province - were ranked 80th and 100th respectively.

Here are the winners of the "World's Best Vineyards" competition in 2023.

 

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Catena Zapata, Argentina - World's Best Vineyard 2023

 

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L-R Andrew Reed, Managing Director of Media, William Reed Business and Competition Founder; Aileen Lee, founder of The International Voice of Wine,  Vice Chair of the China Jury; Robert Geddes MW, Chair of China Jury.

 

Images courtesy of The International Voice of Wine. Parts of this post are from the competition's press release.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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What a fun time for her, and an interesting list! I recognized a few, not many; shows how much I still have to learn! Thanks for posting.

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I didn’t count the second 50, but the top 50 was pretty heavy toward South America and the Iberian Peninsula, which I found interesting.

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4 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Two Chinese wineries on the list - Canaan Winery in Huailai, Hebei Province, and Grace Vineyard in Shanxi Province - were ranked 80th and 100th respectively.

 

Have you had any wine from them?

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I've visited exactly one of the wineries (Mondavi, c. 1982), but I was pleased to learn I've consumed wine from 12 of the top 50 and 5 of the bottom 50 -- most recently a chardonnay from #10 El Enemigo.

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

"Imagine all the food you have eaten in your life and consider that you are simply some of that food, rearranged."  -Max Tegmark, physicist

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

"...in the mid-’90s when the internet was coming...there was a tendency to assume that when all the world’s knowledge comes online, everyone will flock to it. It turns out that if you give everyone access to the Library of Congress, what they do is watch videos on TikTok."  -Neil Stephenson, author, in The Atlantic

 

"In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual." -Galileo Galilei, physicist and astronomer

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44 minutes ago, Alex said:

 

Have you had any wine from them?

 

Yes, I've visited both (pre-pandemic) and tasted some of their wines.

 

I particularly remember a Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Syrah blend in Canaan which was very much in a Bordeaux style. French winemakers have been very active in China, cooperating with Chinese vignerons to bring forward the local product. I also remember a very accceptable Riesling.

 

Grace does an excellent Cabernet Merlot. Their Chairman's Reserve was memorable.

 

Both have Engish language websites with more information

 

Canaan (If it's showing only Chinese, click on the EN top right next to the search box.)

 

Grace

 

Aside from these two, I've visited another five on the list, all European.

 

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
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I cringe just at the  "wine and tourism".  I've been to a good number of wonderful California vineyards and a handful in Mexico. As a person who despises "best of" I should just button up my babber.

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As I scrolled through the list of winners on the Worlds Best Vineyards website, I noticed the stunning architecture appearing in many of the photos. Really gorgeous places!  When I arrive at a winery like that for a tasting, my thought is usually that if I purchase their wine, I'll be paying as much for the fancy facility as for what's in the bottles. Gorgeous as they are to look at, they're not usually my favorite type of winery to visit.

 

The only one on the list in my general area is Daou at #95. I was surprised at first, but seeing that this is basically a tourism award, it makes sense.  Daou is owned by 2 Lebanese brothers who grew up in France, emigrated to the US in the 1980s for college and purchased the property in Paso Robles in 2007 after much success in the tech sector. If visibility is any clue, they seem to be cranking out quite a lot of wine as I see their lower priced offerings in every grocery store, Target, Trader Joe's and Total Wine around, surprising for a newer winery in that Adelaida area where most of the producers are smaller operations. Daou also produces bottles that command higher prices and have won awards.  The brothers seem to have very deep pockets and have invested in ventures that include a big restaurant and event space near the ocean in Cambria, the former Bank of Italy building in downtown Paso, a wine lounge open during the ski season at Mammoth Mountain and, most recently, a large estate in Tuscany where they plan to build a tasting room, plant vines and make wine, in approximately that order, if I read correctly.  Good for them, I guess.

 

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@blue_dolphin you may remember Molly Chappellett's first book. She discussed starting their vineyard. A difficult task of love for the land, the vines, and wine. That is what I respect. https://chappellet.com/our-story/ The aerial tram at Sterling in Napa!?  

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11 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

Just one Canadian.?  Humph ☹️

 

I have been to three on the list.  There are definitely similar or better vineyards in Canada.🇨🇦

 

Like any list…..take with a grain of salt.

 

Of course, salt required. The rankings are merely opinion. However, they are informed opinion from industry experts.

 

There may only be one Canadian, but that is one more than most countries. None from England, which does have great wineries. I would also have expected more from Italy, personally.

 

8 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

my thought is usually that if I purchase their wine, I'll be paying as much for the fancy facility as for what's in the bottles.

 

Wines of the calibre here are a luxury purchase and luxury goods are usually sold from luxury premises. People don't buy Roll's Royce's from Sid's Autos. And no one buys Chateau D'Yquem from Bert's Booze.

 

Yes, most wineries also do second wines at lower prices (still often beyond most people's reach) but they are never allowed to outbid the stars.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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