August 13, 2020

SA’s Delaire Graff Estate Makes World’s Best Vineyards 2020 List

The global list of the Top 50 wine tourism destinations has been revealed.

World’s Best Vineyards has revealed the 50 best wine tourism destinations in the world in the first-ever virtual vineyard awards on 13 July with Argentina’s Zuccardi Valle de Uco taking the top spot for the second year running. Bodega Garzón in Uruguay came in 2nd place for a consecutive year and Domäne Wachau in Austria jumped 16 places to take the 3rd spot. The 2020 Top 50 vineyards represented 18 countries and included first-time winners from India, Bulgaria and Japan.

The World’s Best Vineyards list seeks to raise the profile of wine tourism and despite the difficult circumstances that the travel industry has faced this year, the organiser William Reed and 2020 host partner Sonoma County Winegrowers wanted to recognise the efforts of wineries around the globe. The announcement of the Top 50 hopes to encourage travel to these outstanding destinations as doors begin to open again to visitors.

In an opening speech during the virtual ceremony, founder Andrew Reed praised the wine industry for its quick adaptability to current restrictions on travel: “It is testament to this amazing community of winemakers and wineries that your flexibility and speed of response has allowed you to adapt your business model to survive, and even thrive!” Reed also highlighted how as the world comes out of lockdown, vineyards must be ready to re-engage with customers.

The World’s Best Vineyards list also seeks to recognise the diversity across established and emerging wine tourism destinations. Overall there were 17 new destinations in this year’s Top 50. Château Mercian Mariko Winery marked a first-time entry for Japan coming in at number 30 and Best Vineyard in Asia. Other continent winners included Zuccardi Valle de Uco (1st and Best Vineyard in South America); Domäne Wachau in the Wachau region of Austria (3rd and Best Vineyard in Europe); Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa, California (5th and Best Vineyard in North America); Rippon in New Zealand (13th and Best Vineyard in Australasia); Delaire Graff Estate in South Africa (14th and Best Vineyard in Africa).

Karissa Kruse, President of Sonoma County Winegrowers shared: “We were looking forward to welcoming guests to Sonoma County, the most sustainable winemaking region in the world, but we were thrilled to be able to carry on with the unveiling of the Top 50. This year’s virtual announcement is a reflection of the ways in which wineries around the world, and not least our own here in Sonoma Country, have so skilfully adapted to the current situation. Many wineries in Sonoma County are once again opening their doors to visitors and we look forward to another great season.”

Kruse also announced the highest ranking vineyard in Sonoma County, Francis Ford Coppola Winery. The winery is every bit as immersive as Coppola’s unforgettable films and features an extensive array of attractions from a landscaped park to restaurants, swimming pools with poolside cabanas, a cinema, a film gallery, bocce courts and a performing arts pavilion.