In the prestigious surroundings of the historic Banqueting House in London, the only remaining part of the Palace of Whitehall where King Charles I met his grisly end, it was a night of beginnings for the World’s Best Vineyards ceremony. At its inaugural event on Monday 8th July 2019, a new chapter of history was written, as Argentina’s Zuccardi Valle de Uco was named the World’s Best Vineyard by an international voting academy.
Founder Andrew Reed took to the podium before the countdown of the top 50 vineyards commenced and explained the idea behind World’s Best Vineyards. He highlighted that wine-related travel is hugely important to many national economies and that last year 30 million tourists visited a vineyard in America alone. This event and the attention surrounding it will help to ‘shine a spotlight on those regions who deserve to be experienced’ and not only ‘raise the profile of the wineries, but generate interest around the globe.’
The world of wine was broadly represented, with 17 countries in the top 50, including emerging wine-producing regions like Lebanon, Canada and little old England, as well as the big players of the Old World. Amongst the most famous names were Veuve Cliquot, Château Margaux, Penfolds and Opus One, but it was South America that appeared to dominate the nominations. Chile, in particular, was a country that kept popping up again and again, clearly demonstrating that the investment made in the Chilean wine industry has had a monumental impact on the world stage.
The large pool of judges were nominated by 18 Chairs and asked to list their top seven vineyards from anywhere in the world, considering the “total experience” of their visit. Whether it was the breathtaking mountainous landscape, the family-run ethos, the impressive Piedra Infinita Cocina restaurant offering a seasonal menu with paired wines or the commitment to expressing the true spirit the Uco Valley, Zuccardi finally took the crown.
Just as chefs are now recognised for their restaurants, celebrating the achievements of vineyards in this way can only be a positive move, especially if it helps the consumer feel closer to the people who make their wine. Origin is a fundamental part of today’s marketplace experience and to see the ‘where’, ‘how’ and ‘who’ behind the wines that we enjoy so much is undoubtedly paving the way for a more transparent, fulfilling and exciting future in wine.
To learn more about World’s Best Vineyards and see the Top 50, visit: https://www.worldsbestvineyards.com