Making wine is a long drawn out process, and it can take up to decades to create that perfect bottle of Merlot. Therefore, there’s reason to cheer when winemakers are recognised and celebrated. The World’s 50 Best Vineyards list honours the effort that goes behind the topmost wines and the vineyards that produce them. The list, which is released annually, is organised by the UK-based media group William Reed. In an award ceremony held on Wednesday in Rioja, a wine region in Spain, the 50 best vineyards for this year were announced.
According to the official website of the list, the selection process is determined by around 500 wine lovers, sommeliers, and tourism experts around the world. The vineyard must be open to the general public and the entire experience of visiting the estate is taken into consideration, from the tour, tasting, ambience, and most importantly, the wine.
Topping the list was the family-run Catena Zapata in Argentina. According to the official website (worldsbestvineyards.com), the first vineyard was started in 1902 to create Malbec wine. Top wineries, Bodegas de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal in Rioja, Spain and Vik in the Cachapoal Valley in Chile secured the second and third places, respectively. Other positions on the list were taken by vineyards in popular wine hotspots. For example, Creation in South Africa and Château Smith Haut Lafitte from the Bordeaux region in France.
In a statement released by the William Reed organization on Thursday, Andrew Reed, the managing director of wine and exhibitions said, “The World’s Best Vineyards continues to highlight wine tourism destinations around the globe with an impressive list of new entries this year, which is now more important than ever.”
During the awards ceremony, individual awards were also given to vineyards that achieved wine excellence during the year. Rippon in New Zealand was honoured with the title of the Best Vineyard in Australasia (the regions of Australia, New Zealand, and neighbouring islands) while Château Mercian Mariko Winery from Japan bagged the title of Best Vineyard in Asia.