Seven SA wineries win at Best of Wine Tourism Awards

Gemtree Wines’ Eco-Trail in McLaren Vale. Image courtesy Gemtree Wines

Seven South Australian wineries have been recognised as some of the state’s best wine tourism operators and will go on to compete on the global stage.

Winners of the 2024 Best Of Wine Tourism Awards were revealed on Wednesday night as part of an annual program offered through Adelaide, South Australia’s membership in the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.

The Awards celebrate innovation, sustainability and excellence in wine tourism across each of the world’s 12 Great Wine Capitals, which includes Adelaide (South Australia); Bilbao/Rioja (Spain); Bordeaux (France); Cape Town/Cape Winelands (South Africa); Hawke’s Bay (New Zealand); Lausanne (Switzerland); Mainz/Rheinhessen (Germany); Mendoza (Argentina); Porto (Portugal); San Francisco/Napa Valley (US); Valparaiso/Casablanca Valley (Chile); and Verona (Italy).

The SA winners, across the seven categories are:

  • Accommodation – Alkina Wine Estate, Barossa – for creating extraordinary accommodation that feels like a home, has an outstanding connection to place and treads lightly on the landscape.

  • Architecture and Landscape – Yangarra Estate Vineyard, McLaren Vale – the cellar door’s strong architectural statement features a striking sweeping roof: a visual treat with an interior that reflects the soil and environment.

  • Art and culture – Grapes of Mirth, multi-regional – comedy events including DJs and dance parties, podcasts, wine masterclasses and cooking demonstrations that bring a new demographic to wineries and their respective regions.

  • Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences – Sidewood Estate, Adelaide Hills – On the outskirts of Hahndorf providing a unique offering, from no and lo alcohol wines to an array of leisure activities plus educational experiences such as its Introduction to Wine Tasting that helps people interpret wine terminology to enhance the overall experience.

  • Wine Tourism Restaurant – Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard, Adelaide Hills – with new menus, carefully curated each month in an outstanding, second-to-none setting that connects to the landscape and surrounding vineyards.

  • Wine Tourism Services – Pindarie Wines, Barossa Valley – Previously 1850s stables and 1890s grain store, the cellar door and restaurant provide the complete wine, food and tourism experience on the western gateway to the Barossa Valley.

  • Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices – Gemtree Wines, McLaren Vale – organic and biodynamic certified and the benchmark in South Australia for sustainable wine practices. Sustainability best practice is absolutely fundamental to Gemtree’s overall story and purpose.

The seven South Australian winners will now compete for a Global Best Of Wine Tourism Award, which will be presented later this month as part of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network Annual Meeting and Conference in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Last year, Langhorne Creek entry Grapes for Good – started by Kimbolton Wines – was recognised on the international stage with a Global Best Of Wine Tourism Award. Grapes for Good is a partnership between six leading Langhorne Creek wine producers and Zoos SA which aims to drive visitation across the region and support the conservation efforts underway at nearby Monarto Safari Park.

South Australia is home to 18 unique wine regions and 340 cellar doors – 200 of which are within an hour’s drive of Adelaide. The passion and innovative thinking of these cellar door operators makes wineries must-visit destinations for visitors to South Australia.

Wine tourism continues to play an incredibly important role in driving visitors to regional South Australia. The Best Of Wine Tourism Awards provide an invaluable opportunity to recognise and celebrate high achievers in this field.

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said this is another demonstration of the strength of South Australia’s wine tourism industry, celebrating an array of world-class operators across the regions.

“We know our wine is a key tourism drawcard for South Australia, with one fifth of all interstate tourists visiting a winery during their trip in 2022 and more than one third of all international tourists prior to the pandemic,” said Bettison.

“With innovative festivals in world-renowned wine regions, leading sustainability practices at well-established wineries, luxury accommodation in the vines, and top-notch restaurants serving local produce, it’s no wonder our wine tourism operators help put our state on the map.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners, and I wish them all the best as they go on to represent South Australia on the global stage.”

Clare Scriven, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, congratulated each category winner.

“South Australia is clearly Australia’s leading premier wine state, producing more than 80% of the nation’s premium wine from some of the oldest vines in the world,” said Minister Scriven.

“The emphasis of these awards on the overall tourism experience acknowledges the many facets of the wine industry and its importance to the South Australian economy.”

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