Prizes reward sustainability, innovation and initiative in wine tourism sector
La Vinyeta winery, Mas Llagostera country house and Wine Road Association the winners of Wine Tourism 2017
Catalonia is the fifth most popular destination for wine tourism in the world, according to the director of the Catalan tourist agency, Octavi Bono. Bono was taking part in the third edition of the agency’s Wine Tourism Prizes, which on Tuesday picked out three different initiatives in Catalonia’s wine tourism sector: La Vinyeta winery in Mollet de Peralada (Alt Empordà), the Mas Llagostera country house in Bisbal in Penedès (Baix Penedès) and the Wine Road Association (La Carretera del Vi), which offers a wine route through Penedès and Garraf.
The emblematic Peralada Castle (Alt Empordà) was the venue for the prizegiving, as part of the Wine Tourism Night organized by the Ministry of Business and Knowledge. The aim of the prizes is to recognize the best wine tourism initiatives in the country and encourage companies to commit themselves to the quality, sustainability and specialization of their products. This year’s edition coincided with the declaration of 2017 as the Year of Sustainable Tourism.
Three Prize Categories
The prize for Best Winery went to La Vinyeta from Mollet de Peralada, which won the award for its dynamism, entrepreneurship and the focus on sustainability in its wine production. This organic wine company complements its work in the vineyards with the production of organic produce from olive trees, hens, sheep as well as cheese and honey. Moreover, the winery offers a variety of activities, such as nights in the vineyards, which include music, poetry, astronomy or night strolls.
The 100% sustainable Mas Llagostera country house in Bisbal del Penedès picked up the award for Accommodation and Restoration. The house’s facilities fosters energy savings and the reuse of resources. An example is how the leftovers from the vineyards and oil production are used to feed the biomass boiler that heats the house. The site also has solar panels to provide light and hot water, while rainwater is used to maintain the swimming pool and for irrigation. The prize recognizes the combination of rural tourism, wine tourism and energy self-sufficiency as the formula for the essence of the self-management in the rural world.
In the Experiences and Innovation category, the prize went to the Wine Road Association (La Carretera del Vi), an initiative that covers seven towns between Penedès and Garraf. The first of its kind in Spain, the wine road connects the Sant Martí Sarroca castle with the beaches of Sitges, passing through a variety of emblematic Catalan towns with top vineyards. The project, which began in 2015, restores the historical commercial road used by the Romans and, through a physical or digital 'passport', allows participants to visit 13 wineries and points of interest over 35 kilometers. Mobility and environment and ecological responsibility are among the route’s priorities, which also offers an electric car rental service.
What’s more, the Catalan Tourism Agency has created the Catalonia Wine Tourism brand, which brings together specific proposals for experiences and activities that contribute to the knowledge and enjoyment of the world of the wine in Catalonia. The aim is also for companies and associated entities in the sector to increase the number of tourists who consume these products as well as encourage the internationalization of small, innovative wineries.