News / South Africa
After an absence of a year due to the Covid pandemic, SA’s flagship wineries have returned strongly to occupy 10 places on the latest World’s Best Vineyards (WBV) rankings, announced in Germany recently.
The highest-ranked SA vineyard was Creation, which came in at number 10. Creation, from the Walker Bay wine region, also won the individual award for best vineyard in Africa.
According to WBV 2021, the top three wineries were Zuccardi Valle de Uco (Argentina), Bodegas de los Herederos del Marques de Riscal (Spain) and Chateau Margaux (France).
Other local wineries that made the list were Delaire Graff, Klein Constantia, Spier, Babylonstoren, Steenberg, Groot Constantia, Waterford, Tokara and Haute Cabrière.
Creation and Delaire Graff were on the current and inaugural list published in 2019. Only one other country, Chile with 11, has more vineyards listed in WBV’s top 100 estates for 2020.
The list covers 18 countries on six continents.
WBV 2021 confirms the rise in popularity of “New World” vineyards among tourists: 52 places are occupied by wineries from SA, Australasia and the Americas, while fewer than 40 come from Europe.
WBV is organised by William Reed, a media and marketing organisation in Britain, as a parallel ranking to World’s Best Restaurants. Andrew Reed, managing director for wine and exhibitions, stressed to The Citizen that WBV was neither a competition, nor a ranking of the top wines.
“The voting process does not involve evaluation as such and there are no set criteria. It’s about the overall impression with which a visitor to a vineyard is left.
“For the purposes of ranking, we have split the world into 22 regions, each of which has a WBV academy to which the regional chair can invite up to 36 wine and travel experts.
“The members are invited to nominate the vineyards which they feel is worthy of a place on the list. They each have seven nominations but may not allocate more than three to a country.”
Creation co-owner Carolyn Martin said recognition of the excellence of local wineries would be a “shot in the arm for South African wine tourism which lost more than R4 billion – two-thirds of our usual revenue – to the Covid lockdown last year”.
Local academy chair Dr Winnie Bowman said SA’s showing indicated international acknowledgement that the country ranked high among the world’s best wine tourism destinations.
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