The President of ACEVIN, José Fernando Sánchez Bódalo, highlighted the excellence of the initiatives that have concurred and received awards in the 1st edition of the Wine Tourism Awards ‘Rutas del Vino de España’ (Routes of Spanish Wines)
Wine tourism in Spain is gradually becoming a consolidated option and proof of this is yesterday's award ceremony of the 1st Wine Tourism Awards 'Routes of Spanish Wines', which was hosted at the National Trade Fair on Wine. José Fernando Sánchez Bódalo, President of the Spanish Association of Cities of Wine (ACEVIN), organizer of the event, highlighted that the recognized projects are emblematic bastions of Spain's wine tourism, "which can compete on equal ground with any other globally recognized tourist initiative such as Napa Valley in California, the Italian Tuscany or South Africa."
The ceremony, which was hosted in the crowded Lecture Hall 2 of the trade fair pavilion, also counted with Gonzalo Ceballos, Assistant Director General for Tourist Development and Sustainability (General Secretariat for Tourism-Turespaña), who presided over the ceremony, along with Josefa Lueso, Assistant Director General for Food Promotion of the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs.
A total of 116 tourist initiatives took part in the nine award modalities, "which is not a very high percentage if we take into account that there are 2000 establishments, Sánchez Bódalo underlined, to then clarify that in this first edition the representatives of the routes themselves have been very selective in encouraging the participants, as they were actually looking to find products of absolute excellence.
ACEVIN's President recalled that the jury has recognized the trajectory of emblematic tourist products pertaining to the country's wine tourism offer, which has a tradition that goes further beyond wine routes. In the opinion of Sánchez Bódalo, the success of these awards precisely resides in the extraordinary level of the winners, "all of which are high-end establishments from both a national and international point of view and they can certainly compete with the most prestigious tourist destinations that are related with wine in the world, as is the case of Napa Valley in California, the Italian Tuscany, French and German destinations or South Africa, "any destination that is competing finds itself at the same level as these other destinations, or even higher," he underlined.
When asked about the award to originality of the "La Mancha Routes", he highlighted the tremendous effort made in order to position the initiative on the markets competing with the best in the world. He particularly stressed the work carried out with new technologies in order to reach the greater public, "and on top of that in a very attractive way." Above all, Bódalo said, what stands out is the capacity to use the social networks to promote tourism and tourism that has to make a two-fold effort in comparison with other wine routes that enjoy international or worldwide prestige that is much greater than that of La Mancha.
MARM: "It is an impressive trade fair"
Upon closing of the event, the Assistant Director General for Food Promotion of the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM), Josefa Lueso, only had words of praise for FENAVIN, "this is my first visit to the trade fair and it is really impressive, with a great future before it, truly the best trade fair to be found in the world of wine."
She recalled that the Ministry has been collaborating in this initiative of ACEVIN for four years now, involving itself in the promotion of the product and the wine routes, as well as including the tourist as the main figure in the promotion and consumption of agri-food products. On the other hand, she also stressed the "symbiosis" that exists between the laureates and the awards, "which I hope will increase in participants and will be more appreciated by the sector," she concluded.
1.5 Million Visits in 2010
ACEVIN's President was in charge of putting the final touch to the ceremony, presenting the audience with a challenge: to extol the fact that the wine routes attracted 1.5 million visitors to Spain in 2010, a quarter of what Egypt receives. This is one of the pieces of information obtained from the Spanish Wine Observatory report in which the influence of tourism and the impact of the brand on its place of origin is hailed "that just sort of stuck with me", Sánchez Bódalo commented. And this is tourism, he added, "which if translated into wine that is consumed, visits to wineries, hotels…, represents enormous potential that the basic productive sectors have known how to see, modernizing the sector to what is expected in the 21st century, with the added bonus that wine tourism is a model of sustainable economy."
The MARM and the General Secretariat for Tourism work jointly on promoting wine tourism with the creation of the Club de Producto 'Rutas del Vino de España' (Product Club, Routes of Spanish Wine). This club currently groups together twenty-one routes, which in turn involve more than 400 municipalities and thirteen Autonomous Communities and about 2000 companies (wine producing and tourist companies). These routes are: Bullas Wine Route, Jumilla, La Mancha Wine Routes, Wine and Brandy from Jerez Route, La Garnacha Wine Route (Campo de Borja), Lleida Wine Route, Montilla-Moriles Wine Route, Navarre, Penedès Wine and Cava Route, Rías Baixas, Ribeiro, Ribera del Duero Wine Route, Rioja Alavesa, Somontano, Tenerife Wine Route and Utiel-Requena Wine Route, which represent the sixteen certified routes, while Alicante, Bierzo, Condado de Huelva, Ribera del Guadiana and Rioja Alta are currently immersed in the certification process.
- Best Wine Producing Establishments:
BODEGA GONZÁLEZ BYASS (JEREZ).
Special mentions to the wineries Bodegas Aranda (Ribera del Duero) and Comenge Bodegas y Viñedos (Ribera del Duero).
- Best Tourist Establishment:
HOTEL WINE OIL SPA VILLA DE LAGUARDIA (RIOJA ALAVESA).
Special mentions to the restaurant El Lagar de Isilla (Ribera del Duero) and the Hotel Eguren Ugarte (Rioja Alavesa).
- Award to Innovation, Quality and Sustainable Development:
PALACIO DE CANEDO (EL BIERZO).
Special mentions to the wineries Monje (Tenerife) and Celler Lagravera (Lleida).
- Award to the Socially Responsible Wine Tourist Territory (TESR):
'GRUPO DE ACCIÓN LOCAL DE LA ZONA MEDIA DE NAVARRA (RUTA DEL VINO DE NAVARRA)' LOCAL ACTION GROUP OF THE MIDDLE NAVARRE AREA (NAVARRE WINE ROUTE).
- Best Wine Tourist Initiative:
THEMATIC WINE TOURIST OFFER OF THE PENEDÈS WINE AND CAVA ROUTE (ALT PENEDÈS TOURIST PROMOTION CONSORTIUM).
Special mention to 'Música entre Vinos' (Music Amongst Wine) (Jumilla Wine Route).
- Best Promotional Campaign:
THE COLLECTOR OF WINE TOURIST EXPERIENCES (LA MANCHA WINE ROUTES).
Special mention to the 'Estaciones del Vino' (Stations of Wine) (Somontano Wine Route).
- Award to Wine Tourist Merit:
MIGUEL TORRES, for his leadership capacity, entrepreneur spirit, visionary nature and work carried out in the dissemination of the culture of wine and wine tourism at both a national and international level.
ANTONIO GÓMEZ and JORGE PASCUAL, for their leadership capacity, conciliator spirit and work carried out in the promotion of wine tourism within the frame of the Jerez Wine Route.