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Gastronomy and Wine Portal

Wine Travel Awards 2023–2024

The Wine Travel Awards 2023–2024 announced the Award Winners!


As of May 1st, the main voting phase for the Wine Travel Award 2023–2024 has come to a close.

We are excited to unveil the Award winners and offer our heartfelt congratulations to everyone involved! Moving forward, our journey continues with the WTA Ceremony in London. It will summarize the results of the 2023–2024 campaign, where the winners of both the public vote and the professional jury will be determined.


  • May 21, 10:30 am — 12:30 pm
  • Gallery Suit, London Wine Fair

We invite you to the ceremony! Use this form to get your badge to the London Wine Fair.

The Wine Travel Awards 2023–2024

Take the opportunity to acquaint yourself with the nominees, chosen by Wine Travel Awards professional jury:


Persons representing wines, regions, enogastronomic routes, brands; associations, consortia, national wine bureaus, tourist offices, and tour operators.

Creative Strategy

Award winner: The Imeretian Wine Association 

Judge: Felicity Carter

The Imeretian Wine Association, formed in 2022, swiftly showcased Imereti’s wines globally in its first year. With around 70 member wineries, it actively promoted the region through international events. A wine laboratory project, meeting global standards, is underway in Baghdati. Led by enthusiasts like Keti Jurkhadze, the association aims to elevate Imereti’s wines to global recognition.

The Wine Travel Awards 2023–2024

Ambassador of the Year

Award winner: Sonal Holland 

Judge: Nina Basset

Sonal Holland, India’s only Master of Wine, is a pioneering figure in the country’s wine industry. She founded Vine2Wine, a leading wine retail chain, and the SoHo Wine Club, offering bespoke experiences. As a certified wine educator, she established the Sonal Holland Wine Academy. Sonal is celebrated internationally as a broadcaster, writer, and judge in the beverage industry. Her influence extends globally, making her a sought-after consultant and brand ambassador.

Sonal Holland

Wine & Food Influencer

Journalists, professional media, bloggers, photographers and videographers.

Author of the Year

Award winner: Angelo Peretti 

Judge: Robert Joseph

Angelo Peretti, a prominent Italian journalist and wine writer based in Veneto, is hailed as the wine ambassador of the region. He is the editor of InternetGourmet.it and has authored several books on Italian wines, including Spiritual exercises for wine drinkers, which explores the philosophical aspects of wine consumption. Peretti’s book has received acclaim, winning prestigious literary prizes and praise from notable publications like La Repubblica. Through his work, Peretti aims to elevate wine drinking to a meditative art, intertwining oenological expertise with literature, art, and philosophy.

Angelo Peretti

Expert Opinion

Award winner: Marinela Ardelean 

Judge: Dr. Ricardo Nunez

Marinela Ardelean, with an executive MBA and PhD in Marketing, is revolutionizing Romanian wines. Inspired by Italian culture, she penned an acclaimed book pairing Romanian wines with Italian cuisine. Her global influence has earned her prestigious titles and leadership roles in wine education. Marinela’s integrity and creativity set new standards in a male-dominated industry, evident in her collaborations and achievements. She aims to elevate Romanian wines globally through initiatives like the RO-Wine festival and extensive research.

Marinela Ardelean

The Brightest Journey

Award winner: Daria Kholodilina

Judge: Per Karlsson

Daria Kholodilina, a wine tourism specialist in Georgia, promotes Georgian wines through blogging and online events. With a background in marketing and a passion for wine, she co-authored a guidebook to Georgia’s wine regions. Daria advocates for exploring lesser-known wine regions beyond Kakheti, highlighting their unique terroirs and varieties. She aims to make Georgian wine regions more accessible and appreciated globally.

Daria Kholodilina

Education in Enotourism

Wine museums, wine institutes, tasting rooms, including those located on the premises of the wineries, academies of enogastronomy, wine schools participating in tourist projects, organizers of tours to exhibitions, etc.

Cultural Mission

Award winner: World of Wine (WOW)

Judge: Yang Shen

WOW, situated on the south bank of River Douro, is a unique cultural district boasting six permanent museums and a range of dining options. Founded by Adrian Bridge, it offers fantastic views of Porto city’s skyline and waterfront, attracting a diverse audience. The Wine Experience Museum within WOW aims to demystify wine, offering an interactive journey from grape to bottle. Other museums, like the Pink Palace and Planet Cork, offer immersive experiences exploring various aspects of culture and history.

World of Wine (WOW)

Unique Program

Award winner: Shumi Wine School

Judge: Nina Basset

SHUMI WINERY pioneered enotourism in Georgia, boasting a unique tourist complex and a comprehensive wine school. The winery’s facilities include an Ampelographic Collection for scientific research and a wine school offering free education programs. With a focus on both commercial activities and charity, SHUMI Wine School provides students with a thorough understanding of viticulture, winemaking, and wine tourism. Through collaborations with international experts and universities, SHUMI is actively contributing to the education and development of the wine industry in Georgia.

Shumi Wine School

Wine Guide

Guides, guides-representatives of wine regions, tour operators, etc.

Top Guide

Award winner: Miguel Leal

Judge: Florence Cathiard

Miguel’s lifelong connection to the wine world began on his family’s vineyard in Portugal’s Vinho Verde region. In 2011, he founded ML Private Tours to share Portugal’s wine and gastronomy with visitors. Specializing in the north, Miguel offers premium tours to various wine regions in Portugal and Spain, showcasing the country’s rich heritage and diverse range of wines. Portugal’s ancient winemaking traditions and unique grape varieties make it a top destination for wine enthusiasts worldwide.

Miguel Leal

Travel Operator of the Year

Award winner: Wine Paths

Judge: Florence Cathiard

Wine Paths offers luxury wine and spirits travel experiences across 15 countries, featuring top estates, accommodations, and dining options. Founded by CEO Stephane Tillement, backed by a wealth of experience in the luxury travel industry, Wine Paths provides bespoke, customizable programs through local travel experts. With exclusive partnerships, unique access to private properties, and recognition from top travel publications, Wine Paths is a leader in high-end wine tourism globally.

Wine Paths

Enogastronomic Events

Festivals, wine days and local products days, exhibitions, promotion programs.

Magnet of the Region

Award winner: The National Wine Day of Moldova

Judge: Javier de las Muelas

The National Wine Day of Moldova is a celebration showcasing the country’s wine culture and heritage, held annually during the first weekend of October. Visitors can enjoy tastings, master classes, and expert meetings, learning about wine assessment, history, and production. The event features hundreds of wines from over 60 producers, along with traditional crafts, music performances, and culinary delights, offering a rich cultural experience for wine enthusiasts and travelers alike. Additionally, attendees can explore wine destinations through guided tours, discovering Moldova’s diverse wine regions and oenological adventures.

The National Wine Day of Moldova

Event of the Year

Award winner: Yerevan Gastronomic Days

Judge: Prof. Dr. Prof. h.c. Gergely Szolnoki

EventToura has elevated Armenia’s wine tourism with initiatives like Yerevan Gastronomic Days, aiming to boost the country’s global position in enogastronomy. Led by founders Nune Manukyan and Mary Badalyan, the agency has positioned Armenia as a top tourist destination through event tourism, attracting international attention. The Yerevan Gastronomic Days now include masterclasses, discussions on food pairing and sustainability, and participation from global wine and culinary experts, enriching the cultural experience and promoting wine tourism in Armenia.

Yerevan Gastronomic Days

The Visiting Card of the Country

Destinations, wineries, national brands, establishments with a wine program: hotels, local food restaurants, bars, museums of wines and specialties, tasting rooms.

Region of the year

Award winner: Austria

Judge: Tim Hanni MW

Austria’s vibrant wine scene, spanning over 46,515 hectares, reflects its rich 2,000-year-old tradition. With medieval villages and baroque monasteries, Austria offers a unique tourism experience year-round. From spring cellar visits to summer bike tours and autumnal thermal spring visits, each season brings its delights. Vienna, with over 700 hectares of vineyards, stands as a unique wine-growing capital, boasting charming Heurigen wine taverns. Throughout the year, Austria welcomes visitors to explore its fascinating world of wines, blending tradition with modern practices.


© Austrian Wine / WSNA

Art & History Object

Award winner: Château Angelus

Judge: Stéphane Badet

Château Angelus, managed by the de Boüard de Laforest family, epitomizes Bordeaux’s excellence, focusing on its unique terroir and Cabernet Franc varietal. The estate’s history dates back to its classification as a Premiers Grand Cru Classe A in 1954. Symbolized by its bell, Angelus reflects centuries of tradition, with Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal leading its exclusivity into the future. Committed to ecological sustainability, the estate received HVE certification and unveiled Carillon d’Angelus, a state-of-the-art winery adhering to strict environmental standards.

Château Angelus

Progressive Approach

Award winner: Tenuta Manoylo

Judge: Tim Hanni MW

Tenuta Manoylo, nestled in the Marche region’s picturesque landscape, embraces a slower, more meaningful approach to winemaking. Celebrating the land’s unique attributes, including clay from local vulcanelli, the estate produces wines that reflect the region’s ancient winemaking traditions. With a focus on sustainability and innovation, Tenuta Manoylo offers timeless wines that capture the essence of the region’s terroir.

Tenuta Manoylo

Brand – the Visiting Card of the Country

Award winner: Cloudy Bay 

Judge: Ester Garcia Adrados

Cloudy Bay is dedicated to quality winemaking, with a focus on protecting their home, as evidenced by their involvement in Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand. Founded in 1985, the winery has gained international recognition for its Sauvignon Blanc and now produces a range of wines including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Visitors are welcomed to Marlborough and Central Otago to experience Cloudy Bay’s vineyards and enjoy tastings amidst stunning landscapes.

Cloudy Bay 

Must Visit

Award winner: SHUMI Winery 

Judge: Ester Garcia Adrados

Georgia, known as the cradle of viticulture and winemaking, boasts an 8,000-year-old tradition that includes the oldest cultivated vine pips and Qvevri winemaking methods. SHUMI Winery, located in the heart of Georgian winemaking in Tsinandali, has a 25-year history of reviving these ancient traditions, backed by its vast collection of over 2,000 grape varieties. Beyond winemaking, SHUMI offers a unique tourist complex with a wine museum, Georgian ethnographic pavilion, and diverse gastronomic experiences, making it a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts and cultural explorers alike.

SHUMI Winery

Also, the jury decided to get two special awards this year:

The Judge’s Choice Award was received by:

Deschidem Vinul Românesc

  • Nomination: Ambassador
  • Category: Creative Strategy
  • Judge: Felicity Carter

Deschidem Vinul Românesc promotes Romanian wines globally, aiding local wineries in gaining retail access. With over 240 wines from 70 wineries, it expands annually, showcasing exclusive varieties at Carrefour. The program’s tastings, including events in Times Square and Milan Wine Week, elevate Romanian wines on the international stage.

Deschidem Vinul Românesc

Vitaliy Kovach Sommelier School

  • Nomination: Education in Enotourism
  • Category: Unique Program
  • Judge: Nina Basset

The Vitaliy Kovach Sommelier School is an innovative online educational project aiming to provide stress relief and promote wine appreciation. Founded by Vitaliy Kovach, a renowned wine expert, the school offers training worldwide and boasts graduates working in various prestigious positions across the globe. It provides an opportunity for enthusiasts to delve into the world of wine, understand its nuances, and embrace the culture of winemaking and consumption.

Vitaliy Kovach Sommelier School

Kabistoni Wine School

  • Nomination: Education in Enotourism
  • Category: Unique Program
  • Judge: Nina Basset

Keti Jurkhadze’s journey from wine enthusiast to scholar and founder of the Kabistoni Wine School reflects her passion for Georgian wine culture and her dedication to its promotion. With extensive experience as a wine judge, professor, and director, she has played a significant role in elevating the profile of Georgian wines internationally. Through her innovative educational initiatives, including the Kabistoni Wine School, she has empowered wine lovers and entrepreneurs to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of viticulture and winemaking.

Kabistoni Wine School

The Wine School. World of Wine (WOW)

  • Nomination: Education in Enotourism
  • Category: Unique Program
  • Judge: Nina Basset

WOW’s Wine School offers a unique educational experience, combining wine studies with travel to Portugal, one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions. Led by Adrian Bridge, the school aims to demystify wine for enthusiasts, connoisseurs, and professionals alike, offering a wide range of courses and certifications tailored to different levels of expertise. Located within the expansive cultural and tourist hub of WOW, the school is part of a larger initiative to celebrate Portugal’s culture, history, and main industries, including wine.

The Wine School. World of Wine (WOW)

Britt Karlsson & Per Karlsson

  • Nomination: Wine & Food Influencer
  • Category: Author of the Year
  • Judge: Robert Joseph

The Wine for the Future by Britt Karlsson and Per Karlsson addresses the pressing issues of sustainability, organic farming, and climate change in the wine industry. Their comprehensive book, originally published in Swedish, explores the challenges faced by wine producers in adopting environmentally friendly practices and adapting to climate change. Through insightful discussions on topics such as sustainable viticulture, organic farming, and the impact of climate change on wine production, the authors provide valuable insights for both industry professionals and wine enthusiasts.

Britt and Per Karlsson

The Cité des Climats et Vins de Bourgogne

  • Nomination: Education in Enotourism
  • Category: Cultural Mission
  • Judge: Yang Shen

The Cité des Climats et Vins de Bourgogne, conceived by the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) in 2010, aims to promote the rich history and wine culture of Bourgogne through innovative museography and tasting workshops. Divided into three sites in Chablis, Beaune, and Mâcon, the Cité serves as a network representing Bourgogne’s wine-growing regions. It offers visitors a sensory experience, including a visit to the Cave aux Arômes to refine their sense of smell, making it a unique destination for wine enthusiasts.

The Cité des Climats et Vins de Bourgogne

Winery Khareba 

  • Nomination: The Visiting Card of the Country
  • Category: Must Visit
  • Judge: Ester Garcia Adrados

Winery Khareba focuses on preserving unique wine varieties through traditional winemaking methods, owning over 1500 hectares of vineyards across Georgia. With a diverse range of premium wines, including Qvevri wines and sparkling wine, Khareba Winery has won numerous awards at international competitions. The iconic Kvareli Wine Cave offers a unique experience, with its extensive tunnels providing an ideal environment for wine storage and aging, attracting visitors from around the world.

Winery Khareba

Anna Alekseyeva

  • Nomination: Wine Guide
  • Category: Top Guide
  • Judge: Florence Cathiard

Anna Alekseyeva’s journey from Kyiv to Verona led to the founding of Vivavino Wine Shop, a family-run enoteca known for its paper-made design and selection of wines from local vineyards. With a background in international wine expertise and dining etiquette, Anna is a certified sommelier and founder of Italy’s first Academy of Wine Etiquette. She shares her passion through consultancy services, training programs, and enogastronomic tours, promoting Italian culture and cuisine in Verona and beyond.

Anna Alekseyeva

Ijevan Wine-Brandy Factory

  • Nomination: The Visiting Card of the Country
  • Category: Progressive Approach
  • Judge: Tim Hanni MW

Ijevan Wine-Brandy Factory, established in 1951, represents Tavush and Armenia with its unique brandies, wines, and canned products, embracing new equipment and technologies while preserving the timeless tradition of grape and wine making. Under new ownership since 2005, the factory has expanded its product range, renovated its facilities, and invested in vineyards and expertise, offering tours of its vineyards and cellar for visitors to experience Armenian wines firsthand.

Ijevan Wine-Brandy Factory

Piemont and Consorzio Asti DOCG

  • Nomination: The Visiting Card of the Country
  • Category: Region of the year
  • Judge: Tim Hanni MW

The land of Asti DOCG, with its noble hills and lush vineyards, is celebrated for its unique terroir, representing a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the vineyard landscapes of Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato are a testament to the enduring relationship between nature and human craftsmanship. Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti, two iconic wines originating from Moscato Bianco grapes, epitomize the region’s winemaking excellence, offering delightful aromas and flavors that capture the essence of Piedmont.

Piemont and Consorzio Asti DOCG

Charitable Gastro Dinners

  • Nomination: Enogastronomic Events
  • Category: Event of the Year
  • Judge: Prof. Dr. Prof. h.c. Gergely Szolnoki

The Association of Culinary Chefs of Ukraine, along with chefs from several European countries, organizes charity gastro dinners to support Ukraine, raising over $434,198 and essential supplies. These events feature national cuisine dishes with an author’s interpretation, accompanied by auctions offering unique items, like boxing gloves signed by Vitaliy Klitschko and memorabilia from prominent figures. The organizers invite partners to join this noble mission, emphasizing the importance of supporting Ukraine and democracy worldwide.

Charitable Gastro Dinners

Dry Martini by Javier de las Muelas. The bar. Madrid

  • Nomination: The Visiting Card of the Country
  • Category: Art & History Object
  • Judge: Stéphane Badet

Renowned bartender Javier de las Muelas recreated Dry Martini in Madrid, maintaining its classic martini bar ambiance with brass, crystal, velvet, and leather décor, adorned with artworks from his personal collection. The bar offers a wide selection of cocktails, including classics like Dry Martini alongside innovative creations such as the Wasabi Mule and exotic options like the Mezcaltini and Bamboo. Guests can also indulge in a unique experience with cocktails like La pipa and The Fugu, served in an exotic carnivorous plant, paired with a selection of five types of caviar and specially crafted cocktails.

Dry Martini by Javier de las Muelas. The bar. Madrid

Finally, two nominees — SHUMI Winery and Marinela Ardelean — were awarded by Grand Prix of Wine Travel Awards: for exceptional achievement and dedication in advancing the art of viniculture and crafting unforgettable wine tourism experiences.

However, it is worth remembering that the emphasis is not solely on prizes and accolades. What holds true value is the act of participating and fostering meaningful connections.

Congratulations from the WTA team!