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Gastronomy and Wine Portal

Georgia hosting the WTA Celebration ceremony: perfect destination

Wine Travel Awards Celebration ceremony in honour of the winners of WTA’s second edition, accompanied by a Walk-Around wine tasting, will take place during WinExpo Georgia, one of the region’s biggest and most important international wine events.


The event will be hosted by WTA’s lead Oleksandra Hryhorieva and WTA nominee from Georgia, Daria Kholodilina a.k.a. Dariko Mogzauri. They will introduce our dear guests to the WTA concept, and after a brief presentation guests will have an opportunity to get to know WTA community members from Georgia and taste their exemplary wines in a pairing with premium American beef.

Sofia Nikabadze, the public voting winner in ‘The brightest journey’, will talk about the growing international interest in the Georgian wine industry and the changes that small wineries in Georgia pursue.

SHUMI Winery, the winner in the Visiting card of the country / Must visit, Progressive Approach, Art & History Object categories, will present their wines, as well as a unique alcoholic beverage, Zigu. GWS, another significant winemaking company from Georgia, will also introduce their wine collection to the guests of the tasting, while Chateau Mukhrani, the WTA public voting winner and one of the best wineries of Georgia, will impress our guests with their premium wines. More details about the wines in the tasting will come later, and we will certainly share them with our readers.

The WTA team will be glad to welcome wine, tourism and HoReCa professionals, journalists and bloggers to the Wine Travel Awards celebration and tasting. The WTA, an innovative global project in the field of wine tourism, will shed light on the winners of the 2022-2023 edition in the following nominations: The Visiting Card of the Country, Ambassador, Wine & Food Influencer, Education in Enotourism, Wine Guide, Enogastronomic Events. Wine Travel Awards is more than just a rating: it’s a unique and interactive platform for promoting wine tourism and wine culture, as well as for networking, bringing together wine tourism professionals around the world.

We believe that tourism is an opportunity for wine and wine is an opportunity for tourism! And we are very happy that our celebration ceremony will be hosted by Georgia, the cradle of winemaking, and the famous land of wine and hospitality!

When: Friday, June 2, 2023, 16:00 PM

Where: WinExpo Georgia, Exhibition Center ExpoGeorgia, pavilion 11, 118 Akaki Tsereteli Ave., Tbilisi, Georgia.

Wine Travel Awards Celebration ceremony in honour of the winners of WTA’s second edition, accompanied by a Walk-Around wine tasting, will take place during WinExpo Georgia, one of the region’s biggest and most important international wine events. The event will be hosted by WTA’s lead Oleksandra Hryhorieva and WTA nominee from Georgia, Daria Kholodilina a.k.a. […]

London Wine Fair 2023: Raising our glasses to the WTA winners at the official ceremony

Corks are popping out of the bottles. Bubbles are dancing in the glasses. The Consorzio dell’Asti DOCG are welcoming guests of the Wine Travel Awards official Ceremony at the London Wine Fair. 


Holding the WTA Awarding Ceremony in London became symbolic and some kind of a tradition. Last year, a new innovative WTA project debuted at the LWF – and it was literally preceded by a celebration of the Platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth marking 70 years as Monarch. This year, the WTA team was holding the awards’ ceremony again in London – and recently, King Charles III was formally crowned at Westminster Abbey. We believe London sends us a good sign. 

Wednesday 17th of May, 10.30 am marked another special milestone of the WTA project. The new and prosperous names of businesses and personalities operating in the wine tourism industry were revealed in all 6 nominations, naming the Visiting Card of the Country, Ambassador, Wine & Food Influencer, Education in Enotourism, Wine Guide, Enogastronomic Events. This reflects the result of a two-stage selection process: public voting in March and expert opinion of the WTA Jury Committee in April. 

At the beginning of the sublime awarding ceremony, Sarah Abbott, MW, WTA Judge, Founder of Swirl Wine Group, marketing strategist, communications specialist, wine judge and writer, underlined the importance of the WTA initiative in today’s very diverse wine and tourism world: “Wine is a cultural journey, as well as a physical journey. Everything that we’ve experienced in recent years showed us how important it is that individual cultures can thrive and be respected, nurtured and enjoyed among as wide a community as possible. And I think those shortlisted candidates that really stood out were the ones that were fully embracing every aspect of the potential journey of wine… the viticulture, the heritage and its expression, contemporary times that lead to society and community, as well as creation of experiences where people have so much fun that they do not necessarily realize that they have been taken into this journey, culture and intellect.”

Georgia, Ukraine, France, Armenia, Moldova, Netherlands, Greece, Germany, India and UK replenished the community of WTA winners in the 2022-2023 campaign year. In total, around 300 community members coming from 30 different countries, including Austria, Nigeria, Italy and many others, participated in WTA second edition. As a result, we have 80 public voting winners and 16 final WTA winners. All of them are invited to an online master class held by Gergely Szolnoki, WTA Jury, Professor of Market Research at Geisenheim University, and to a webinar led by Romané Basset, Co-Founding Trustee of the Gérard Basset Foundation.

Considering education as an important part of our initiative and wine tourism as a whole, we have engaged with Prize Fund sponsors in order to provide a wide range of educational opportunities and experiences for the WTA 2022-2023 winners. The Château Smith Haut Lafitte, a cult place for Bordeaux wine culture which was even chosen by King Charles III for his official visit to France, invites 10 WTA winners to a Private tour and tasting of SHL and its Land Art Forest of the 5 senses. Mastroberardino, one of the oldest producers of South Italy, invites all 16 final winners to a winery tour and wine tasting in Atripalda, Avellino. The Consorzio dell’ASTI DOCG, WTA Nominees’ Sponsor and Sponsor of Welcome Drink at the WTA Ceremony, organizes an exclusive online master class and wine tasting from ASTI DOCG for WTA winners from Germany and France. Finally, the London Wine Fair is delighted to provide two free tickets to LWF 2024 and guaranteed participation in 2 masterclasses of the winners’ choice.

For the second consecutive year, Wine & Food Influencer nomination has been supported by the international wine group Vinos de La Luz, which created for journalists, bloggers, and influencers the opportunity to join the awards completely for free. This year, the nomination got new professions on the list: actors and actresses passionate about wine, TV hosts, bartenders, photographers, podcasts, sommeliers and many more. 

Dr. Ricardo F. Nunez, founder and owner of Vinos de La Luz, emphasized on the Ukrainian roots of the project during the ceremony: “Last year, we were here in London two months after the invasion of Ukraine. The company who is organizing this award is also Ukrainian. They worked hard to organize this fantastic contest. And we are very proud that one team like the WTA is fighting outside of the country to put in front the identity of Ukraine.” Besides, Dr. Ricardo F. Nunez mentioned that the selection of the best among many nominees requires not only lots of time but also “to go inside the work that each and every made in their career”.

According to the Vinos de La Luz prize conditions, the WTA winner in the Wine & Food Influencer nomination, who gets the highest points from the panel of judges, receives 1000 euros. Professor Marianna Sigala, the winner of ‘Author of the Year’ was ranked first with 47 points receiving 1000 euros from Vinos de La Luz. Two other winners of the nomination determined by the jury – Gergely Szolnoki, the winner of ‘Expert Opinion’ (45 points) and Rojita Tiwari, winner of ‘The Brightest Journey’ (40 points) – receive 500 euros each.

In addition to the sponsorship of the prize fund, this year was distinguished by a very honorable collaboration with the Gérard Basset Foundation. Thanks to the personal consent of Nina and Romané Basset, Artyom Mkrtchyan, WTA winner in the Ambassador Nomination, a sommelier and proactive wine professional from Armenia, was awarded with the Gérard Basset Prize “Ambassador of the Year” receiving 1000 euros for his educational purposes. 

The WTA Ceremony was followed by the walk-around tasting where guests had an opportunity to get to know WTA community members and taste their wines:

  • ASTI DOCG (Italy)
  • Mastroberardino (Italy)
  • Vinos de La Luz (Spain, Argentina, Ukraine)
  • SHABO Family Winery (Ukraine)
  • Beykush Winery (Ukraine)
  • Askaneli Winery (Georgia)
  • ‘Armenia Wine’ Winery and Vineyards (Armenia)

What fantastic memories we made during the second edition to cherish forever! Our greetings and the good wishes of future growth and prosperity to the WTA 2022-2023 winners! 

We will continue the celebration in honor of the WTA winners and second successful project year in June. The next stop is WinExpo GeorgiaFriday 2nd of June at 16:00 PM, in the main pavilion of WinExpo Georgia, Business Forum area.

Corks are popping out of the bottles. Bubbles are dancing in the glasses. The Consorzio dell’Asti DOCG are welcoming guests of the Wine Travel Awards official Ceremony at the London Wine Fair.  Holding the WTA Awarding Ceremony in London became symbolic and some kind of a tradition. Last year, a new innovative WTA project debuted […]

The Wine Travel Awards 2022-2023 Ceremony and international walk-around wine tasting in London

The official awarding Ceremony of the WTA second edition will take place on Wednesday 17th of May, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, in the Industry Briefing Room at the London Wine Fair to celebrate the WTA winners and the second successful year of the project.


In the framework of the event, the Drinks+ and Wine Travel Awards team organizes a walk-around tasting of wines produced by the WTA nominees and partners. 

The Consortium Asti DOCG, a sponsor of the WTA Ceremony, will provide welcome wine for guests of the official Wine Travel Awards Ceremony. At the tasting, you will feel the vibes of Asti and Moscato d’Asti and taste the best wines from the UNESCO hills such as:

  • SAROTTO, Asti Spumante Dry
  • MARANZANA, Asti Spumante Dry
  • MATTEO SORIA, Asti Spumante Brut
  • LA TORRE, Asti Spumante Dry
  • FONTANAFREDDA, Asti Spumante Dolce
  • SANTERO, Asti Spumante Dolce
  • TRE SECOLI, Asti Spumante Dolce
  • SANT’ORSOLA, Asti Spumante Dolce
  • TERRENOSTRE, Moscato D’Asti
  • MALGRA’, Moscato D’Asti
  • BERA, Moscato D’Asti
  • SCAGLIOLA, Moscato D’Asti

Moreover, the guests of the ceremony – WTA winners, nominees, wine & food influencers and wine journalists, wine buyers and wine professionals – will have an opportunity to taste the wines from:

Vinos de La Luz

The international wine group Vinos de La Luz, the WTA Sponsor of the Wine & Food Influencer for the second consecutive year will present its notable wines:

  • Callejon del Crimen Red Blend Criminal 2021, Argentina 
  • Valpincia Crianza 2019, Spain
  • Big Wines Big Art 2020 – the very new and already Gold Awarded by Mundus Vini and Berliner Wine Trophy wine from Ukrainian Project

MASTROBERARDINO

Italy  – the WTA nominee at The Visiting Card of the Country, Authentic Location

  • Novaserra Greco di Tufo DOCG
  • Radici Taurasi DOCG
  • Fiano di Avellino DOCG

SHABO FAMILY WINERY

Ukraine – the WTA winner at the The Visiting Card of the Country, Brand – the visiting card of the country 

  • SHABO Reserve Telti-Kuruk 2022
  • SHABO Limited Edition Saperavi-Merlot (by Kachetin technology) 2020

 BEYKUSH WINERY

Ukraine – the WTA nominee at The Visiting Card of the Country, Must Visit 

  • Telti Kuruk 2022 – one of Beykush Winery’s flagship wines 

ASKANELI WINERY & DISTILLERY 

Georgia is presenting its Gocha’s Collection, that was nominated at the Brand – the visiting card of the country:    

  • Gocha’s Collection. Muza Qvevri 2019
  • Gocha’s Collection. Saperavi Reserve 2018
  • Askaneli Brut. Méthode traditionnelle

“ARMENIA WINE” WINERY and VINEYARDS 

A modern winery that produces wines and brandies which give a chance to discover Armenia through the autochthonous grape varieties and diversity of the terroir. 

  • Tariri. Areni, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon  
  • Takar. Areni 
  • Yerevan 782. B.C. Areni, Karmrahyut 

WTA 2022-2023 winners

We are inviting you to join the WTA Ceremony and Walk-Around Tasting. Please register here or send us a request via contact@winetravelawards.com to obtain your confirmation.

The official awarding Ceremony of the WTA second edition will take place on Wednesday 17th of May, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, in the Industry Briefing Room at the London Wine Fair to celebrate the WTA winners and the second successful year of the project. In the framework of the event, the Drinks+ and Wine […]

WTA Jury has made its choice: time to announce the WTA 2022-2023 winners

The second edition of the Wine Travel Awards has brought us to the point where we can finally release the new and prosperous names of the WTA 2022-2023 winners.


Let us first remind you how the selection process takes place. According to the awards’ algorithm, public voting is on throughout March. Then 5 leaders of each category with the highest number of votes proceed to the professional jury round. In April, the WTA Jury Committee evaluates the finalists according to the WTA protocol. And now we are happy to share the names of the winners with you!

The Visiting Card of the Country

Stéphane Badet, lecturer at ISVV – Institute of Vine and Wine Science at the University of Bordeaux, specializes in wine economy, industry management, business, marketing and tourism for many years. Based on his expertise and evaluation, the winner of the following category is:

Must visit – SHUMI Winery

According to Robert Joseph, a British wine expert, consultant, producer, and editorial consultant for Meininger’s Wine Business International, the winner of the Brand – the Visiting Card of the Country stands out for being a well-known respected representative of Ukraine:

Brand  the visiting card of the country – SHABO Family Winery 

WTA 2022-2023 winners

Gergely Szolnoki, Professor of Market Research at Geisenheim University, made his choice also in favour of the famous historical Georgian Winery:

Progressive approach – SHUMI Winery

The next category was judged by Sarah Abbott MW, Founder of Swirl Wine Group, marketing strategist, communications specialist, wine judge and writer. She also opted for the SHUMI Winery making it an absolute record-holder this year:

Art & History object – SHUMI Winery

WTA 2022-2023 winners

Proceeding to the last category of the first nomination, Per Karlsson, co-founder and wine writer of BKWine Magazine, commented on why he gave Ukrainian Bessarabia the highest ranking: “First, because the presentation that they did was excellent and showed many different aspects of wine tourism, as well as exciting opportunities for visitor. (They have – naturally – a much less developed offer than some of the other regions, but I think one needs to take into account the starting point.) And also showed a clear effort to develop and coordinate between different actors in the sector. Secondly, also because I thought it was particularly impressive to have put together such a presentation (and hopefully a supporting offer) in a region that is very new to wine tourism (not to mention their current situation). So it was a vote for “well done!”.

Region of the year – Ukrainian Bessarabia’s Wine and Taste Route

Education in Enotourism

Ester Garcia Adrados, Director of School of Wine Tourism of Catalonia and Vocational Training Institute of Wine Tourism of Catalonia, Director of the Wine Business School, contributed her expertise to the evaluation of the nomination and its two categories:

Unique program – Le Bistrot du Sommelier

Cultural mission – Cité du Vin

WTA 2022-2023 winners

Enogastronomic Events

Judging the nomination, Irina Bystritskaya, international consultant, deputy director of the National Vine and Wine Office of Moldova 2017-2021, defined as the winners:

Magnet of the region – The National Wine Day of Moldova

Event of the year – London Wine Fair

WTA 2022-2023 winners

Ambassador

Nina Basset, FIH Hotelier, Co-Founding Trustee and Chair of the Gerard Basset Foundation, Co-Founder and Vice President of the UK Sommelier Academy, not only judged this nomination, but gave her consent to award the winner of the Ambassador of the Year category with the very honourable Gérard Basset Prize “Ambassador of the Year”.

Ambassador of the year – Artyom Mkrtchyan

Creative strategy – WineMasters.tv

Wine & Food Influencer 

Based on the points given to the finalists by Dr. Ricardo Nunez, Head of the international group of companies Vinos de La Luz and sponsor of the Wine & Food Influencer nomination, the winners are:

Author of the year – Professor Marianna Sigala

WTA 2022-2023 winners

Expert opinion – Gergely Szolnoki

Felicity Carter, Executive Editor, Pix+ Special Projects, contributed to the evaluation of the Brightest Journey category and gave the victory to:

The brightest journey – Rojita Tiwari

WTA 2022-2023 winners

According to the Vinos de La Luz prize conditions announced by our team earlier, the WTA winner in the Wine & Food Influencer nomination, who gets the highest points from the panel of judges, will receive 1000 euros. Two other winners of the nomination determined by the jury will receive 500 euros each.

Wine Guide

Assessing the nominees’ profiles, Erik Wolf, Founder and Executive Director of the World Food Travel Association, noted: “Britt Karlsson’s entry was in a class by itself. Truly exemplary. While she did not focus on one specific region, she positioned herself as a thought leader, has a strong social media presence across the major platforms, etc. and it seems that the quality of her product (the tours) is quite high.” Erik also highlighted the importance of food pairing that is part of Britt’s tour experiences.

Top Guide – Britt Karlsson

WTA 2022-2023 winners

Maria Athanasopoulou, Founder of Respond On Demand, chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the World Food Travel Association, Master Culinary Travel Professional, ranked a Ukrainian tour operator first:

Travel Operator of the Year – Friends Wine Travel

WTA 2022-2023 winners

Our sincerest congratulations to the WTA 2022-2023 winners! We are glad to see so many different profiles and a wide geography among the winners: Georgia, Ukraine, France, Armenia, India, UK, Moldova and other countries. Many thanks to the WTA judges for dedicating their time and knowledge to the project.

We are inviting you to the official WTA Awarding Ceremony and Walk-Around Tasting to celebrate the WTA second edition and its winners. Come and join us on Wednesday 17th of May, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, at the London Wine Fair (Industry Briefing Room).

 

The second edition of the Wine Travel Awards has brought us to the point where we can finally release the new and prosperous names of the WTA 2022-2023 winners. Let us first remind you how the selection process takes place. According to the awards’ algorithm, public voting is on throughout March. Then 5 leaders of each category […]

London Wine Fair hosts the Wine Travel Awards 2022-2023 Ceremony

For the second year in a row we maintain a tradition of fruitful cooperation with one of the most influential international wine events, the London Wine Fair, the Official Exhibition Partner of the Wine Travel Awards (WTA).


Taking place at Olympia on 15-17 May 2023, the fair’s program will be full of inspirational masterclasses and tastings, a huge range of wines to taste from around the world. This is a door to an abundance of networking opportunities taking place in person as well as on the fair’s intuitive digital platform.

During the three days of the exhibition, the Drinks+ and WTA team will present their innovative project in the field of wine tourism, its community and wines at their own stand L49. We are also glad to organize one of the brightest LWF events – The Wine Travel Awards Ceremony and Walk-Around Tasting – which will take place on 17 May 2023 at 10.30 AM -12.30 PM in the Industry Briefing Room at the London Wine Fair (Olympia London). 

During our event, the winners of the Wine Travel Awards 2022-2023 will be revealed officially in the following nominations:

  • The Visiting Card of the Country
  • Ambassador
  • Wine & Food Influencer
  • Education in Enotourism
  • Wine Guide
  • Enogastronomic Events.

In the framework of the event, the Drinks+ and Wine Travel Awards team organizes a walk-around tasting of wines produced by the WTA nominees and partners. The Consortium Asti DOCG, a sponsor of the WTA Ceremony, will provide welcome wine for guests of the official Wine Travel Awards Ceremony.

The exhibition is already approaching and we also would like to share its program highlighting the master classes held by our partners.

Sarah Abbott MW, the WTA judge, Founder and Director of Swirl Wine Group, marketing strategist, communicator, wine writer will speak at a few master classes at the LWF:

  • New Amber Wave wines of Georgia with Sarah Abbott MW (Monday 15th of May, 3 pm – 4 pm)
  • IWSC 2023 Award Winning Chinese Wines with Sarah Abbott MW & Janet Wang (Tuesday 16th of May, 10:30 am – 11:30 am)
  • Super Saperavi wines of Georgia with Sarah Abbott MW (Wednesday 17th of May, 12 pm – 1 pm).

At the ASTI DOCG – FEEL THE VIBE master class, Walter Speller, Italy Editor at JancisRobinson.com, will talk about the Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti DOCG wines and interpretations of the same grape variety Moscato Bianco. These grapes are grown on the limestone soils of the UNESCO World Heritage hills between Asti, Alessandria and Cuneo in Piedmont. Every vibe starts here.

You can find the full program of the LWF on the official website. See you at the London Wine Fair! Cheers!

Please contact us via partnership@winetravelawards.com if you are interested in joining our tasting with your wines.

To attend the Wine Travel Awards Ceremony at the London Wine Fair, please register via our Facebook and LinkedIn event or send us a request via contact@winetravelawards.com to obtain your confirmation.

For the second year in a row we maintain a tradition of fruitful cooperation with one of the most influential international wine events, the London Wine Fair, the Official Exhibition Partner of the Wine Travel Awards (WTA). Taking place at Olympia on 15-17 May 2023, the fair’s program will be full of inspirational masterclasses and tastings, […]

Vivat, Vinitaly!

The 55th edition of Italy’s largest wine exhibition was marked by creative synergy and unique collaborations.


Ancient Verona —  the city where one of the world’s leading wine exhibitions, Vinitaly, was traditionally (for the 55th time!) held in the first days of April — has at least three internationally recognized totemic landmarks. Touching them, in the opinion of every mystically minded person, brings good luck. First, there is a statue of Juliet (for those who seek mutual love), the second is a metal heart in Piazza Bra near the Arena (universal usage) and thor comes a bronze horse by the Swiss sculptor Nag Arnoldi, standing in front of the Veronafiere building (this one, for a successful business). Judging by the horse’s smooth and shiny rump (which seems to be the artist’s intention), Verona is as popular with businessmen, especially those who work in wine, as it is with lovers who flock to this romantic city from all over the world.

This year’s quorum at Vinitaly showed a convincing, or rather, explosive growth of interest from international operators: 93,000 visitors, of which almost 30,000 came from other countries. Statistics showed an increase in the number of foreign buyers by almost 20% compared to last year. Therefore, at least 1/3 of the experts accredited at the exhibition turned out to be representatives of one of the 143 registered countries.

If we add some more numbers, it should be noted that this year, from April 1 to 5, 45,000 tastings took place (+50% compared to 2022), held by the Veronafiere administration and the ICE-Trade Agency, as well as during the Vinitaly and the City Off-Show. In pure numbers, the Vinitaly expo space is merely a business show attended by more than 4,000 exhibitors from more than 30 countries over four days, with 17 halls covering an exhibition area of 100,000 square meters. The numbers also demonstrate how well the new pre-negotiation policy implemented by Vinitaly organizers has worked, as evidenced by more than 11,000 scheduled business meetings between exhibiting companies and buyers via the Vinitaly Plus platform.

At Vinitaly 2023, one could find several areas dedicated to trendy topics: Vinitaly Bio, Vinitaly Mixology, Micro Mega Wines with an emphasis on niche wines and limited series, Taste and Buy – a program of coordination with operators selected from the exhibition network in cooperation with consortia, etc.

Veronafiere President Federico Bricolo commented on the results of this year’s wine hub at the closing of Vinitaly: “Our goal is to build a permanent and coordinated advertising platform together with our institutional partners. Also we aim to attract investments to Italy, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to promote Italian products abroad — in Brazil and China, in the United States, Japan, South Korea.”

The managing director of Veronafiere, Maurizio Danese, also spoke about the strengthening of the international business vector: “Our investments aimed at stimulating the interest of foreign buyers have achieved very effective results for Vinitaly Expo this year. The facts and figures demonstrated by the supply chain clearly show how, in just one decade, wine has firmly become a strategic asset among Italian products. That is why we must now strive to activate and accelerate the project to make Vinitaly an even more effective international brand, increasing the attendance of professional operators from abroad and our own permanent participation in the world markets. The new approach has been introduced, but the job is still in progress: Vinitaly will always be the driving force behind Made in Italy – both at home and abroad. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to achieve.”

The biggest share of Vinitaly 2023 participants came from the United States, which this year was significantly ahead of Germany, #2. Great Britain retained third place, while China moved back to fourth, overtaking Canada. While the European market is generally growing, operators from leading markets outside the EU were also attracted to Verona: the number of visitors from Asia more than doubled (+116%) thanks to the return of the Chinese (over 1,000 visitors) and Japan (+143%). North and South America showed +38% with excellent results: in particular the USA (+45%) and Brazil (+46%), as well as the further consolidation of Canada (+19%). Even distant and self-sufficient Australia showed a three-digit figure: +130%.

The experts of Drinks+ media group were glad to observe the expansion of the Italian forum. We have been collaborating with Vinitaly as media partners for more than a dozen years, witnessing the dynamics of this expo’s development. This year, for the second time in a row, we presented our new international Wine Travel Awards project and the spring “Special issue of the WTA guide” at our stand at the Verona fair. The buzz created by the WTA nominations for wineries and wine travel projects from those countries, as well as the growing activity of their national wine promotion institutions, contributed to the representation of Armenia, Moldova, Austria, Argentina, and the Balkan countries. This year, unlike the previous ones, the number of visitors and exhibitors from these countries has increased significantly.

We would also like to note the brilliant work of the organizers of Vinitaly in strengthening the educational content of the forum. Every event, every tasting, every detail of the exhibition contributed to attracting a huge international audience. One the fair’s most outstanding events was the prestigious Vinitaly opening wine ball – OperaWine 2023, where 130 producers from all over Italy presented their gems. The star list of the winemakers was, as ever, very impressive, so I will allow myself to recall some of the favorite wines and names presented this year: Allegrini | Corvina Veronese La Poja 2015; Ferrari Trento | Extra Brut Trento Riserva Lunelli 2015; Cusumano | Etna Alta Mora Guardiola 2016; Ornellaia | Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia 2011; Masi | Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Campolongo di Torbe 2007; Masottina | Extra Dry Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore RDO Rive di Ogliano 2019; Masseria Li Veli | Aleatico Salento Passito 2008; Mastroberardino | Taurasi Stilèma Riserva 2016; Monte del Frà | Custoza Superiore Cà del Magro 2019; Donnafugata | Passito di Pantelleria Ben Ryé 2012; G. D. Vajra | Barolo Bricco delle Viole 2012; Guido Berlucchi Franciacorta Franco Ziliani Riserva 2008; Il Poggione | Brunello di Montalcino Vigna Paganelli Riserva 2004; Marchesi Antinori | Umbria White Castello della Sala Cervaro della Sala 2020; Marchesi di Barolo | Barolo Sarmassa 2003; Marchesi Frescobaldi | Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo 2018, etc.

Another incredible event of Vinitaly 2023, Bacco Divino, caused a sensation this year — the premiere of the double exhibition of two painting masterpieces submitted by the Uffizi Gallery: “Bacchus” by Caravaggio and “Young Bacchus” by Guido Reni. This artistic event, where business and art came together (just the way it works with wine!) took place on the grounds of Veronafiere to celebrate the artistic heritage of Italy, which has always been closely connected to wine culture.

Let me remind you that “Bacchus” by Caravaggio (1596-1597) is a painting depicting a young god of wine sinking in hedonism. According to Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Gallery, Caravaggio’s Bacchus is not so simple — he “holds a glass, which is an invitation to enjoy, but not to overdo it. A truly Aristotelian Bacchus.” The image of “Young Bacchus” (1620) by Guido Reni is more classical, while the god himself is even younger and friendlier, but, again, tempting with the joys of life.

“Vinitaly is an outstanding event in the world of wine, it promotes the Italian system of values to open up to new markets. For the first time, we have combined fine art with the wine industry sector thanks to the exhibition successfully featuring these two famous works,” commented Italian Minister of Agriculture Ms. Francesco Lollobrigida on Bacco Divino.

Il Vino in Villa, a chamber event to which Drinks+ journalists were also invited, turned out to be incredibly atmospheric and cozy. An aperitif and elegant appetizers were waiting for the guests on the flowered lawn in front of the ancient villa in the center of Verona. And then, under the high vaults of the building, where nowadays the Martini Interiors showroom is located, it was possible to dive into further tasting of several dozen Italian wines and specialties, among which the giant pannettone stood out, so appropriate in those pre-Easter days.

And, of course, we cannot ignore our favorite event Vinitaly and the City, which, despite the rather cool weather, as usual, gathered crowds of fans of Italian wines, harmoniously combining with the architecture of Verona – the most romantic city in the world. Wines from different Italian provinces were presented in almost 50 points of the city center in the unique context of architectural and historical monuments. Vinitaly and the City’s events and tastings were held in Piazza dei Signori (Loggia of Fra Giocondo, Loggia Antia, Torre dei Lamberti), Cortile Mercato Vecchio and Cortile del Tribunale. One of the highlights this year, in our opinion, was visiting the Torre dei Lamberti, where guests were treated to exclusive wines and toasts on the tower’s panoramic terrace. I must say that the Lamberti Tower (12th century), piercing the sky high above Piazza delle Erbe, is one of the most attractive sights of the city, included in the UNESCO heritage list. From a height of 84 meters (275 feet), one can enjoy a 360-degree view of the historic center of Verona. And for those who are more attracted not by heights, but by depths, the organizers introduced a tasting of the amazing Akènta Sub – spumante aged down in the sea near the coast of Sardinia, at the depth of 40 meters.

However, this year Vinitaly and the City offered not only to enjoy watching architectural masterpieces and taste wines, but also to listen to them. At least, the guests of the holiday were taught to recognize sparkling wine not by tasting, but by “listening to it”, by a special method developed by Tommaso Caporale and based on the sound of bubbles in the glass.

Another original location of Vinitaly and the City was an improvised bar from the Association of Italian Bartenders, where the leading bartenders of the country competed for the popularity of visitors, preparing original cocktails with martini, prosecco, and Asti wines. Of course, we couldn’t go past the latter, because in our opinion, the light and fresh sparkling Asti DOCG is the best match for this city celebration.

And definitely during the evening walk in Verona, we were impressed and maybe a little shocked by a truly futuristic scene: a couple of smiling policemen were welcoming guests to the tasting. When we got closer, it turned out to be a tasting of the Guappa Petrone Police liqueur presented at last year’s Vinitaly 2022 — an official product created by the state police in cooperation with Antica Distilleria Petrone. This is an original limited release of cream liqueur (brandy and buffalo milk with DOP status from Campania), which wears the colors of the police together with the colors of the national tricolor and broadcasts a message about responsible consumption: each bottle bears the slogan – “If I drive – I don’t drink; If I drink, I don’t drive.”

Another unique, purely Veronese manifestation of synergy which is worth mentioning is the institutional campaign In Vino Virtus – Change Your Drinking, Save Your Life. This is the first joint initiative in Europe aimed at moderating the consumption of wine and preventing the consumption of alcohol while driving initiated by Veronafiere, the State Police and the Italian Wine Union. Ideal collaboration allows all participants, in particular the state police, to very tactfully and unobtrusively convey an important idea: moderate and responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages is based on knowledge of the product, its high quality, and by no means on quantity. The message is conveyed not by boring lectures, but by means of festive, almost artistic activities, where agents of the Verona Police Headquarters and the traffic police communicate with guests in the city squares, in historic buildings and on the grounds of the exhibition center. And in whatever capacity the police officers appear before the guests of the city – on horseback, on foot or next to the fabulous Lamborghini Huracán, donated to the State Police for conducting operational activities and transporting blood and organs – they demonstrate that they are ready to provide any advice on road safety. The agents use two interesting driving simulators: Ready2Go (with the help of the device traffic police operators provide such a luxurious and unprecedented opportunity to those who want to experience the feeling of driving in a state of altered consciousness under the influence of alcohol) and Ghepard Maranello, a very advanced device with which extreme driving skills are usually trained. However, in these circumstances it is used to obtain valuable safe driving advice from police professionals. And although it does not sound very attractive, some people are tempted by such a test behind the wheel of the famous Lamborghini, on a track wet from the rain and with various obstacles – assisted by a police officer. Vinitaly’s police officers (more loyal to drinkers) also offer alcohol tests, accompanied by helpful tips to avoid the devastating effects of excessive alcohol consumption.

Apart from the police, this year the creative team of Veronafiere also daringly engaged the Ministry of Defense of Italy in the promotion of Italian wine! This collaboration was announced personally by Italy’s Minister of Defense, Mr. Guido Crosetto, during his visit to the 55th Vinitaly: in July, the most famous training ship of the Italian Navy, Amerigo Vespucci, which is considered to be the most beautiful sailing ship in the world, together with Vinitaly will go to the world tour to jointly promote the excellence of Italian wines in the biggest cities at all five continents. The Minister of Defense commented on this extraordinary event: “Our domestic companies asked us to help promote the image of Italy abroad – and now the government will achieve this with the help of the Ministry of Defense. Starting July 1st and for two consecutive years, Amerigo Vespucci will embark on a world tour, stopping at every continent, showcasing the best of Made in Italy. Veronafiere will join this project and accompany us on a Navy ship, helping to promote Italian excellence abroad.”

“It is a great honor for Vinitaly,” said Federico Bricolo regarding the large-scale promotion, “to climb aboard Vespucci and contribute to the promotion of wine as a true flagship product of Italy.” This new initiative strengthens our development plan aimed at a permanent advertising platform coordinated with partners and able to attract not only market investment for Italian products, but also increase tourist flows to Italian land.”

In addition, precisely in order to fulfill the communication and image mission announced by the leaders of Veronafiere, almost immediately after the end of the exhibition in Verona, Vinitaly went to China: the first event took place on April 11 in Chengdu, then (on April 14) the Italians moved to Shenzhen, with their own pavilion at Hainan Government Fair, and for tasting and presentation of Italy during Wine to Asia (May 11-13) together with ICE Trade Agency and Altagamma Foundation. By the preliminary estimates, the Veronafiere international event in Shenzhen attracted more than 450 exhibitors from 20 countries.

The next forum in Verona is scheduled for April 14-17, 2024.

D+ file

And I will share one more impression from this year’s visit to Vinitaly — or rather, a lifehack for those who are going to visit Veronafiere. After all, everyone knows that having a relaxed and quiet meal at such a hub, or even calling a taxi, may be a whimsical adventure that might take at least a couple of hours. But from this year everything has changed: if you cross the highway on which the exhibition center is located and walk a hundred meters along VIALE DELL’ AGRICOLTURA, you will see a round building similar to a large rotunda on the left in the middle of the square – the new location of EATALY. And although this establishment could not be found on Google maps while I was writing this text (actually, the store has an address – via Santa Teresa, 12, and the location is still not specified on the map), but Drinks+ gives a hint to its readers: here is a powerful gastrohub with several excellent food courts, Agricolo restaurant, exhibition spaces and delicatessen shops. And the best thing is that, after intense shopping, you can easily call a taxi here and, sitting comfortably in the seat, go to your destination past the less fortunate colleagues who do not read Drinks+ and continue to stand in line for a taxi under the walls of Veronafiere.

The 55th edition of Italy’s largest wine exhibition was marked by creative synergy and unique collaborations. Ancient Verona —  the city where one of the world’s leading wine exhibitions, Vinitaly, was traditionally (for the 55th time!) held in the first days of April — has at least three internationally recognized totemic landmarks. Touching them, in […]

«SHUMI» meant «the best wine» in the ancient Georgian language. It still means the same!

SHUMI is one of the best producers of Georgian wines. SHUMI products are famous for their quality, they have earned more than 500 highest awards at prestigious international competitions, including prizes and medals that no other company in the history of Georgia has ever received. SHUMI WINERY was recognized as the BEST PRODUCER OF GEORGIA at one of the most prestigious competitions in the world – MUNDUS VINI Grand International Award!


SHUMI WINERY is the winner in 9 nominations according to the results of online public voting of the international competition WINE TRAVEL AWARDS (WTA) 2021-2022: Must visit, Brand – the visiting card of the country, Progressive approach, Authentic location, Objet d’Art, Unique program, Cultural mission, Magnet of the region, Effective event. Besides, in the nomination “Magnet of the Region” – also the winner of the Jury’s Choice Award.

SHUMI WINERY was founded in 1997. According to the strategic plan, the company began its activities with the cultivation of vineyards in the unique microzones of Georgia with a multi-thousand-year  history of viticulture.

SHUMI

SHUMI WINERY and its TOURIST COMPLEX are located in the village of Tsinandali – historical region of Georgian winemaking, Kakheti, Georgia.

In 2001, SHUMI built its production facilities and harvested its first grapes. From the very beginning, SHUMI has maintained and never strayed from its mandate: an uncompromising demand for the absolute highest quality products and the constant setting and re-inventing a global standard of excellence each year. The Winery is equipped with the latest generation technologically advanced facilities.

Taking care of the preservation of natural places and cultivating its vineyards, SHUMI considers it its duty to maintain a delicate balance between nature and humans. There is minimal interference in the cultivation of grapes and the production of wines, all grapes are harvested by hand. The philosophy of natural wine led to the fact that SHUMI became the first winery in Georgia to switch its vineyards to organic and biodynamic cultivation methods.

SHUMI

SHUMI WINERY is also the first company in Georgia to produce certified organic wine, as well as the first to use and develop biodynamic and green winemaking techniques, almost all of their wines are vegan.

For the production of SHUMI alcoholic beverages, grapes harvested from their own vineyards are mainly used. Most of the work is done manually, and for vines intended for premium wines, the method of «green harvesting» in summer and triage in autumn is used.

The company produces wine from 16 varieties of grapes, if you do not take into account the exclusive SHUMI alcoholic beverages, for the preparation of which in some cases more than 450 varieties are used.

SHUMI WINERY produces a few lines of alcoholic beverages: SHUMI, IBERIULI and others. For the production of wines, Georgian autochthonous varieties are used, which were created over the centuries by folk selection. The wines are distinguished by their individual character.

SHUMI

The IBERIULI collection also includes wines made according to the oldest Georgian traditional way of making wines in Qvevri. Those wines began the history of winemaking more than 8,000 years ago. Since 2013, UNESCO has awarded this method the status of an intangible monument of cultural heritage. Wines are fermented and aged in Qvevri for 5-6 months. All technological operations are performed manually. As a result, amber and red wines are obtained, which are rich in antioxidants and minerals, characterized by bright aroma and taste characteristics.

The IBERIULI line offers a wide range of bio-wines made from the grapes of its own vineyards. In addition, SHUMI WINERY manufactures products using its own patented technologies, which have no analogues in the world.

SHUMI

SHUMI’s exclusive beverage portfolio includes unique wines and beverages such as:

  • GENESIS is a completely new word in the world of wine, wine is made from grapes of more than 300-year-old vines, which rarely give a harvest. As a sign of respect for the historical vine, SHUMI WINERY erected a monument – a prototype of the statue of this vine on the territory of its Tourist Complex.
  • LAZARE – represents the history of Georgian viticulture and winemaking for more than 80 centuries, more than 450 grape varieties from the SHUMI Ampelographic Collection have been used.
  • SHOBILI is a Qvevri sparkling wine, created using SHUMI technology. It combines the 8000-year history of Georgian winemaking and the 400-year history of French champagne.
  • BARBALE is the world’s first and only ice wine produced in Qvevri. 102 rare grape varieties from the SHUMI Ampelographic Collection were used to prepare this unique drink.
  • GRIFIN – exclusive brandy is poured into a unique porcelain vessel, which has the shape of a griffin and is a handmade work of art created by the famous Georgian sculptor Merabishvili.
  • ZIGU is an exclusive drink that has no analogues in the world, created by the patented SHUMI technology and produced from more than 300 rare grape varieties grown in the vineyard of the SHUMI Ampelographic Collection.
  • SHUMI WINERY for 25 years of its existence, thanks to the quality of its products, has an impeccable reputation as a producer of Georgian wines. Since 2002, the company has been steadily and successfully operating in the international market. SHUMI exports

its products to 32 countries of the world and is intended for real connoisseurs of alcoholic beverages.

SHUMI is one of the best producers of Georgian wines. SHUMI products are famous for their quality, they have earned more than 500 highest awards at prestigious international competitions, including prizes and medals that no other company in the history of Georgia has ever received. SHUMI WINERY was recognized as the BEST PRODUCER OF GEORGIA […]

WTA announce the Consorzio dell’Asti DOCG public voting winners

The WTA team is delighted to announce the list of nominees who were nominated by the Consorzio dell’Asti DOCG in the 2022-2023 campaign and won the WTA public voting. 


Must visit category

TrEno LMR (The Langhe Monferrato Roero Train) – the unforgettable culture, food and wine journey. Travelling on a historical train is an amazing experience, and when this train is running along the famous Italian wineland, it’s a real treasure. Such is TrEno, running via the vineyards of Langhe, Monferrato and Roero, the UNESCO heritage, located in Lower Piedmont.

Progressive approach category

Azienda Agricola Teresa Soria di Emanuele Contino – the story of the Teresa Soria winery is a story about heroic viticulture and one of the few, if not the only one, that produces Moscato d’Asti Vendemmia Tardiva – unique wine of a kind of passito.

Consorzio dell’Asti DOCG

Art & History Object category

Casa Martini – Martini & Rossi – the doors of the estate are open for private receptions and conferences as well as for excursions. During the visit to Casa Martini you will have the opportunity to explore the fascinating world of MARTINI.

Canelli and the Underground Cathedrals – a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014, are a real architectural masterpiece of Canelli, which is fairly considered to be the capital of the Italian Spumante.

Relais Villa Prato – a family of notaries, lawyers and traders, who lived in Mombaruzzo from 1222, built Villa Prato on the plot of land that looks directly at the church of Sant’Antonio Abate.

Consorzio dell’Asti

Region of the Year category

Piemont and Consorzio dell’Asti DOCG – the area of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato, home to great wines and singularly beautiful landscapes. Nearly 9.900 hectares of majestic vineyards nestled in the cradle of an inimitable landscape that never fails to stir the soul.

Moscato Wine Route – 19km: Mango – Camo – Mango ring trail. The route is tracked by Neive Trail Yellow/Golden Grape Bunch signs affixed on trees or vineyard poles. The Moscato Wine Route starts in Mango from Piazza XX Settembre. Museo a Cielo Aperto and Santuario della Madonna della Rovere on the way. Langhe Monferrato Roero, a land rich in traditions to discover.

Unique program category

Accademia Maestri Pasticceri Italiani  – represents the maximum synthesis of professionalism in the field of national baking at a truly academic level, with an emphasis on traditional Italian desserts.

Consorzio dell’Asti

Creative strategy category

Cinzia Benzi – App Bollicine del Mondo – 500 wineries, 21 food and wine itineraries, 27 countries, 6 continents, 14 wine enthusiasts: all of them can be found on Bollicine Del Mondo, the innovative app released in January 2023 by Identità Golose Web.

Federico Quaranta and Tinto, Decanter Radio Program –  is one of Radio2’s most popular programs that has been on the air since 2003. Fede & Tinto, the voices of Decanter, made over 1,500 episodes all dedicated to wine & food, and they ensure that they still have a lot to tell.

This year, Consorzio dell’Asti DOCG will join the WTA special event – the WTA Ceremony on 17 May, from 10 am to 12 pm, at the London Wine Fair – as the Sponsor of a Welcome Drink. You will also have an opportunity to try a great variety of Asti sparkling wines at the WTA stand during three days of the LWF.

See you at the Ceremony to enjoy Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti and honor the WTA winners!

Cheers!

The WTA team is delighted to announce the list of nominees who were nominated by the Consorzio dell’Asti DOCG in the 2022-2023 campaign and won the WTA public voting.  Must visit category TrEno LMR (The Langhe Monferrato Roero Train) – the unforgettable culture, food and wine journey. Travelling on a historical train is an amazing experience, and when this […]

Ancient traditions and modern approach: Georgian wine making and wine tourism leaders at WTA 2023 voting.

Georgia is fairly considered to be the cradle of winemaking. In 2015, ancient clay amphorae (qvevri) dating back 8,000 years were discovered at an archeological dig in southeastern Georgia. Researchers who analyzed the remains of grapes and grape seeds inside the qvevri dated them to 6000 BCE. This scientific fact proves ancient Georgia to be the oldest spot of grape winemaking in the world, which existed  5,000 years before the beginning of the Iron Age. Many of the vines cultivated in Europe and Asia are known to have Georgian origins. Nowadays this beautiful land of the ancient wine culture is cherishing the national heritage to produce some of the world’s most outstanding wines, with wine culture boosting the national tourism industry. It’s no surprise that Georgia is one of the leaders in the Wine Travel Awards 2023 public voting! The WTA team is glad to greet the Georgian winners. 


SHUMI Winery is the WTA 2023 winner in several categories: The Visiting Card of the Country / Must visit, Brand – the visiting card of the country, Progressive approach, Cultural mission, Magnet of the region, and Education in Enotourism / Unique program for Shumi Wine School. 

SHUMI Winery and tourist complex is located in the village of Tsinandali, Kakheti, in a legendary winemaking region of Georgia. This land belonged to the kings of Georgia and Kakheti, prince Alexander Chavchavadze.The winery has a 25-year history in viticulture and winemaking and has an impeccable reputation as a producer of Georgian wines. SHUMI has created a wide range of grape-based alcoholic beverages made using the company’s own unique technologies. SHUMI Winery was recognized as the Best producer of Georgia by the MUNDUS VINI Grand International Award. SHUMI is one of the leaders of Georgian enotourism. SHUMI Tourist Complex is unique both in infrastructure and in operation. The first Wine museum in Georgia, the first private ampelography collection, the Georgian Ethnographic Pavilion, the authentic Marani, where SHUMI’s wines are made in qvevri and aged in oak barrels, the famous Enoteca — a cellar vault holding SHUMI’s best wines, all surrounded by a beautiful garden with sculptures, make SHUMI an outstanding tourist location. 

SHUMI Wine School launched 6 years ago offers educational programs focusing on the history and development of viticulture, modern and innovative methods of laying and growing vineyards based on varietal biodiversity, and complete agrotechnological cycles of vineyard management. The program teaches the specifics of grape processing, modern innovative and traditional technologies for the production of wine and other alcoholic beverages of grape origin, vinification techniques, sensory assessment based on international rules, as well as current trends in the global wine tourism, including management, planning and promotion of “wine routes”. The program is taught by the experts of SHUMI, as well as well-known Georgian and international experts. The best students can get practical training at SHUMI Winery.

Chateau Mukhrani, the WTA 2023 winner in The Visiting Card of the Country / Must visit category, is one of Georgia’s most famous wineries which has been crafting fine wines since 1878. Since then, Chateau Mukrani has been the icon of quality, status, excellence, and style. 

Nowadays, Chateau Mukhrani located in Mukhrani village near Mtskheta, Kartli terroir, is one of the top wine destinations in Georgia, offering amazing wines and great services, combining the authentic traditions with the international best practices. Chateau Mukhrani is the country’s leader in both quality wine production, and wine tourism / hospitality. The XIX century Mukhrani Palace is a magnificent building, with luxurious the interiors created by an internationally acclaimed designer Juan Pablo Molyneaux. Molyneux’s interior designs refer to the past with a twist of the unexpected, combining fantasy and centuries-old techniques.

Château Mukhrani’s splendid XIX century palace is surrounded by the wood, French gardens and pristine vineyards. The dining area of the palace offers French cuisine with a local twist, accompanied by fine wines from Château Mukhrani cellars.

Askaneli Winery & Distillery, the winner of WTA 2023 pubic voting in two nominations, Brand – the visiting card of the country and Progressive approach, begins its history in a small village of Askana in the Guria region, where the winemaker Antimoz Chkhaidze, one of the founding ancestors, was engaged in the production of wine, selling it not only in Georgia, but also abroad. Nowadays, the founder of the company Gocha Chkhaidze is well-known for his incredible input in the revival of the Georgian viticulture, preserving and recovering unique grape varieties. Askaneli Winery & Distillery owns hundreds of hectares of vineyards, two winemaking facilities in Kakheti and Tbilisi and one fruit distillery in Guria. In addition to producing more than 60 labels of wine, the company produces aged brandy, chacha and sparkling wines. Askaneli is one of the largest companies in Georgia, engaged in the rescue and preservation of indigenous grape varieties and in the promotion of Georgian winemaking. 

Gocha’s Collection is the top line of premium wines from Askaneli, which Gocha Chkhaidze has created himself. The Collection includes three still wines: Prima, an elegant blend of Chardonnay and Rkatsiteli; Muza Qvevri, an outstanding blend of indigenous Rkatsiteli, Kakhuri Mtsvane, Kisi, Krakhuna and Mtsvivani aged in Qvevri, and Saperavi Reserve. One of its wines Prima is dedicated to his wife, to his muse, prima ballerina Irma Nioradze.

Besides its wineries, Georgia is well-known for hosting impressive international wine events, with WinExpo Georgia, the WTA 2023’s winner in the Enogastronomic Events / Magnet of the region category, being the most famous one. WinExpo Georgia is a leading wine industry exhibition with a continuous 15-year tradition. During all these years it has been providing the best opportunities for Georgian producers to present their products to both local and international markets. The expo’s visitors include wine agents, traders, HoReCa representatives, buyers from retail chains and wine boutiques, wine professionals, influencers and international media. WinExpo Georgia is attracting almost 4000 visitors annually, presenting up to 100 companies from different countries. The 15th International ExpoGeorgia Wine and Spirits Fair will be held on June 2-4, 2023.

Georgian wine tourism would hardly exist without inspired — and inspiring — travel guides. WTA team is happy to introduce two Georgian winners of WTA 2023 public voting in The brightest journey category: Daria Kholodilina a.k.a. Dariko Mogzauri and Sofia Nikabadze.

Daria Kholodilina is a Ukrainian-born and Georgia-based wine tourism specialist, and a big friend and promoter of Georgian wine. She is regularly blogging about Georgian wine in her social media under the moniker Dariko Mogzauri (Dariko the Traveler in Georgian). She participated in developing the Georgian National Tourism Strategy 2015-2025. Her contributions were focused on marketing and promotion.

Daria is also a co-author of the definitive (and only) English language guidebook to Georgia’s wine regions, “Georgia: A Guide to the Cradle of Wine.” Published in 2017, this book received the Geoffrey Roberts Award and was highly praised by major international media outlets in the world of wine: The Guardian, jancisrobinson.com, World of Fine Wine, and others. Daria is the co-founder of “Trails and Wines”, a tailor-made tours provider and a proud holder of the Best Niche Tourism Award 2019 at Georgian National Tourism Award. Based on the activity of Trails and Wines, she was listed as one of the 50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs of 2018 according to “Entrepreneur Magazine Georgia”.

Sofia Nikabadze, a well-known Georgian wine blogger, loves wines and travels a lot around Georgia to discover some interesting small family cellars and introduce them to wine lovers. She has been interested in Georgian wine making for 8 years. She is a graduate from the “Wine Connoisseur” Wine School and Studio and is the member of Georgian Wine Guild, “Wine and Grape Origin Alcoholic Beverage Tasting”. Sofia believes that Georgia is going through an era of wine renaissance: new wineries are emerging, the attitude towards Georgian wine is changing, more and more foreign experts, wine connoisseurs and consumers are interested in Georgian wine. All of this is thanks to the fact that Georgian wine finds its proper place in a big family of world wine.

And all this is happening due to outstanding work and effort of the Georgian winemakers, experts, wine travel professionals and wine enthusiasts. Bravo, Saqartvelo!

Georgia is fairly considered to be the cradle of winemaking. In 2015, ancient clay amphorae (qvevri) dating back 8,000 years were discovered at an archeological dig in southeastern Georgia. Researchers who analyzed the remains of grapes and grape seeds inside the qvevri dated them to 6000 BCE. This scientific fact proves ancient Georgia to be […]

Results of public voting: WTA 2022-2023 finalists to be announced

Wine Travel Awards 2022-2023 managed to gather so many magnificent locations, destinations, businesses and personalities in their progressive community. The competition was high and so many wine lovers and enthusiasts supported their favorites at the public voting stage. And now we are ready to sum up the results. 


The geography is wide! This year, representatives from new destinations got nominated for the WTA 2022-2023. In addition to Armenia, Moldova, Georgia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Canada, USA and India, our community was replenished with nominees from Austria, Greece, UK, Taiwan, Nigeria, Iran and other countries. 

New professions are on the list! The new generation of aspiring Master Sommeliers and MWs are much more open to the world of media and communications. In fact, some of the young somms, especially those who work in emerging wine markets, have crossed the line to become online influencers and ambassadors. In the WTA second edition, sommeliers are widely represented in the Ambassador nomination. The winner of the Ambassador of the Year category will be honoured with the Gérard Basset Prize “Ambassador of the Year” and receive a special prize. 

Traditionally, the Wine & Food Influencer nomination is sponsored by the international winegrowing group of companies Vinos de La Luz. TV hosts, actresses, bartenders, authors, bloggers, photographers and videographers passionate about wine and tourism entered the contest this year. 

The awards’ winners are determined in two stages: firstly, public voting, secondly, professional jury evaluation. According to the voting results, five leading nominees of each category that reached the final, are considered by the WTA Jury Committee, consisting of 12 reputable professionals in such industries as winemaking, food tourism, marketing, and journalism. The selection takes place within a 10-point system according to the unified Wine Travel Awards protocols.

This is an exciting stage of the project as it defines who will proceed to the next round. We congratulate all the finalists of the WTA 2022-2023! 

  1. The Visiting Card of the Country

Must visit

#5 SHABO’s wine culture center – 6840 votes

#1 SHUMI Winery – 4702 votes 

#2 Château Mukhrani – 1589 votes

#133 TrEno LMR (The Langhe Monferrato Roero Train) – 1490 votes

#164 Semeli Estate – 1293 votes

Brand – the visiting card of the country

#124 46 Parallel Wine Group – 8718 votes

#9 Family Winery SHABO – 6697 votes

#6 SHUMI Winery – 4718 votes

#159 Gocha’s Collection – Askaneli Winery & Distillery – 1017 votes

#163 Semeli Estate – 944 votes

Progressive approach

#11 SHUMI Winery – 3021 votes

#167 Ijevan Wine-Brandy Factory – 2774 votes

#127 Azienda Agricola Teresa Soria di Emanuele Contino – 967 votes

#154 Α. & G. PAPAIOANNOU – 823 votes

#158 Askaneli Winery & Distillery – 794 votes

Art & History Object

#207 SHUMI Winery – 2693 votes

#126 Casa Martini – Martini & Rossi – 963 votes

#145 Canelli and the Underground Cathedrals – 783 votes

#25 Domaine de l’Évêque – 624 votes

#137 Relais Villa Prato – 620 votes

Region of the Year

#162 Consorzio per la Tutela dei Vini Valpolicella – 1218 votes

#161 Ukrainian Bessarabia’s Wine and Taste Route – 1042 votes

#188 Austria – 1027 votes

#139 Moscato Wine Route – 916 votes

#144 Piemont and Consorzio Asti DOCG – 868 votes

  1. Education in Enotourism

Unique program 

#55 Shumi Wine School – 2767 votes

#155 Vitaliy Kovach Sommelier School  – 2131 votes

#201 Austrian Wine Academy – 1051 votes

#129 Accademia Maestri Pasticceri Italiani – 313 votes

#59 Le Bistrot du Sommelier – 303 votes

Cultural mission 

#60 SHUMI Winery – 2620 votes

#177 HOVAZ wine rooms – 662 votes

#196 Schloss Esterházy – 411 votes

# 61 Cité du Vin – 330 votes

# 63 GuideMASTER Wine Tour Guide Program – 184 votes

  1. Enogastronomic Events

Magnet of the region 

#79 SHUMI Winery – 2302 votes

#78 The National Wine Day of Moldova – 714 votes

#197 VieVinum – 620 votes

#77 Worldwide œufs en meurette Championship – 594 votes

#202 WinExpo Georgia – 535 votes

Event of the year 

#111 Bodegas Gonzalez Byass – Tio Pepe Festival – 1428 votes

#83 London Wine Fair – 1043 votes

#146 Harvest Celebration at Chateau Mukhrani – 815 votes

#90 “VinOPERA” Castel Mimi – 538 votes

#113 Wine & Gourmet Taipei – 406 votes

  1. Ambassador

Ambassador of the year

#179 Artyom Mkrtchyan – 3266 votes

#156 Vitaliy Kovach – 3091 votes

#165 Florence Authier Meuric – 2490 votes

#29 Sonal Holland – 1996 votes

#125 Olimpia Pleșa Brandhuber – 1656 votes

Creative strategy 

#135 Cinzia Benzi – App Bollicine del Mondo – 913 votes

#31 WineMasters.tv – 360 votes

#33 Wines of Armenia – 342 votes

#34 Visit Moldova – 244 votes

#143 Federico Quaranta and Tinto, Decanter Radio Program – 228 votes

  1. Wine & Food Influencer

Author of the year 

#36 Nello Gatti – 1408 votes

#152 Ania Smolec – 1088 votes

#40 Per Karlsson – 722 votes

#98 Professor Marianna Sigala – 675 votes

#205 Wines To Find – 372 votes

Expert opinion

#160 Tomasz Prange-Barczyński – 938 votes

#151 Liz Palmer – 586 votes

#153 Bonello Athens – 565 votes

#41 Gergely Szolnoki – 303 votes

#120 The Wine Republic of Italy – 229 votes

The brightest journey

#184 Rojita Tiwari – 1336 votes

#148 Dr. Elizabeth Smith – 887 votes

#95 Daria Kholodilina a.k.a. Dariko Mogzauri – 606 votes

#50 Sofia Nikabadze – 605 votes

#104 Nataliia Burlachenko – 501 votes

  1. Wine Guide

Top Guide 

#65 Miguel Leal – 1577 votes 

#69 Einat Klein – 1375 votes

#66 Britt Karlsson – 795 votes

#68 Wines of Armenia – 621 votes

#70 Tanisha Townsend – 528 votes

Travel Operator of the Year

#72 Visit Moldova – 555 votes

#123 Friends Wine Travel – 456 votes

#27 Wine Paths – 434 votes

#71 Moments & Travel – 306 votes

#75 Ways Travel – 257 votes

The nominees enlisted the big support of their friends, loyal audience and caught wine lovers’ eye, so that it yielded the results. Being charismatic and active on social media plays a crucial role in public voting. And we can see these features among our winners – famous chateaux, renowned experts and wine schools, attractive wine events and interesting wine authors and ambassadors. Once again, our sincerest congratulations to the finalists and good luck for the second round!

The WTA winners will be announced in May on the official website and be awarded at the WTA Ceremony on Wednesday, 17 May, from 10 am to 12 pm, at the London Wine Fair. The celebration in honor of the WTA 2022-2023 winners will also take place at the WinExpo Georgia in June. 

Wine Travel Awards 2022-2023 managed to gather so many magnificent locations, destinations, businesses and personalities in their progressive community. The competition was high and so many wine lovers and enthusiasts supported their favorites at the public voting stage. And now we are ready to sum up the results.  The geography is wide! This year, representatives […]

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