Friday, October 16, 2009
San Francisco Napa Valley Innovators Receive International Spotlight
Each year, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network's (GWCGN) "Best Of" Wine Tourism Awards offers hospitality leaders throughout San Francisco and Napa Valley the unique opportunity to showcase their best practices in a competition with other wine tourism businesses from around the world. There are seven categories in which to compete: restaurants; accommodations; architecture, parks and gardens; art and culture; innovative wine tourism experiences; wine tourism services; and sustainable wine tourism practices.
The regional winners of the 2010 San Francisco Napa Valley "Best Of" Wine Tourism Awards were announced October 15 at Domaine Chandon, last year's global winner in the restaurant category:
Accommodations: Auberge du Soleil
Wine Tourism Restaurants: The Napa Valley Wine Train
Architecture, Parks & Gardens: Chateau Montelena
Art & Culture: Clos Pegase
Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences: St. Supery Vineyards & Winery
Wine Tourism Services: California Wine Tours
Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices: Quintessa
More than 50 entries were submitted for this year's contest for the seven categories of merit making this Napa Valley's most successful regional Great Wine Capitals "Best Of" thus far. Local judges included writer Paul Franson, Gourmet Magazine's San Francisco Director, Greg Silvi, Napa County Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht, and Napa Mayor Jill Techel. Contest entrants were required to be members of either a San Francisco or Napa County chamber of commerce, The Napa Valley Destination Council, the Napa Valley Vintners, or the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"Congratulations to the 2010 'Best Of' winners!" said Clay Gregory, president and CEO of The Napa Valley Destination Council. "The 'Best Of' Wine Tourism Awards is a very important opportunity for wine tourism innovators to receive the recognition of their region and elevate their images even further on the international stage."
Regional "Best Of" winners will now move forward to compete in the international awards, which will be judged by an international panel of respected wine tourism professionals and presented at The Great Wine Capitals Global Network's Annual General Meeting being held this November in Bordeaux, France.
"Auberge du Soleil is thrilled to be selected as the Accommodations winner for the Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism award. Auberge has always focused on the most inviting experiences and truly embodies the world of hospitality to each guest that passes the threshold of the resort and restaurant," commented Kara Adamson, director of marketing and public relations.
"We are so thrilled to be chosen for this award. The Napa Valley takes its food very seriously, and there is some really tough competition for top honors in this field. To be so recognized for the work we do is humbling," stated Kelly Macdonald, executive chef of the Napa Valley Wine Train.
Jeff Adams, marketing director for Chateau Montelena noted, "We are incredibly delighted with this honor. We take as much pride in our place as we do our wines, so it is especially nice to be recognized for it."
Jan Shrem, owner of Clos Pegase, had this to say about the award: "My wife Mitsuko and I created Clos Pegase to be a temple to wine and art, where we could not only make great wine, but also share our personal art collection with others to enjoy. We are delighted to win in the Art and Culture category as this is our passion and we are dedicated to further educating people about wine and art and the enhancement of culture in our community and the world."
"We are thrilled to be honored with this award. St. Supery strives to showcase the best of the Napa Valley in an approachable, friendly way. People are learning about wine destinations in new ways and we hope to share what Napa and St. Supery have to offer through new media channels," said Cooky Logan, special events coordinator at St. Supery Vineyards & Winery.
"I am honored to have California Wine Tours recognized as a true leader in the wine tourism world. Over the last 24 years, we have invested much in our diverse fleet and most importantly in training our drivers to create top notch experiences for each and every visitor," explained Michael Marino, founder and CEO of California Wine Tours. "We are also the first transportation company to be certified in the Bay Area Green Business program, which further illustrates our commitment to excellence and sustainable business development."
"Quintessa is honored to be recognized for our sustainable practices and to be in the company of some truly great wineries," commented Gwen McGill, director of marketing and public relations for Quintessa.
Members of this year's delegation representing the San Francisco Napa Valley region at the Annual General Meeting in Bordeaux include: Napa County Supervisors Bill Dodd and Mark Luce; Dave Whitmer, Napa County Agricultural Commissioner; Clay Gregory, CEO of The Napa Valley Destination Council; Joe D'Alessandro, President and CEO of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau; Ian MacNeil, representing Napa Valley College; Katherine Zimmer, Director of Marketing for the Napa Chamber of Commerce; Mike Fisher, representing the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce; Rex Stults, Industry Relations Director for the Napa Valley Vintners; Sharon Harris, Owner of Amici Cellars; and Linda Viviani, Owner of Viviani Destination Management/California Style.