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Friday 28 October 2022

The world's best vineyards? Or a complete sham?

For those who thought that Australia, New Zealand and South Africa do pretty well when it comes to producing good wines and offering excellent cellar door experiences, it turns out we were wrong.

According to the mob who collate the World’s Best Vineyards 2022, those nations are not even in the race.

The top 50 list is "compiled from all the nominations by the global academy of voters".

Each academy chair is responsible for recruiting 36 wine and travel experts and each member of the voting academy must vote for seven vineyards.

Except this lot do not mean vineyards - they mean wine tourism experiences.

And the organisers admit there is "no pre-determined checklist of criteria or predefined list to choose from". Each vote is a nomination for a vineyard experience open to the public that voters deem to truly be the best in the world.

Italy tops the list for the first time as Antinori nel Chianti Classico in Tuscany (below) was voted number one.

Spain’s Bodegas de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal second place for the second time in a row.

Chilean vineyards, Montes and VIK Winery, achieved third and fourth place.

Montes also took continent winner for South America, with Robert Mondavi Winery topping the North American nominations.

The best in Africa was apparently Creation in South Africa, whilst Henschke in Australia topped the Australasian list - but could only manage 36th spot overall.

France and Portugal had the highest overall split of vineyards with each taking 11 spots on this year’s Top 100 list. 

Penfolds Magill Estate limped in at No.49 for two Australian entries in the top 50.

Quite how this list was put together authoritatively with much of the world in lockdown until recently is hard to fathom.

Here's what Andrew Reed, Managing Director Wine and Exhibitions at organisers William Reed had to say: “The World’s Best Vineyards highlights wine tourism destinations around the globe and now that travel is back on the cards, this year’s list is more important than ever for raising profiles with tourists and those looking for authentic and unique trips."

"Best" here seems to mean "with expensive architecture".  

See if you are intrigued, or appalled.

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