Announcing Liz Palmer is Guest Speaker at the 7th UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism

I’m so thrilled to have been invited as a guest speaker at the upcoming 7th UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism!!

The topics for the 7th Edition include “Inclusive, Sustainable and Digital Wine Tourism: Building Stronger Territorial Cohesion”

This yearly conference has become a leading international forum on trends, tools and opportunities to advance global wine tourism. It also provides opportunities for experts and professionals, as well as consolidated and emerging destinations in this tourism segment to exchange knowledge and experiences.

Since 2016, the Conference has highlighted the importance of wine tourism to the socio-economic development of destinations and has served as a platform to exchange experiences, identify good practices and promote wine tourism as a tool for sustainable development.

The 7th UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism will be held November 22 – 24 in Logroño, Spain. Participants include government officials from international and national tourism administrations and organizations, regional and local authorities, international and national destination marketing organizations, UNWTO affiliate members, private sector representatives, wine estates, infrastructure providers and international academia.

I believe everyone in the wine tourism industry can certainly attest to Massimo Garavaglia, Italian Minister of Tourism, statement at last year’s conference, in Alba Italy: “Wine tourism is much more than just selling wine, which clearly is important.  When you sell a bottle of wine, you are selling the territory behind that bottle, the culture of that territory, the history of the men (and women) who designed these landscapes with the rows of vines.”

I have the extreme privilege of sharing insights on the topic of:

Unlocking the Benefits of Digitalization
Digital transformation can revolutionize and enhance wine tourism experiences, provide data and insights, optimize marketing strategies, and foster sustainable growth.

Conference Link: https://www.unwto.org/7-UNWTO-Global-Conference-Wine-Tourism

Hope to see you there!

Liz Palmer

 

Bodegas Familiares de Rioja leaves the Plenary Session of the Regulatory Council due to its strategic policy

The Rioja Family Winery Association withdraws from the management tables of the Denomination of Qualified Origin (DOCa) Rioja, the Plenary of the Regulatory Council, and the Interprofessional of Rioja Wine, due to its disagreement with the strategic policy, which goes against the business model of the small and medium-sized wineries.

The announcement was made public this week by its President, Eduardo Hernáiz, in an information conference, together with his Vice President and spokesperson on the Regulatory Council, Juan Carlos Sancha, and manager, Ana Jiménez, after the two assemblies of the association, which They have supported the decision, unanimously, they have indicated.

The group was established in 1991 by twenty winegrowers and small wineries in Rioja and currently has almost 70 members with 216 which are accredited in the management bodies of the Denomination of the Interprofessional and Regulatory Council tables.

This representation translates into over half of the total of the commercial branch in both management bodies. Still, its participation is limited to only 8% of this branch and 4% of the votes, as the system of representativeness of the Council.

The departure of this association from the management boards of the DOCa Rioja does not imply its abandonment of the Denomination, a region that is “the best in Spain for making wines of value and quality”, which, from its point of view, has currently lost, where volume is what prevails, the President stated.

The decision was formally communicated this week to the Rioja Wine Interprofessional Regulatory Council, the autonomous governments of La Rioja, the Basque Country and Navarra, as it is a Denomination shared by the three communities, and to the Ministry of Agriculture, as the guardian administration.

“We are Rioja, and we are going to continue being so because we have all our investments in this land and because we continue to believe in it and in its potential to make great wines,” assured the President of the Association.

However, “we do not have the capacity to redirect Rioja’s course towards a model of value, of quality”, which focuses on “sustainable viticulture and the production of quality artisanal wines”, he said.

“We are convinced – he added – that the current situation of Rioja, its wineries and winegrowers, would be very different if the policy followed in recent years had been more concerned with protecting the value of the grapes, the wines and the territory, than to produce more grapes and wine to bring Rioja to its current situation.”

Currently, the DOCa Rioja is going through “one of the biggest surplus crises in its history, sending wines to distillation,” said Hernáiz, who added that, “despite the fact that we have been producing clearly more grapes than we are capable of since 2017 to sell, large companies continued asking for new plantations until very recently.”

For his part, Sancha, one of the oldest members of the Plenary Council, has said that the historical model of the social distribution of the vineyard and wealth is being broken in favor of industrial companies, for which the bills continue to come out, among other aspects, because they sell wines from numerous sources, not only Rioja, as well as liqueurs and spirits.

“We find ourselves unable to change a business model that we do not share, since it is based on the production of wine for food shelves at prices with which small and medium-sized wineries cannot compete,” Sancha states.

The president of the Regulatory Council, Fernando Ezquerro, has conveyed to the association his interest in changing the representation system, but there is no concrete proposal and until there is a modification, which will have to be in the next elections in 2025, Bodegas Familiares will not participate in the decisions of these management bodies.

Source: https://agroinformacion.com/

 

Jerez is Spain’s #1 Wine Tourism Destination

The latest report from La Asociación Española de Ciudades del Vino (ACEVIN) reveals that Marco de Jerez is the Spanish wine destination that has received the highest number of visitors in 2022.

Wine tourism in Spain experienced a post-Covid-19 pandemic boost in 2022, with the number of tourists travelling around the ‘wine routes’ of Spain reaching 2,487,255, 51.59% higher than that of 2021 (1,640,800), though the 2022 result was still only 80% of the last pre-pandemic figure.

Last year’s tourist visits to wineries and wine museums are believed to have generated €75,481,646 for the economy, 39% above the 2021 level, but still 12% short of the 2019 level.

Around 80%, were domestic travellers, though overall proportion of international visitors has increased year-on-year, from 15.14% to 20.4%.

The five wine routes that received the highest number of visitors were as follows (in descending order):

  • Marco de Jerez: 333,781
  • Rioja Alta: 313,974
  • Ribera del Duero: 281,918
  • Penedès: 262,693
  • Rioja Alavesa: 234,101

Given Andalusia’s warm weather, interesting history, and beautiful landscapes, combined with fortified Spanish wines, it makes sense that Sherry country would certainly appeal to travellers.

As far as the routes which attracted the highest percentage of international visitors, these include: Gran Canaria: 66.5%; Alicante: 41.5%; and Penedès: 38.5%.

The most popular time to travel to these regions was October, when many producers have finished their harvests, followed by August, when the beaches of the country’s Mediterranean coast are lined with overseas visitors.

Rioja to host the 2023 World’s Best Vineyards

“The World’s Best Vineyards” list is back in 2023 and will be hosted by Rioja, Spain.  Showcasing the best of wine tourism across the globe, the annual “World’s Best Vineyards” list will be revealed at a special live event in July.

As well as its celebrated wineries, charming towns and quaint villages, Rioja is home to Mediterranean forests full of wildlife with high mountain areas to explore and stunning lunar landscapes to discover. The region offers a vast range of fun and memorable outdoor activities for all, including mountain horseback riding, 4×4 driving routes and hot-air ballooning across and over the rolling hills. Known as the gastronomic heartland of Spain, Rioja offers guests delicious culinary experiences from pincho tours to haute cuisine, fine dining and everything in between.

Situated in the north of Spain on the banks of the River Ebro, Rioja is surrounded by the majestic Sierra de Cantabria and Sierra de la Demanda Mountain ranges resulting in a breath-taking and picturesque landscape. It is most well-known for its wide variety of grapes, rich soils, climates, and stunning wineries that never cease to amaze visitors. The region spans 65,000 hectares and is home to more than 600 wineries from world-famous, award-winning destinations with avant-garde architecture to small family-run historical establishments. Preserved generation after generation, each one has something unique to offer guests making it the perfect destination to celebrate this year’s World’s Best Vineyards.

The World’s Best Vineyards annual list highlights the top vineyards to visit globally and aims to promote wine tourism around the world. Each year the list showcases unique vineyards with unrivalled visitor experiences, from modern architectural wonders, UNESCO-protected ancient cellars, and Michelin-starred restaurants to family-run wineries with intimate tours. The Voting Academy consists of over 500 leading wine experts, sommeliers and travel experts and they submit their nominations based on the different criteria that make the best destination vineyard, including quality of the overall experience, ambiance, cuisine, activities, views, staff, and value for money. The results are then collated and converted into the annual World’s Best Vineyards list.

Fernando Ezquerro, President of Denominacion de  stats: “It is an honour to host the prestigious World’s Best Vineyards 2023 event and a great opportunity to show the world why Rioja is Spain’s finest wine region. Rioja’s history and traditions have led it to establish itself not only as the leading winemaking region in Spain, but also as the country’s go-to destination for wine tourism, which has had a driving effect on the recovery and diversification of tourism in Spain. Our passion for hospitality and wine making makes Rioja such a special place to visit.”

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List of Michelin-starred Restaurants in Europe Under 30 Euros

Travel restrictions are FINALLY relaxing across Europe and it’s now time to travel and spoil yourself!  Good News! You can surprisingly dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant without breaking the bank and here is their advice – shift from a dinner reservation to a lunch reservation. Most restaurants offer a menu du jour, or menu of the day at lunch, which is more affordable than the regular tasting menu at dinner.

Chef’s Pencil recently featured a map of the top Michelin-starred “most affordable” restaurants in Europe (under 30 Euros) – here is their top 10 for you to try!

  1. L’Antic Molí, Ulldecona, Spain – 20 euros / person

 L’Antic Molí is one of the best restaurants in Spain and is about a two-hour drive south of Barcelona, ​​is the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant in Europe. Here, surrounded by greenery and with a beautiful panoramic view, you’ll spend 20 /person for a lunch by chef Vicent Guimerà Sales, if you choose to have lunch in the Espai Bistro.

  1. La Robe, Montaigu, France – 24 euros / person

La Robe restaurant in Montaigu, France, is in the Pays de la Loire region. The dining room is spread over two floors. Here you can taste chef Xavier Giraudet’s lunch dishes at affordable prices.

  1. Hostellerie la Montagne, Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, France – 25 euros / person

The Hostellerie la Montagne – a Michelin-star restaurant located in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises in the Haute-Marne department of France’s Grande Est region.  This is the region where the former French president Charles de Gaulle lived (and later buried). This is why the restaurant’s dining room is called A la table du General (at the General’s table). Chef Jean-Baptiste Natali proposes a lunch ‘menu du marché’, a market menu, starting at 25 euros, consisting of an entrée, main course and dessert.

  1. Les Clefs d’Argent, Mont-de-Marsan, France – 25 euros / person

Another French restaurant, Les Clefs d’Argent in Mont-de-Marsan, is located in the southwestern part of the Hexagon. Here, chef Christophe Dupouy offers a menu that interprets the flavours of the territory in a contemporary key, with an exotic spin. A ‘très chic’ address, where you can stop and try ‘Le Menu Retour du Marché’, three dishes prepared according to the produce of the day and Christophe’s inspiration, available only for lunch from Tuesday to Friday.

  1. Essência, Budapest, Hungary – 25 euros / person

Essência can be found in Budapest, and is the restaurant led by the Portuguese-Hungarian couple Tiago and Éva Sabarigo. Guests can savour an original menu that draws on Hungarian and Portuguese cuisine, choosing a “fusion” tasting-menu that combines the two cultures. Among the most convenient options, there is no shortage of proposals for lunch starting from 25 euros / person.

  1. Hotel Restaurant Le France, Villers-le-Lac, France – 26 euros / person

The Hotel Restaurant Le France is in the heart of the Haut-Doubs. Here, chef Hugues Droz tempts you with creative dishes, capable of blending flavours, colours and great technique. All can be savoured in a warm environment, where design meets the territory, including refined details and decorative elements made with local materials.

  1. Le Mascaret, Blainville-sur-Mer, France – 26 euros / person

Le Mascaret is located in the spaces of a former convent for women in Blainville-sur-Mer, a small town in Normandy. The setting is decidedly baroque, but with a modern touch, while the dishes by chef Philippe Hardy are super-creative and well defined. With a ‘la petite table’ formula, at lunch, guests can try a very economical fine-dining experience: at 26 euros / person, the menu includes dishes revisited by the chef with a ‘French touch’, capable of combining tradition and modernity.

  1. Silabario, Vigo, Spain – 27 euros / person

The Silabario restaurant is located in Vigo, in the region of Galicia, in the north-west of Spain. Here, right under an imposing glass dome that houses the headquarters of the Real Club Celta de Vigo football team, chef Alberto González Prelcic prepares a delicious array of dishes with fresh ingredients from the local market at a very affordable price. The menu, at 27 euros / person, is available from Monday – Thursday for lunch and dinner, while only for lunch on Friday.

  1. Auberge du Cep, Fleurie, France – 27 euros / person

Auberge du Cep is located on a famous Burgundy wine route, in the Beaujolais region. The restaurant is led by chef Aurélien Merot, who stands out for iconic dishes with a very French style, mainly focused on jus and sauces. There are several tasting menus to combine with the remarkable selection of regional wines. Try the ‘menu du marché Grille-Midi’ for 27 euros, served every day for lunch, except Saturdays and public holidays (one starter, one main course and one dessert).

  1. La Grange de Belle-Église, Belle-Église, France – 27 euros / person

The Michelin-starred restaurant La Grange de Belle-Église, located in Belle-Église, in northern France, expresses the quintessence of French gastronomic attitude according to Chef’s Pencil. Directed by chef Marc Duval, who offers dishes prepared with high-quality ingredients and a wide selection of Bordeaux wines and champagnes. The menu du marché is served at midday, during the week (except holidays), and offers fresh seasonal produce.

 

Sources:  Michelin/Chef’s Pencil

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