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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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).