WINE TRAVEL AWARDS

| The third edition of the WTA ended with an awards ceremony in London |

For the third year running, the Wine Travel Awards Ceremony and Public Voting awards celebration took place alongside the renowned London Wine Fair, solidifying the enduring collaboration between Drinks+ Communication Media Group and this prestigious event.

This occasion was infused with an air of exhilaration and unity, a true testament to the Wine Travel Awards’ mission of fostering a warm and inclusive community.

Familiar faces reunited, while new connections blossomed, all bonded by their shared passion for the wonders of wine travel. It was a delightful atmosphere of friendship and celebration.

Angelo Peretti, the esteemed winner of the Author of the Year category, eloquently captured the spirit of the event:

I am happy, overjoyed. Robert Joseph, one of the world’s leading international wine critics and analysts, has just presented me with the author of the year award in the wine and food influencer category at the Wine Travel Awards at the London Wine Fair for my book Spiritual Exercises for Wine Drinkers (Ampelos Editions). Thank you, thank you, thank you! <…> It was a great honor to receive the ‘author of the year’ award, to have the chance to listen to Robert Joseph’s enlightening speech and taste the splendid selection of wines offered during the event.

Truly, the Wine Travel Awards represent a close-knit community of individuals united by their fascination with the diverse world of wine travel and exploration.

The Wine Travel Awards 2023–2024 ceremony was one of the most exciting international events at the London Trade Fair. Even the location testified to the status of the event — the WTA winners were gathered in the Gallery Suite, where the jury of this year’s most high-profile event in the entire wine world, the London Court of Justice, had just met.

And it was in this representative hall that our hosts, Anna Petunina, WTA Senior Manager, a communication specialist at Drinks+, and Tanya Olevskaya, the Friends Wine Travel CEO, and the winner of last season’s WTA, started the ceremony.

All of our events contain at least two options in one — being gorgeous and useful. Therefore, this time, the award ceremony was preceded by an informative lecture. We are proud that the main speaker of the Wine Travel Awards 2023–2024 was the incredible Robert Joseph, whom our entire female team adores!

Robert Joseph is a distinguished member of the WTA jury, editorial consultant, and columnist for Meininger’s Wine Business International, whose expertise and insights have proven invaluable throughout this journey.

He spoke on the topic Wine Tourism: Benefits and Challenges about the growing industry of wine tourism, focusing on the positive impacts it brings as well as the difficulties it faces. Mr Joseph’s humour and brilliant analyses, original conclusions and recommendations were a real gift for the distinguished audience, including MWs and representatives of the most powerful UK distribution networks, influencers from around the world, winemakers from the USA, Australia, Argentina, and EU countries.

At the same time, Robert Joseph and the Wine Travel Awards team prepared special gifts for our award winners.

This year’s unique gifts included certificates for Robert Joseph’s highly anticipated book, Wine Thinking, for each winner — a rare opportunity to delve into this work ahead of its official summer release!

The ceremony began with a presentation of each winner and the presentation of the trophy. It is worth noting that this year the largest number of winners came to London to receive their diplomas and awards in person.

We are grateful to everyone who was with us that day: Angelo Peretti, Marinela Ardelean, Daria Kholodilina, Cloudy Bay’s representative Astrid de Jong, SHUMI Winery’s Commercial Director Salome Lomsadze, Miguel Leal, Oleksandra Polishuk (from Vitaliy Kovach), Allison Levine, and Dr. Elizabeth Smith.

And again Angelo Peretti shared his feeling about meeting with friends and colleagues:

I met American wine writer Allison Levine during a press tour of US journalists in Italy, a country she knows quite well (and also speaks Italian fluently). I was delighted to find her at the Wine Travel Awards at the London Wine Fair in London. Here we are in the photograph together, she with the diploma of winner of the popular vote in the ‘expert opinion’ category, me with the trophy of winner in the ‘author of the year’ category. Well done, Allison, bravo!

Finally, we appreciated that guests from Tenuta Manoylo (Italy) — Illia Manoylo and Helen Dzekunova — had the ooportunity to be with us at the WTA Ceremony.

Also, we were very glad that the WildChina Travel’s (China) representative Kendra Tombolato attended the WTA event.

In addition, João Vasconcelos, UK Sales Manager at Fladgate Partnership, visited the WTA Ceremony to get the WOW (Portugal) awards.

The prizes for the Imeretian Wine Association and the Kabistoni Wine School, the nominee from Imeretia, were accepted by Ana Tbileli.

We were very pleased to meet Jidvei‘s representatives Sabina Stroe-Bibescu and Costi Dragan.

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to convey the atmosphere of friendliness that the WTA community in London demonstrated, but it was evidenced by the pleasant impromptu interactions that took place throughout the event.

Robert Joseph took the initiative to help our moderators during the awards ceremony and even agreed to take a photo with each of our winners, which some of them gratefully shared on their networks.

The last iteration of the WTA showed that the Wine Travel Awards is gaining an international reputation, as evidenced by the presence of diplomatic delegations at the ceremony.

The ceremony witnessed an unprecedented turnout, with nominees and winners gracing the event from far and wide, including esteemed representatives from the embassies of Armenia — His Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United Kingdom, Varuzhan Nersesyan, and the Armenian delegation.

Also we were very proud to see His Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to London, Mr. Ruslan Bolbocean.

And Ms. Laura Banealite, First Secretary for Economic Cooperation of the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in London.

An interesting fact: distinguished guests, first of all, His Excellencies the Ambassadors of Armenia and Moldova, attended the ceremony to personally receive the trophy for winning the Enogastronomic Events nomination on behalf of their countries. The National Wine Day of Moldova won the Magnet of the Region category, and Yerevan Gastronomic Days won the second category — Event of the Year.

The fact that the ambassadorial delegations headed by His Excellencies the Ambassadors of Armenia and Moldova expressed a desire and found time to carry out this mission speaks of the state’s respect for its citizens. It also shows that the state understands the importance of enogastronomic tourism for the development of the country’s winemaking as a promising economic sector.

One of the winners of the Public Voting in the Top Guide category is Anna Alekseyeva from Italy. Anna is actively engaged in organising enogastronomic tours and excursions in Verona and the Lake Garda area. We are thankful to Anna’s representative, Maria Podlesnova, for visiting the award ceremony.

Our team was very glad to see Meguel Leal — the winner in the category Top Guide (nomination — Wine Guide).

This year, two nominees — SHUMI Winery and Marinela Ardelean — were awarded by Grand Prix of Wine Travel Awards: for exceptional achievement and dedication in advancing the art of viniculture and crafting unforgettable wine tourism experiences. It was the initiative of Dr. Ricardo F. Nunez.

Our sincere appreciation also goes to WTA judge Nina Basset and the Gérard Basset Foundation for providing the memoir book by Gérard Basset, complete with Nina Basset’s autograph, as the esteemed Ambassador of the Year award.

The grand finale of this extraordinary day was a unique tasting experience, featuring an array of exceptional wines from participating wineries:

Tenuta Manoylo (Italy)

  1. Passo del Borgo Marche IGT Passerina
  2. Falerio DOC Pecorino
  3. Marche IGT Sangiovese

Jidvei Winery (România)

  1. PINOT NOIR ROSU, 2019 red
  2. GRIGORESCU FETEASCA REGALA, 2023, SGR white
  3. OWNER’S CHOICE ANA, SAUVIGNON BLANC 2023 white
  4. OWNER’S CHOICE MARIA, PINOT GRIS, 2022, white
  5. Sparkling Wine, Jidvei, the traditional method, Extrabrut White, DOC-CMD JIDVEI white

Chateau Purcari (Wine of Moldova)

  1. Château Purcari Negru de Purcari 2020
  2. Château Purcari Rara Neagra 2022
  3. Château Purcari Viorica de Purcari 2022

Chateau Vartely (Moldova)

  1. Château Vartely Dealu Nucului Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
  2. Château Vartely Dealu Nucului Feteasca Regala & Sauvignon Blanc 2023

Radacini (Moldova)

  1. Radacini Pinot Grigio
  2. Radacini Metier Brut Alb

Apriori Wine (Moldova)

  1. Apriori Wine Maestro Limited Edition Secret Blend Bottle Reserve 2022
  2. Apriori Wine Maestro Cuvee Blanc Alb Brut

SHUMI Estate (Georgia)

  1. Shumi Kakhuri Mtsvane
  2. Shumi Mukuzani
  3. Sumi Iberiuli Khikhvi
  4. Shumi Iberiuli Saperavi

Gramophone Winery (Romania)

  1. VIRTUOZ FETEASCA REGALA — DRY 2021
  2. VIRTUOZ FETEASCA NEAGRA — OFF DRY 2021
  3. GRAMOFON WINE SAUVIGNON BLANC — DRY 2020
  4. GRAMOFON WINE CUVEE — MERLOT/FETEASCA NEAGRA/5. CABERNET SAUVIGNON — DRY 2022

Cloudy Bay (New Zealand)

  1. Pelorus NV Methode Traditionelle
  2. Sauvignon Blanc 2023
  3. Te Wahi Pinot Noir 2019

Le Grand Noir (France)

  1. Le Grand Noir Chardonnay
  2. Le Grand Noir GSM Red Blend

K’AVSHIRI (Georgia)

  1. K’AVSHIRI White 2022
  2. K’AVSHIRI Assemblage Red

Shaloshvili’s Wine Cellar (Georgia)

  1. Kisi Mtsvane White Dry 2021
  2. Rkatsiteli Oak Barrel Aged White Dry 2017
  3. Saperavi Oak Barrel Aged Red Dry 2018
  4. Saperavi QVEVRI 2020

Stay tuned for dedicated articles exploring the captivating stories behind each of these esteemed participating wineries and their enchanting wine destinations. We are preparing a separate article about the wineries that presented their wines at this festive tasting for wine lovers and enogastronomic travellers.

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