July 14: Hampi Hills-based boutique winery KRSMA Estate in Karnataka was the first-ever Indian entry that made the 50 World’s Best Vineyards List at the first Virtual Awards announced live last night at 9:30 pm through the YouTube Channel, by Andrew Reed, Managing Director, Events of William Reed Business Media in partnership for 2020 with Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW), with the two top winners of 2019 Zuccardi Valle de Uco and Bodega Garzón holding their ground, writes Subhash Arora who attended the Presentation
KRSMA Estate is the first and only vineyard from India to have made the list at No. 46. ‘KRSMA Estate has fast become a magnate for Indian wine enthusiasts and is sought out by those who like to keep off the beaten track. Started in 2008 by the marathon running couple Krishna Kumar and Uma Chigurupati, it is a premium wine estate that shows India can compete on the world stage’, said the announcement.
The 2020 winner is the same as last year- Argentinian winery in the lush heart of the Uco Valley, at the foot of the Andes mountains. A family-run business founded in 1963, the Zuccardi Valle de Uco unveiled a stunning new modernist bodega in 2016.
Similarly, Uruguay's Bodega Garzón, keeps the second place, and wins kudos for being a leader in sustainability. It offers a top-class program of tastings and events, and its 120-seat restaurant offers Uruguayan cuisine and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Interestingly, Alberto Antonini, the well- known Tuscan winemaker is the consultant winemaker for this winery.
As Andrew Reed explained, the List was chosen by a group of 500 wine and travel experts and sommeliers from all parts of the world. The List is compiled from all of the nominations by the global academy of these voters. The world is split into geographical regions, each headed up by an expert as the Academy Chair. Each one is responsible for recruiting 36 wine and travel experts. Each juror was asked to name 7 vineyards out of which 4 must be outside his country. Every recommendation was for the best wine destination on the basis of vineyard experience including the wine tour, tasting, winery architecture, wines, food etc. Clarifying that there was no single definition for vineyard quality, jurors were asked to recommend based on their own experience.
The awardees were a bag of famous names mixed with not-so-famous names and included Domaine Wachau, Ch. Margaux, Ch. Mouton Rothschild, Antinori, Gaja, Torres, Marques de Riscal, Bodegas Vivanco, Montes, Errazuriz, Taittinger, Ruinart, Craggy Range, Rippon, Dr. Loosen, Schloss Johannisberg, Quinta do Noval, Quinta do Crasto, Robert Mondavi, Opus One, Penfolds Megill, d'Arenberg, Catena Zapata, Delaire Graff, Domaine Sigalas, Ch Heritage and of course, KRSMA to name just a few at random.
It was surprising to see Sula Vineyards not find a place in the Top 50 List. With multiple tasting rooms, two beautiful Resorts and restaurants serving Indian and Italian cuisine, an excellent view from the older Tasting Room of the vineyards, the annual SulaFest and 350,000 visitors a year, it is an epitome of world class tourism. But it was the collective wisdom of the international jury that decided the winners.
Andre rued the fact that restaurants had been booming and there was vibrancy all around in the wine world last year. Overnight it had all changed. But it was a testament to the communicability of vineyards that the event was still being held this year; last year it was held in London in front of the invitees. As the world emerges from lockdown and out of hibernation, digital customers would need to be converted to real life customers,’ he said.
The project was sponsored by Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW) which has 1800 growers as members. Sonoma was the first in California where a winery was established in 1857, said Karissa Kruse, President of the SCW. Sonoma has 99% sustainable vineyards with Multi-generational family businesses. There are 425 wineries many of whose owners have generations of family winemakers. Sonoma makes world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, she said.
The Awards Ceremony may be viewed on YouTube, which has a 52-minute capsule with welcome speech and introductions lasting 17 minutes. To watch the whole program and the List of winners, visit:
You may also visit the complete List at https://www.worldsbestvineyards.com/top-50/
For an Article on last year’s event, visit:
World’s Best Vineyards to Visit announced in London
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