Why Rioja Is, As the Wine Region’s International Slogan Claims, Spain’s Finest

Rioja to Host the World’s Best Vineyards 2023 Awards.

Rioja, Spain is thrilled to be hosting an international competition to select the world’s best vineyards and wineries from July 10 – 13th in the DOCa Rioja, Spain with an investment of over half a million euros.

One hundred VIPs, including 20 members of the jury and 30 international journalists, will tour the designation of origin to experience its wineries.

The luxury event underscores the DOCa’s commitment to surpass the pre-pandemic figures for wine tourism and will showcase why Rioja is, as the region’s international slogan claims, Spain’s Finest.

The Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin (DOCa) will become the epicenter of national and international wine tourism following the announcement that the region has been chosen to host the World’s Best Vineyards 2023 convention. This annual event ranks the best experiences that vineyards and wineries have to offer and garners major media coverage worldwide.

The event, which will be celebrated from July 10 – 13th this year, offers an opportunity to showcase Rioja’s potential to a delegation of more than one hundred people, including the event organizers, the jury, national and international journalists, and leading industry figures and experts. The Designation will learn first-hand through an extensive program featuring different tours, tastings, visits to wineries and leisure activities designed for enjoying Rioja’s rich diversity and all the elements that make the region a unique place.

The program of visits organized in collaboration with the DOCa Regulatory Board includes the main event: the announcement of the World’s 50 Best Vineyards of 2023 global ranking on July 12th. This event will be broadcast in real time on YouTube.

The list will feature wineries that offer unparalleled experiences for visitors and are home to some of the wonders of modern architecture, ancestral and family-owned wineries, Michelin-starred restaurants and more.

The jury responsible for the ranking includes more than 500 international figures from the wine industry such as sommeliers and expert travellers. The nominations are based on a range of criteria such as the landscape, the quality of the experience, the gastronomy, the activities available, the quality of the service, etc. Based on their evaluations, the results are compiled to create the final list known as World’s Best Vineyards.


The Olympics of Wine Tourism, in Rioja

The news was announced today by the DOCa Rioja Regulatory Board and the agreement was signed between the Board and the three participating autonomous governments—La Rioja, the Basque Country and Navarre—as project partners. The event was also attended by Andrew Reed, managing director of World’s Best Vineyards.

The event requires an investment of more than half a million euros, a substantial amount of which is directly invested in the Rioja region itself through the contracting of hotel and catering services, accommodation, transport, etc., thus boosting the region’s businesses.

The organizing committee that chose Rioja as the host region said that it is a unique location that “offers a wide variety of fun and memorable outdoor activities for all ages,” in addition to “more than 600 wineries, including some of the most famous and award-winning wineries in the world” and has “charming towns and cities, in addition to being one of Spain’s culinary hubs par excellence, creating a perfect pairing with its delicious wine.”

The Designation’s Regulatory Board believes that wine tourism is the best way to showcase the wines and is guiding the region to become a leading international wine tourism destination with a target of more than 1.2 million visits by 2025. The impact that wine tourism had on the DOCa in 2021 was around 103.7 million euros, a figure still below the more than 170 million euros recorded in pre-pandemic 2019.

Hosted by Rioja

This milestone highlights Rioja’s commitment and dedication to establishing itself as a leader for the world’s great wine regions and bringing its international slogan Rioja, Spain’s Finest to life. The Designation continues to work to remain among the world’s best, with a special focus on the growth of international visits: according to the 2021 Wine Tourism Monitor, the Designation received almost half a million visitors (460,137), 20.3% of whom were foreign tourists. Prior to the pandemic (2019), Rioja registered 860,000 visitors.

Andrew Reed, managing director of World’s Best Vineyards and managing director of Wines and Exhibitions at event sponsor William Reed, said that when it comes to choosing Rioja as host, “Rioja is the perfect destination to unveil this year’s World’s Best Vineyards list, since it combines wine tourism and culture in equal measure. It’s a region with excellent restaurants, incredible landscapes and, of course, hundreds of extraordinary vineyards. So, we’re excited to host this year’s event here and showcase all that Rioja has to offer.”

As a result of this collaboration between the Rioja Regulatory Board and World’s Best Vineyards, the official brand and logo will include “hosted by Rioja” throughout the year, a claim that will feature in all communications and sponsorships that the sponsoring institution launches.

Fernando Ezquerro, President of the DOCa Rioja said, “It’s an honour to host the prestigious World’s Best Vineyards 2023 competition, a tremendous opportunity to show the world why Rioja is Spain’s Finest. Its history and know-how have helped it to cement its position as Spain’s leading wine region, also in wine tourism, which has a driving effect on the recovery of national tourism and has helped to diversify our country’s offer. Passion for what we do and hospitality make Rioja such a special place to visit and enjoy.”