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January 16, 2023

Rioja to Host the World’s Best Vineyards 2023 Awards

Rioja to host the World’s Best Vineyards
  • The international competition to select the world’s vineyards and wineries will be celebrated from 10 to 13 July in the DOCa Rioja and involves an investment of over half a million euros.
  • A hundred VIPs, including 20 members of the jury and 30 international journalists, will tour the designation of origin’s 100 km of contrasts, experiencing its wineries.
  • This 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.


Logroño, 16 January 2023 – The Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin (DOCa) will become the epicentre of national and international wine tourism following the announcement that the region has been chosen to host the World’s Best Vineyards 2023 convention, a celebrated annual event where the ranking of the best experiences that vineyards and wineries have to offer are unveiled, an event that enjoys tremendous prestige and major media coverage worldwide.

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

The programme of visits organised 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 12 July. This event will be broadcast in real time on YouTube.

Like every year, 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, sommeliers and expert travellers, who submit their nominations 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 at the headquarters of the DOCa Rioja Regulatory Board, where 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 organising committee that chose Rioja as the host region said that it is a unique location with a “picturesque and impressive” landscape; the region “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 experiences are the best way to showcase Rioja wines, which is why they are committed to turning the region into one of the leading international wine tourism destinations, and have included the target of more than 1.2 million visits by 2025 in their Strategic Plan. 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

Beyond unveiling the most outstanding wine tourism options, this milestone highlights Rioja’s commitment and dedication to establishing itself as a leading showcase to which only the world’s great wine regions have access, thus 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”.

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