A McLAREN Vale winery has been recognised on the global stage for its environmental practices and developments that enhanced the visitor experience.
Gemtree Wines was the global winner for Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices, announced at the Great Wine Capitals Global Network International Best of Wine tourism awards at Bordeaux, France.
The winery initially won the SA award before going on to compete against entries from the other nine Great Wine Capitals.
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said it was fitting to see a South Australian winery recognised on the world stage for its sustainable approach.
"I commend Gemtree Wines on a remarkable award and it is a true testament to the quality of South Australian wines and the associated tourism experience that this winery is recognised on the world stage," he said.
"This award is more than just recognition for wine tourism, it demonstrates the state's ability to provide a unique experience and tell the story of grape to glass.
"Tourists spend $2.8 billion every year in regional areas of SA, including on our premier food and wine experiences, and the state's wine industry generates $2.15 billion in revenue.
"Gemtree has one of the largest certified biodynamic vineyards in Australia and they are proud custodians of the land, so this award is truly fitting."
Certified organic and biodynamic, Gemtree Wine's cellar door is sustainably built with recycled materials and sits next to a 10-hectare nature reserve, which the family planted with more 50,000 natives plants.
Owners Melissa and Mike Brown welcomed the award and said they were passionate about demonstrating that running a business does not need to have a huge impact on the environment.
"We are thrilled to receive worldwide recognition, especially as we have only been running the tourism experience side of Gemtree Wines since 2017," Ms Brown said.
RELATED READING:Jim Barry honoured in diamond milestone year
Mr Brown said the support of the SA Tourism Commission and regional state bodies had helped them grow in confidence as a business.
"We've taken the step of fully resourcing the tourism side," he said.
"It's not just an adjunct to winemaking - we're taking wine tourism seriously and it co-exists with our wine brand.
"An important part of being a custodian of the land is that we continue to educate the generations with us at the moment.
"At our cellar door we can share one-on-one why we farm biodynamically, and people leave us enriched with that information.
"They can take it away and enhance their own sustainable practices - that's a core philosophy for our business."
RELATED READING:Semmler represents Riverland potential
The Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards celebrate innovation and excellence in wine tourism in key wine regions across 10 countries, and provides an opportunity for wineries to gain exposure and recognition for their commitment to providing leading wine tourism experiences.
The 10 Great Wine Capitals include: Adelaide (SA), Bilbao / Rioja (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Lausanne (Switzerland), Mainz / Rheinhessen (Germany), Mendoza (Argentina), Porto (Portugal), San Francisco / Napa Valley (USA) and Valparaso / Casablanca Valley (Chile), and Verona (Italy).
Gemtree Wines, along with other award-winning wine tourism experiences in SA, is up for the People's Choice Award.
- Details: To vote visit greatwinecapitals.com
- Start the day with all the big news in agriculture. Click here to sign up to receive our daily Stock Journal newsletter.