For the first time, Lausanne has had the pleasure of hosting the General Assembly for the international Great Wine Capitals network!

Thursday 26 Oct 2023 Press release

The international Great Wine Capitals (GWC) network brings together the twelve biggest world capitals that share a major economic and cultural asset: their world-renowned wine region. For the first time, from 22 to 26 October, the City of Lausanne hosted the international network’s General Assembly. 120 delegates had the opportunity to discover Swiss vineyards and a country that sits between innovation and tradition on a conference day hosted by important players in Switzerland's economic, tourism and wine-growing landscape. The Assembly closed on Thursday 26 October with a gala and ceremony for the Regional Best Of Wine Tourism and Global Best of Wine Tourism awards.

Established in 1999, the international GWC is the only network in the world to connect wine regions in “old” Europe with the “new” world. GWC aims to promote commercial, tourist and educational exchanges between its twelve member cities: Adelaide | South Australia, Bilbao | Rioja (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Cape Town | Cape Winelands (South Africa), Hawke’s Bay (New Zealand), Lausanne (Switzerland), Mainz | Rheinhessen (Germany), Mendoza (Argentina), Porto (Portugal), San Francisco | Napa Valley (USA), Valparaiso | Casablanca Valley (Chile) and Verona (Italy). The GWC network aims to provide memorable wine experiences for visitors and helps cities and their wineries promote their extraordinary culture, heritage and region. Since 2018, the City of Lausanne has represented the entire Swiss wine-growing region in this prestigious network (www.greatwinecapitals.com).

“Promoting wine tourism is a unique opportunity for the wine sector to showcase the diversity of Swiss wines and present their fascinating landscapes and rich history to the general public. It’s also an opportunity for this wealth to reach further than wine lovers. Lausanne’s Great Wine Capitals membership has been a major milestone for the development of Swiss wine tourism”, Nicolas Joss, Director of Swiss Wine Promotion.

From 22 to 26 October, delegates from the twelve countries explored Swiss vineyards through “technical tours” organised in the country’s wine-growing regions. These visits highlighted the winegrowers’ ancestral know-how, diversity of the terroir, main grape varieties, research and development of the wine sector, as well as wine tourism offers and landscape heritage. “The GWC network’s General Assembly in Lausanne has helped strengthen the standing of wine tourism in the Vaud capital and Swiss wine-growing region. The future of wine tourism is encouraging, both nationally and worldwide. Lausanne is delighted to be able to offer these experiences to curious visitors and lovers of Swiss vintages”, Steeve Pasche, Director of Lausanne Tourisme and President of the GWC 2023 General Assembly

The GWC General Assembly was punctuated by the 6th edition of the Swiss Wine Tourism Meetings, with a conference day on the theme “Wine tourism in Switzerland: from tradition to innovation” with the participation of Suisse Tourisme, Presence Switzerland, the Brotherhood of Winegrowers, Agroscope and other partners. The day was a unique opportunity to meet stakeholders from around the world, as well as broadening approaches and promoting innovation and the standing of Swiss wine tourism in the wider world.

At the end of the conference day, the gala and Best Of Wine Tourism awards ceremony was held. Created by the GWC, the project awards individual and collective approaches that contribute to the promotion of wine tourism. It is aimed at all stakeholders in the world of wine, tourism, gastronomy, terroir and heritage. Each capital in the network organises its own internal competition, with the winners in each category receiving the title of Regional Best Of Wine Tourism. All the Regional Best Of Wine Tourism winners automatically participate in the international Global Best Of Wine Tourism awards.

The Swiss winners in the Regional Best Of Wine Tourism

The Swiss winners for each category in the Regional Best Of Wine Tourism awards are:

The "Train du Vigneron" - BAM la Voie des Sens offer in Morges (VD) has won a "Global Best Of Wine Tourism" award for the best offer among the Swiss "Regional Best Of Wine Tourism".

Finally, from 30 October to 13 November, the public has the opportunity to vote for their favourite wine tourism offer with seven categories in the People’s Choice Award! Visit the website.

The Assembly, not to mention the attractive offer of Best Of Wine Tourism, clearly demonstrates the enthusiasm towards wine tourism all over the world. The theme responds to the visitors’ need to have a full experience of the place they are exploring. This form of tourism allows guests to be completely immersed in the setting, gives the economy a boost, promotes conversation with locals and allows traditions, expertise and passion to be shared.

2024 Great Wine Capitals General Assembly to take place in Verona

The next General Assembly for the international network will take place in Verona from 20 to 24 October 2024.

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