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The World’s Best Vineyards Voting Academy to Reveal Top 50 Vineyards in July

Santa Rosa, CA – Whenever leading wine experts, sommeliers, and travel correspondents from across the globe recommend top wine regions to visit, Sonoma County typically has a place on everyone’s list. Thus, it should be no surprise in July that the international wine community will gather in Sonoma County when the Top 50 Vineyards is revealed. 

Sonoma County is the world’s most sustainable wine region, with more than 99% of its vineyards certified sustainable, and a natural choice for the World’s Best Vineyard event.  The county includes 18 AVAs (American Viticultural Area) which define the diversity of this renowned wine region and exhibit a far greater variety of wine styles and grapes than you will find in most other premium wine areas. From the highly regarded Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast, to the dense flavorful Zinfandel of Dry Creek Valley and distinctive, approachable Cabernet Sauvignon of Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County’s range of geography—valleys to mountains, coastal ranges to inland bench lands—is second to none.

“We are very excited to host this year’s edition of World’s Best Vineyards.  Sonoma County’s 1,800 winegrowers and 495 wineries across our 18 growing appellations, are looking forward to welcoming our guests from around the world,” said Karissa Kruse, president of the Sonoma County Winegrowers.  She added, “We look forward to showcasing the quality and diversity of our wines produced with great care by our multi-generational wine and grape growing families. And most importantly, sharing our commitment to sustainability, climate adaptation and supporting our local communities.”

The World’s Best Vineyard is determined after each member of the Academy submits 7 vineyard nominations based on all the different elements that make for a rewarding visit for guests, including quality of tours, ambiance, cuisine, staff, views, accessibility, value and reputation. These nominations are then collated and converted into the Top 50 list.  The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Monday, July 13th, in Santa Rosa. Real-time results will also be available through the World’s Best Vineyards website, as well as social media channels.

“The diversity in the inaugural Top 50 was incredible. There were the famous names, of course, but they appeared alongside some of the wine industry’s best-kept secrets with many boutique wineries taking top spot,” said Andrew Reed, Managing Director Events and Exhibitions at William Reed.  He added, “Wine tourism is growing all around the world and we are happy to recognize these destinations and the experiences they can offer. We are excited about working with Sonoma County Winegrowers, whom I am confident will make amazing hosts to this year’s event!”

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About Sonoma County Winegrowers

The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, also known as Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW), was established in 2006 as a marketing and educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. With 18 AVAs, more than 1,800 growers, SCW’s goal is to increase awareness and recognition of the quality and diversity of Sonoma County’s grapes and wines through dynamic marketing and educational programs targeted to wine consumers around the world.  Learn more at

About the Academy

The World’s Best Vineyards Academy is the mechanism used to create The World’s Best Vineyards list.  The Academy comprises nearly 500 leading wine aficionados, sommeliers, and luxury travel correspondents from across the globe. Each has been selected for their expert opinion of the international wine and wine tourism scene.  To create the Academy and give it a fair representation of the global wine scene, we divide the world into geographical regions. In each region we appointed an acknowledged expert as the Academy Chair. They were responsible for recruiting 36 individuals (a balanced mix of wine aficionados, sommeliers, wine trade, luxury travel correspondents and anyone whose regular hobby and passion is visiting wine regions) to nominate their seven top vineyard experiences. The voters could nominate up to 3 vineyards inside their voting region and at least 4 from outside their voting region.  The Top 50 list is compiled from all the nominations by the global academy of voters. The world is split into geographical regions, each headed up by an acknowledged expert as the Academy Chair. Each Academy Chair is responsible for recruiting 36 wine and travel experts. Each member of the voting Academy must vote for 7 vineyards and at least 4 of the nominated vineyards must be from outside their voting region. There is no pre-determined checklist of criteria or predefined list to choose from – each vote is a nomination for a vineyard experience that they deem to truly be the best in the world.