In the World’s Best Vineyards list for 2022, Henschke’s Eden Valley estate placed at number 36 overall, and as the top vineyard in Australia.

The Shout spoke to Stephen Henschke, Owner and Chief Winemaker at Henschke, and Prue Henschke, the vineyard’s Viticulturist, to hear the reaction of the team.

“It is wonderful to be recognised for a third year in a row as one of the Top 50 World’s Best Vineyards and we are all extremely honoured to be named The Best Vineyard in Australasia 2022,” Stephen said.

“From the vineyard staff who care for our vineyard sites in such a sustainable way to the cellar staff who make and sell our wine, we are all very proud to see Henschke win this award.

“It is testament to the hard work of our team who deliver an exceptional experience to guests from near and far, sharing Henschke’s rich history of grape growing and winemaking tradition in the Eden Valley, Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills.”

Henschke was joined by fellow Australian, Penfolds Magill Estate, in the Top 50 World’s Best Vineyards, while Craggy Range was the sole Kiwi representative.

“We are delighted to be so highly regarded in the international wine community and to be one of two Australian wineries in the Top 50,” Prue said.

“We have some incredible vineyard sites ranging from our ancestral vines to our cool climate sites, which are all managed sustainably, so it is a great achievement for our whole team.”

The World’s Best Vineyards event was on Wednesday, 26 October in Mendoza, Argentina – one of South America’s wine capitals. The list is compiled by a ‘global academy of voters’. The planet is divided into geographical regions, with each region headed up by ‘an acknowledged expert as Academy Chair.’ The chair then recruits a further 36 wine and travel experts in their area, who each nominate seven vineyards.

‘There is no pre-determined checklist of criteria or predefined list to choose from – each vote is a nomination for a vineyard experience open to the public that they deem to truly be the best in the world,’ a statement from the organisation explained. World’s Best Vineyards is organised by William Reed, the same publisher behind the World’s 50 Best Bars list.

The judges commented on Henschke, saying: ‘This family estate in Eden Valley is one of Australia’s most cherished, with an impressive 150 year history, and now being run by the fifth and sixth generation of the family.’

Antinori nel Chianti Classico. Photo Credit: World’s Best Vineyards

Overall, the Antinori nel Chianti Classico vineyard in Tuscany, Italy, was ranked at number one, with judges commending the design and sustainability of the vineyard, alongside the quality of its wines. In second place was Spain’s Bodegas de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal, which finished as runner up for the second year in a row.

Two Chilean vineyards, Montes and VIK Winery, finished in third and fourth place, with Montes winning the continent prize for South America. Robert Mondavi Winery was recognised as the best North American winery, and described the ‘soul of Napa Valley’. Creation in South Africa was deemed the best African winery.

Australia had a further three wineries in the 51-100 section, with d’Arenberg winery from South Australia coming in at number 60, Seppeltsfield Barossa ranking at 71, and WA’s Cullen Wines finishing  at number 99. In total, the best performing nations were France and Portugal, with 11 spots each in the Top 100 list.

It was a good year for emerging wine nations, with more countries than ever before being featured, and wineries from all six habitable continents on the list. There were first time entrants from India, Bulgaria and Greece, and more English wineries (three) on the list than ever before.

Andrew Reed, Managing Director Wine and Exhibitions at William Reed, believes the list provides a useful tool for curious wine-tourists.

“The World’s Best Vineyards highlights wine tourism destinations around the globe and now that travel is back on the cards, this year’s list is more important than ever for raising profiles with tourists and those looking for authentic and unique trips,” Reed said.  

Zuccardi Valle de Uco

Reed also took the opportunity to thank the hosts of the event, Zuccardi Valle de Uco winery, which was promoted to the World’s Best Vineyard’s Hall of Fame after coming top of the list three years in a row. As a result, a new category will be formed of the vineyards that top the list, and are no longer eligible to be voted on for new editions of the list.

“We are so pleased to have been able to travel to Mendoza for this year’s event. It is a place of extraordinary beauty and of course, lots of amazing vineyards – the perfect wine tourism destination. Gracias!”

For Henschke, this kind of international recognition is a testament to the quality of their wines, as Stephen Henschke outlines.

“As a family-owned winery and one of Australia’s First Families of Wine, nurturing our heritage, producing exceptional quality wines and environmental stewardship are core values for us,” Stephen said.

“Henschke is home to some of the best vineyards in the world and this award reinforces that.”

See the full list of vineyards here.

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