The international network of ten major cities in the northern and southern hemispheres was founded in 1999. Its aim is to promote travel, education and economic contacts between renowned wine metropolises through the exchange of information, knowledge and experience. In addition, the aim is to work together on their own exclusivity and to enhance their own wine cultural identity.
Gastronomy and wine routes are developed by tour operators from each city to facilitate travel between the regions. Specialist conferences are held parallel to the annual general meetings. The annual "Best Of Wine Tourism' Awards" competition recognizes wineries in member cities that excel in excellence in art and culture to sustainable wine tourism.
The member cities are Adelaide (South Australia), Bilbao(Rioja, Spain), Bordeaux(Bordeaux, France), Lausanne(Vaud, Switzerland), Mainz(Rheinhessen, Germany), Mendoza(Mendoza, Argentina), Porto(Douro, Portugal), San Francisco(Napa Valley, California), Valparaiso (Casablanca Valley, Chile) and Verona(Veneto, Italy). The Austrian capital Vienna is not a member, but is one of the most important wine cities in the world due to more than 600 hectares of vineyards within the city limits.
In this context, the World's Best Vineyards competition to promote wine tourism should be mentioned. The 50 best wineries in the world were selected. The evaluation criteria were not only the wine-specific services of the winery, but also the landscape environment, accessibility, architecture and (if available), the service regarding hotel, restaurant and event management.