Western Cape establishments have scooped top honours at a global wine tourism awards competition.

Drinks International, a leading wines and beers journal, this month announced the winners of its annual Wine Tourism Awards.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, congratulated Val Du Charron, La Motte, Spier Wine Farm and Stellenbosch Wine Routes for their achievements at the awards.

The winners include:

Most innovative tourism experience: Val Du Charron Wines, Wellington

The judges commended the venue for transforming its cellar into a theatre during winter, with actors educating and entertaining visitors.

Best educational experience: La Motte, Franschhoek

The judges praised the estate’s use of social media and cookbook, describing their approach as "focused with a lot of thought and detail".

Best wine event: Spier Wine Farm, Stellenbosch

The estate’s secret courtyard was a winning concept, providing a space for guests to socialise.

Best promotional body: Stellenbosch Wine Routes

The body’s wine festival which attracted 30 000 people over ten days earned a special mention.

La Motte was "highly commended" for its visitor centre and Stellenbosch Wine Routes received the same commendation in the Best Digital and Social Media category.

Minister Winde said the establishments had beat out strong competition from entrants in the United Kingdom, Argentina, Chile, Greece, Italy and Portugal to win the awards in their categories. 2

He said the awards would offer a boost for the Western Cape’s wine tourism sector.

"In 2013, wine tourism generated R6 billion nationally. The industry is an important economic driver in the province. Of the 289 151 jobs in the national wine industry, 167 494 are in the Western Cape.

"Of all the wine tourists visiting the Western Cape, 43% went to the Cape Winelands. These awards show why the region is so popular with visitors. This is excellent promotion for our region’s wineries and will encourage more international visitors to explore our award-wining wine estates," said Minister Winde.

Next week, Minister Winde, in partnership with VinPro, will table the interim report on the Western Cape’s 2014/15 harvest season, including updates on the wine grape harvest. Further details will be released shortly.