Raise a glass to wine resorts for incentive trips and small corporate meetings

Here are three great international venues for your next sales incentive or employee appreciation trips

It is that time of year when vineyards all across the globe are preparing to harvest their fruit and begin the time honored tradition of making wine. Ever since Lucille Ball stomped her way into our hearts on her famous show, wineries have been a part of world’s culture. Today, vineyards around the world are becoming the “in place” for meetings, sales incentive trips and employee recognition events. Much more than just a place to do a “wine tasting”, resorts have sprung out of the fruit-filled hills offering a plush and often an educational location for your next event. So whether you are a vino enthusiast or just looking for that unique local for your group, consider a wine resort. Here are some of our favourites.

Wine resorts for incentive trips and small corporate meetings

Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Elciego, Spain

If you want to blow your attendees away, then take them to the Hotel Marques de Riscal. This Guggenheim style wine destination is located in Spain’s Rioja region. The property is great for a buy-out and for small groups of incentive winners. It has 14 luxury suites and a wonderful restaurant on-site. Eight spacious conference rooms and ballrooms can welcome up to 850 people, and the property’s seven terraces are perfect for social events, with the most spectacular sights of the vineyards, the mountains and the medieval villages. The hotel and the wine will leave your attendees breathless!

L’And Vineyards, Portugal

Located in Portugal’s Alentejo region, the vineyard unravels around a central vintner valley that connects to several accommodation units which emerge from the landscape in smaller clusters. The centre complex is located next to the lake housing reception, restaurant and organic spa. Less than an hour from Lisbon, Portugal, it is easy to get to for a quick meeting or long weekend sales incentive trip. The vineyard is stylish and has a very warm feel to it. Retractable over-the-bed roofs offer stunning nighttime views of star-lit skies, and outdoor fireplace-equipped patios look out over greenery and patches of farmland. We love this local for the sheer beauty of the area, and its wonderful infinity pool.

Ponte Vineyard Inn, Temecula, California,  USA

This vineyard has a mission style hotel on its property. Tucked in  Temecula, California, this longtime small producer Ponte Winery takes natural surroundings to create scenic views and is a place where folks who want to “learn wine” go. Their established wine club lets you know that they have fantastic customer service! This vineyard is well versed in groups and even offers team building activities for attendees such as wine tasting, vineyard dinners, grape stomp (August to November), got air balloon rides and vineyard hay rides. From their barrel room to their reserve room, there are several unique spaces to hold group meetings and events. This one is one of our favorites for smaller team meetings or employee appreciation events.

So there you have it, three great wine resort destinations for that extra special trip. Whether you are searching for the perfect place for a small awards program, or want to blow your executives away with a fantastic board retreat, these three wine resorts will do the trick!

About the author:

Andy McNeill, CEO of AMI, is a veteran of the meetings and event industries, with more than 25 years of experience in the profession. He has assisted firms in a variety of industries including pharmaceutical, biotech, healthcare, consumer, sports marketing and investment banking. He firmly believes in the strategic meeting marketing model and provides consulting services to Fortune 100 clients on the practice. After graduation from Florida State with a degree in marketing, Andy began his career in the event marketing group at Florida State Athletics. Soon after, he launched his own event marketing company and after five years merged with a major sports marketing firm. Andy spent six years with NSG Corporation as the Senior Vice President leading the sales and marketing for the firm who produced events for over 200,000+ attendees annually across the globe. Andy and the NSG team worked with the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta to produce portions of the Opening Ceremonies. Following NSG, Andy secured the role as COO at Fanizzi Associates, one of the nation’s largest event pharmaceutical firms. There he managed the overall operations of the company who executed over 400 events annually for physicians and internal pharmaceutical clients. Revenues exceeded $40 million a year. In 2002, Andy left Fanizzi Associates, and launched AMI with the vision of owning and operating a premiere event marketing and meeting management firm. Since 2002, AMI has grown into a multi-million dollar organization producing hundreds of events annually. The firm has managed programs in more than 20 industries for clients such as Novartis, Mars, Cleveland Clinic, J & J, Baxter, Pfizer and Office Depot. Andy’s vision of keeping AMI on the forefront of meetings technology, theory and practice has made it an industry leader. He is a member of MPI, Site, and the American Marketing Association. He volunteers as a chair of the Human Rights Campaign. Andy's day-to-day responsibilities include client acquisition, consulting and overall company strategy.

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