Quite a title, but one that was recently bestowed upon the Dinastia Vivanco Foundation.
If you are not involved in the publishing business, or even if you are but not in Food & Wine publishing, then you may not have heard of the Gourmand Awards [shockingly bad site I'm afraid, but they are publishers you know!].
Every year, the Gourmand World Cookbook Award organisation reviews the thousands of food & wine (& other alcohol too) books produced around the world every year. These are then divided into a bewildering array of categories – including, for example, ‘Best French Cookbook not published in France’, and evaluated.
The results are then announced at a lavish ceremony somewhere glamorous every year. In the last few years the awards have taken place in Barcelona & Kuala Lumpur and this year it was London.
The Dinastia Vivanco project has several aspects; the Winery (of course), the Museum, and the Foundation. The Foundation supports a range of projects which I’ll mention another time, but it has also published a small number of books about wine and wine culture. I will be looking at each of the books in future, including the latest entitled: El Cine del Vino (roughly translated as The Cinema of Wine – i.e. those films that have been inspired by wine, or where wine has been a central character, not just a prop).
Dinastia Vivanco wins! Hurrah! Except, by a twist of fate and an accidental double-click, it was only there for half a second and then moved to the final award. No award. No speech. No celebration.
Every one of the books published by the Dinastia Vivanco Foundation has had some recognition from the Gourmand Awards, and this year, as well as coming second in the Best Wine Book category, the whole publishing operation was recognised for its efforts with the award for Best Wine Publisher. This is a great honour for such a small, and young, operation. Santiago Vivanco who runs the Foundation as well as the Museum (in partnership with his brother Rafael Vivanco who runs the Winery) was very grateful for this recognition.
We did have a little hiccup however. Having sat through 3 hours of the awards ceremony, congratulating winners in every other category, we anxiously awaited the announcement of the Best Wine Publisher award which happened to be the second last of the whole event.
Having announced the Best Wine Book, the next slide came up with our name. Dinastia Vivanco wins! Hurrah! Except, by a twist of fate and an accidental double-click, it was only there for half a second and then moved to the final award. No award. No speech. No celebration. What happened?
Maybe they would come back to it? “Leave the best till last!” sort of thing? In fact, it was an error. Just as they were sending everyone away I ran up to the stage and pointed out the error. Oops! A tiny technical error, the only one of the night, and it was during our moment of glory.
All was well however as they immediately went back and announced the award and we got our few seconds being centre stage. More importantly, the Foundation got the recognition it deserves.
Now, the only problem is that the books are almost all exclusively in Spanish at the moment, so we need to find a US or UK publisher who would work with us to translate the books and distribute them to a wider audience. If you have any thoughts or ideas, do please let me know.
These are exciting times for the Dinastia Vivanco project, as its reputation spreads around the world not just as a great winery, but also for its mission to share and spread the Culture of Wine. More and more consumers are interested in the history and provenance of their wines and hopefully we can play our part in helping that discovery.
Full disclosure: I represent Dinastia Vivanco in the UK & Ireland