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UNESCO: Burgundy and Champagne wine regions recognised

By Vitisphere July 17, 2015
UNESCO: Burgundy and Champagne wine regions recognised

he thirty-ninth assembly of the World Heritage Committee, which convened in Bonn, unanimously recognised the Outstanding Universal Value of the Unesco applications filed eight years ago by the Champagne Landscapes Association and the Burgundy Climats Association. The July 4th decision wholeheartedly embraced wine growing as part of cultural heritage, recognising the Hillsides, Houses and Cellars of Champagne in the cultural landscape category, and the Climats, Terroirs of Burgundy under cultural property. The area recognised in Champagne encompasses three distinct components: the historic vineyards of Hautvilliers, Aÿ and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ; the underground cellars on Saint-Nicaise Hill in Reims; and the commercial hub of Champagne, the Avenue de Champagne and Fort Chabrol in Epernay. In Burgundy, Unesco recognised “precisely delimited vineyard parcels on the slopes of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune south of the city of Dijon”, a landscape component linked to marketing wines (particularly in Beaune) and “Dijon, which embodies the political regulatory impetus that gave birth to the climats system”.

Now that the marathon application procedure is over, the festivities have already begun and should continue in to the summer. In Burgundy, a special Paulée was held on July 9 at Château de Meursault, under the patronage of well-known French television presenter Bernard Pivot, chairman of the Burgundy climats support committee. In Champagne, the town of Reims is holding a ‘white evening’ and sound and light festival in Léo Lagrange park. In Epernay, Bastille Day will be celebrated in white, the colour of the Unesco listing, with visits to cellars and tastings all along the Avenue de Champagne.

Saint-Emilion was recognised by Unesco in 1999, and Bordeaux is now considering applying for Unesco to recognise the 1855 Medoc and Sauternes classification. At Vinexpo, Philippe Castéjà, chairman of the 1855 Great Classed Growth Council, announced that an “international, multidisciplinary symposium on the 1855 classification” would be held in 2016, stressing that “the time seems to have come to start procedures aimed at securing recognition as French Intangible Cultural Heritage, the first step towards international recognition by Unesco”.


[Source: Vitisphere; Photo: BIVB]

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