Champagne Vineyard Cultural Landscape Gets Included In UNESCO World Heritage List
The 21 representatives of the State Parties to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention unanimously voted in favour of including the Champagne Slopes, Houses and Cellars on the World Heritage List in the Living Cultural Landscapes category.
The committee members recognized their Exceptional Universal Value and deemed that the protection and management conditions for the proposed property had been fulfilled.
Acoording to UNSECO the property included in its list encompasses sites where the method of producing sparkling wines was developed on the principle of secondary fermentation in the bottle since the early 17th century to its early industrialization in the 19th century.
The property is made up of three distinct ensembles: the historic vineyards of Hautvilliers, Aÿ and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Saint-Nicaise Hill in Reims, and the Avenue de Champagne and Fort Chabrol in Epernay.
These three components – the supply basin formed by the historic hillsides, the production sites (with their underground cellars) and the sales and distribution centres (the Champagne Houses) – illustrate the entire champagne production process. The property bears clear testimony to the development of a very specialized artisan activity that has become an agro-industrial enterprise.
“Inclusion on the list is a form of recognition but also an undertaking to the world’s nations, so we must ensure that we are worthy of it. We are duty-bound to preserve and maintain this landscape, know-how and heritage so that we can pass them on unspoilt to future generations.” said Pierre Cheval, president of the Association Paysages du Champagne, which has spent eight years putting together and managing the area’s application.