Burgundy and Champagne gain World Heritage listing
Burgundy and Champagne have both had their applications for UNESCO World Heritage listing accepted. The listings are for “The Climats and Terroirs of Burgundy” and “Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars”. Both approvals were announced on July 4.
Both were included in the World Heritage List in its Living Cultural Landscapes category as being of exceptional universal value. The following pars are from the official announcement – see http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1315/
The Climats, Terroirs of Burgundy (France) — The climats are precisely delimited vineyard parcels on the slopes of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune south of the city of Dijon. They differ from one another due to specific natural conditions (geology and exposure) as well as vine types and have been shaped by human cultivation. Over time they came to be recognized by the wine they produce. This cultural landscape consists of two parts. Firstly, the vineyards and associated production units including villages and the town of Beaune, which together represent the commercial dimension of the production system. The second part includes the historic centre of Dijon, which embodies the political regulatory impetus that gave birth to the climats system. The site is an outstanding example of grape cultivation and wine production developed since the High Middle Ages.
Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars (France) — The property 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 Hautvillers, 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.