The vineyards of Burgundy and Champagne have both been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List after missing out on the accolade two years ago.
The announcement was made after a weekend meeting of the body, which aims to identify and protect sites of global importance for their cultural, historical and geographical attributes.
The inclusion of the ‘Climats de Bourgogne’ winegrowing region on the World Heritage List covers the vineyards of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune, as well as Beaune itself and various winegrowing villages.
It also encompasses the historic centre of Dijon for its association with the ‘political regulatory impetus’ that created the climats system of vineyard classification.
‘The site is an outstanding example of grape cultivation and wine production developed since the High Middle Ages,’ UNESCO said.
Meanwhile, the Champagne inclusion is divided into three parts: the historic vineyards of Hautvillers, Aÿ and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ; Saint-Nicaise Hill in Reims (and its chalk Champagne cellars); and the Avenue de Champagne and Fort Chabrol in Epernay.
Expressing his ‘great satisfaction’, Association Paysages du Champagne president Pierre Cheval said: ‘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.’
UNESCO said the Champagne region ‘bears clear testimony to the development of a very specialised artisan activity that has become an agro-industrial enterprise’.