Burgundy and Champagne have both been recognised by UNESCO, in the latest round of new inclusions to the cultural world heritage list.

The 39th assembly of UNESCO, held in Bonn Germany on July 4, saw five cultural sites accepted – two in Denmark, one in Turkey and two in France.

Both French sites are recognised for their viticultural heritage; the hillsides, houses and cellars of Champagne around Reims and Epernay, and the 1,247 climats, or individual terroirs, of the Côte d’Or in Burgundy. Also recognised are the historic centres of Beaune and Dijon.

Both regions are now eligible for financial assistance to help preservation projects.

‘I would like to pay tribute to all of those involved in this adventure, whose faith in the project and passionate support have never wavered. This inscription is the result of a collective effort, conducted in close cooperation by the local authorities, State services, scientific committee, the wine world, businesses and patrons, and over 64,000 people who joined our Support Committee’, declared Aubert de Villaine, President of the Association des Climats du vignoble de Bourgogne.

‘We are duty bound to preserve and maintain this landscape, know-how and heritage,’ said Pierre Cheval, president of the Associations Paysages du Champagne.

‘This means that the trilogy of great winemaking regions of France – Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne – have all been recognised by UNESCO,’ Pascal Loridon, marketing director of the Burgundy Wine Bureau told decanter.com, referring to the inclusion of Saint Emilion in 1999.

Other wine regions to have UNESCO protection include Piedmont in Italy and the Mosel in Germany.

The two French regions have either begun or are planning celebrations – with a Paulée de Climats in the Château de Mersault on July 9th, while impromptu crowds gathered upon the news in the Champagne town of Hautvillers, the birthplace of Dom Perignon.

An indepth exhibit centering around the climats of Burgundy is planned for the new Cité des Vin in Beaune, expected to open in 2016.

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  • Evan Byrne

    Do try to keep up…we in the Langhe, Roero & Monferrato were approved over a year ago !