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UNESCO Names Champagne Hillsides, Houses, and Cellars on the World Heritage List

UNESCO Names Champagne Hillsides, Houses, and Cellars on the World Heritage List

The French region is famous for its bubbly wine and now receives international recognition

Champange Hillsides, Houses and Cellars has been added to UNESCO's World Heritage List.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List is a compilation of unique and diverse parts of the word that stand out and are considered as having “outstanding value to humanity.” Such places include the Great Barrier Reef, the pyramids of Egypt, and Stonehenge. On July 4, the UNESCO World Heritage Convention voted in favor of adding the Champagne Hillsides, Houses, and Cellars to the list.

French representatives were thrilled to see the Champagne region recognized. “We are duty-bound to preserve and maintain this landscape, know-how, and heritage so that we can pass it on to future generations,” Pierre Cheval, president of the Association Paysages du Champagne, said. “We have a date with history, our very own history.”

The history of Champagne wine dates back to 496 A.D., but it wasn’t until the twelfth century that kings of France were crowned in Reims, Champagne, and guests were served the eponymous drink. Champagne is made using grapes grown in the region, which makes them ideal for the sparkling wine.

Other notable food- and drink-related areas on the UNESCO list include the rice terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, coffee cultural landscape of Colombia, and the agave landscape of the Valles Region in Mexico, where tequila is often produced.


UNESCO World Heritage Adds Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars

Cheers to champagne lovers across the world! The UNESCO World Heritage Convention announced this past weekend the decision to add France’s Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars to the UNESCO World Heritage List. This recognizes the region’s unique attributes, which have led to its distinction as the sole producer of the world-renowned Champagne wines.

UNESCO World Heritage adds Champagne region of France to World Heritage List

The Vineyards Of Champagne & Burgundy Are So Special, The UN Has Named Them World Heritage Sites

Every so often, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) deems a place a “World Heritage Site” – a spot that’s so special it gets an international pat on the back. Think of the World Heritage List as an archive of humanity’s most important places – be they buildings, geographical areas, or cities. On July 4th, UNESCO added two wine-centric attractions to the exclusive list: The Climats of Burgundy, and the Champagne Hillsides.

Not that we needed UNESCO to tell us French wine country is one of the most important places in the world, but we appreciate them acknowledging this and spreading the word.

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The recognized cultural landscape is comprised of two parts. First, 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 center of Dijon, which embodies the political regulatory system that gave birth to the climats system.

The Climats consists of vineyards on the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune, both located south of Dijon. The two clusters take advantage of Burgundy’s incredible terroir, which is responsible for some of the best wine you can enjoy today, including high-end Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. According to UNESCO, “the site is an outstanding example of grape cultivation and wine production developed since the High Middle Ages.” We’ll drink to that.

Vineyards in the Épernay region of Champagne.

The UN’s love for French wine doesn’t stop at Burgundy. The Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars also get a shout out. It’s no surprise why – we’re pretty grateful for French bubbly. After all, with the exception of California, Champagne can only be produced in Champagne. The Champagne Hillsides property consists of three parts: the vineyards of Hautvilliers, Aÿ as well as Reims’ Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Saint-Nicaise Hill, the Avenue de Champagne, and Fort Chabrol in Epernay. As UNESCO points out, the area encapsulates Champagne’s production process from grape growth to bottle distribution. Champagne is truly born and raised in Champagne.

While Champagne and Burgundy are certainly some of the best wine-making regions in the world, there are plenty of other places that produce fantastic alcohol – wine, beer, and spirits alike. Which areas would you nominate for UNESCO’s next installment of the World Heritage List?


UNESCO names 24 new world heritage sites

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee on Thursday, at the conclusion of its annual meeting in Bonn, Germany, inscribed 24 new sites into the World Heritage List.

In the past 10 days, over 2,000 delegates from around 160 countries gathered at the western German city of Bonn, examined nominations of new heritage sites and reviewed the state of conservation of sites already in the heritage list.

It said that out of the 36 sites that were examined this year, 24 sites were granted world heritage status for their “outstanding universal value”, increasing the total number of world heritage sites to 1,031.

It said that China’s Tusi Sites, remained of tribal domains in southwest China whose hereditary rulers were appointed by ancient China’s central government as “Tusi”.

The meeting said that the sites became the country’s 48th world heritage, keeping China as the second biggest country of world heritage after Italy.

It named other new sites to include, the Champagne hillsides, houses and cellars in France, the Forth Bridge in Scotland, San Antonio Missions in the U.S., and Blue and John Crow Mountains in Jamaica, the country’s first world heritage.

Jing Feng, Chief, World Heritage Center’s Asia and Pacific unit, said that as the number of world heritage sites increased, the UN was under pressure to oversee and support the conservation of heritage sites with its limited resources.

“The World Heritage Committee was considering tightening the quota of new heritage sites.

“The maximum number of nominations to be examined each year would be reduced to 25 from the current level of 45.

“Countries should make sufficient comparative studies, and nominate best of the best,” he said.

Feng said that during the meeting that opened on June 28, the UNESCO also urged protection of world heritage sites from threat of intentional destruction, especially in the Middle East, and natural disasters, calling intentional attacks against world heritage “war crimes”.

He said that three sites in Yemen and Iraq were listed as endangered world heritage due to damages or threat from the ongoing armed conflicts in the two countries.

The World Heritage Committee also announced that its next annual meeting will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from July 10 to July 20 in 2016. (Xinhua/NAN)

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Celebrate Champagne&rsquos World Heritage Designation with a Tasting Trip

With Champagne&rsquos recent designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it&rsquos time for a proper visit.

Though most eyes have been on Greece this week, UNESCO announced the addition of two French regions to its list of World Heritage Sites: Champagne and Burgundy. Yes, these are also the names of wines, which is part of the point. Making these areas World Heritage Sites means the UN’s culture body wants to enshrine and protect not just their architecture and environment, but their way of life, too.

UNESCO World Heritage designation is prestigious, and can certainly help boost tourism. If you’re not a wine taster, however, Burgundy can be a tough sell. It’s beautiful, but the holdings are tiny, the winemakers are many, and Dijon, the main city of the region, has never been, to my mind, a must-visit.

Conversely, the “hillsides, houses and cellars” of the Champagne region, as UNESCO describes them, are a tourism no-brainer, and I’m always surprised more people aren’t putting the area on their list when they’re in Paris.

Reims, the main city of the Champagne region, is just a little over an hour away on the TGV (note: it can take that long to get from one end of Paris to the other). While it rains a lot there and can be a bit chilly, Reims, Epernay, and the smaller villages to the hilly south and east feel galaxies away from the Haussmannian ivories of Paris𠅊 proper escape, and one that can be done in a day.

In Reims, practically every bistro in town has a wide choice of champagne by the glass to get you into the spirit. Unfortunately, the beloved classic Le Boulingrin (entrees $15 to $30) has recently downgraded its dຜor, but its old-school food is still satisfyingly high quality. The stunning Les Crayeres hotel, with its talented in-house chef Philippe Mille, is the definition of over-the-top chateau-style luxury, which France does like nobody else.

In neighboring Epernay, the gingerbread look of the Avenue Champagne, where LVMH’s stable (which includes Moët-Hennessy, Mercier, Veuve Clicquot and Dom Pérignon) and other legacy houses like Pol Roger have their headquarters, may appear cute and quaint, but the operations behind the fa󧫞s are multinational money machines. (Pop in to any of the above for a tour to observe the slickness.)

The region is just over an hour away from Paris by car, and with your own transport you can pop into the countless small villages that supply grapes to houses big and small. This is the best way to know grower champagnes, or the family-run vineyards that make a little of their own on the side. These can be eccentric, distinctive and wonderful, with many producers happy to receive unscheduled drop-ins.

Champagne.fr, the website of the trade association that represents everyone with the right to call themselves a champagne producer, is a great place to start planning.

Alexandra Marshall is a contributing editor and the Paris correspondent at Travel & Leisure. Food, design, architecture and fashion are her specialties, which means, living in Paris, that she is very busy. You can follow her on Twitter at @alexmabroad and on Instagram @alexandra3465.


1971 – 1980: Market organisation and global development


1971 Opening of Champagne Bureaus in Australia and The Netherlands. Implementation of new planting programme: 4,300 hectares over 5 years.

1972 Exports account for 32.5% of all Champagne shipments, of which 16% vintage Champagne. A total 2,850 growers ship 32 million bottles of Champagne. CIVC staff total 52.

1973 The CIVC funds vineyard trails and water resources management.

1974 Jean-Michel Ducellier (representing the Champagne Houses) becomes CIVC co-president. Launch of &lsquoVin de Champagne Awards&rsquo in Australia &ndash the first in a series of Champagne promotions by the Champagne Bureaus across the world.

1975 Third joint trade contract to regulate the market for Champagne. Vineyard planting comes to a halt. Champagne trade association launches national advertising campaign &lsquoChampagne: there&rsquos nothing like it&rsquo.

1976 Opening of Champagne Bureau in Italy. Nine million bottles of Champagne are shipped by 24 cooperative wineries.

1978 Marc Brugnon (representing the growers) becomes CIVC co-president. Fourth joint trade contract to regulate the market for Champagne.

1979 Wine cooperatives represent 62% of &lsquodéclarants&rsquo (see above) and 48% of the total area under vine.

1980 Implementation of new planting programme: 5,000 hectares over the next 10 years.


World Heritage List

The "Convent Ensemble of San Francisco de Lima", which was previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the "Historic Centre of Lima".

The “Belfries of Flanders and Wallonia” which were previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, are part of the transnational property “The Belfries of Belgium and France”.

The “Belfries of Flanders and Wallonia” which were previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, are part of the transnational property “The Belfries of Belgium and France”.

The "Chateau and Estate of Chambord", which was previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the "Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes".

The “Hadrian’s Wall” which was previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the transnational property “Frontiers of the Roman Empire”.

At the time the property was extended, cultural criterion (iv) was also found applicable.

At the time the property was extended, cultural criterion (iv) was also found applicable.

At the time the property was extended, criteria (iii) and (v) were also found applicable.

The Committee decided to extend the existing cultural property, the "Temple of Ggantija", to include the five prehistoric temples situated on the islands of Malta and Gozo and to rename the property as "The Megalithic Temples of Malta".

Extension de « Sites d'art rupestre préhistorique de la vallée de Côa », Portugal

Extension of "Biertan and its Fortified Church".

Extension of the "Alhambra and the Generalife, Granada", to include the Albayzin quarter.

Extension of the "Mosque of Cordoba".

The property “Parque Güell, Palacio Güell and Casa Mila in Barcelona”, previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the “Works of Antoni Gaudí”.

Extension of the "Churches of the Kingdom of the Asturias", to include monuments in the city of Oviedo.

Extension of the "Mudejar Architecture of Teruel".

Extension de « Sites d'art rupestre préhistorique de la vallée de Côa », Portugal

Following a survey of ownership carried out in the late 1960s, ownership of the totality of the walls was vested in 1973 in the Spanish State, through the Ministry of Education and Science. It was transferred to the Xunta de Galicia by Royal Decree in 1994.

The Spanish Constitution reserves certain rights in relation to the heritage to the central government. However, these are delegated to the competent agencies in the Autonomous Communities, in this case the Xunta de Galicia. For the Lugo walls the Xunta is in the position of both owner and competent agency. Under the Galician Heritage Law the Xunta is required to cooperate with the municipal authorities in ensuring the protection and conservation of listed monuments, and certain functions are delegated down to them. The Xunta operates through its General Directorate of Cultural Heritage (Dirección General de Patrimonio Cultural), based in Santiago de Compostela.

The Master Plan for the Conservation and Restoration of the Roman Walls of Lugo (1992) covered proposals for actions to be taken in respect of research and techniques of restoration. This was followed in 1997 by the Special Plan for the Protection and Internal Reform of the Fortified Enceinte of the Town of Lugo, which is concerned principally with the urban environment of the historic town. However, it has a direct impact on the protection afforded to the walls, in terms of traffic planning, the creation of open spaces, and regulation of building heights. Another planning instrument which affects the walls is the Special Plan for the Protection of the Miño [river], approved by the municipality at the beginning of 1998.

There is at the present time no management plan sensu stricto for the walls in operation in Lugo: work is continuing on the basis of the 1992 plan. Nor is there a technical unit specifically responsible for the conservation and restoration of the walls. It is against this background that serious consideration is being given to the creation of an independent foundation, under royal patronage and with representatives from government, academic, voluntary, and business institutions, to work with the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage of Galicia. The work plan of this body would include the development and implementation of integrated conservation, restoration, and maintenance programmes.

The “Hadrian’s Wall” which was previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the transnational property “Frontiers of the Roman Empire”.

Extension of "The Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple Monastery, Lhasa" to include the Norbulingka area.

The "Brihadisvara Temple, Tanjavur", which was previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the "Great Living Chola Temples".

# : As for 19 Natural and Mixed Properties inscribed for geological values before 1994, criteria numbering of this property has changed. See Decision 30.COM 8D.1


World Heritage List

In 1979, the Committee decided to inscribe the Ohrid Lake on the World Heritage List under natural criteria (iii). In 1980, this property was extended to include the cultural and historical area, and cultural criteria (i)(iii)(iv) were added.

Extension of the "Australian East Coast Temperate and Subtropical Rainforest Park".

name changed 2007 from 'Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia)'

Renomination of "Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park" under cultural criteria.

The “Belfries of Flanders and Wallonia” which were previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, are part of the transnational property “The Belfries of Belgium and France”.

Extension of "Jaú National Park".

Extension of the "Glacier Bay/Wrangell/St Elias/Kluane" property.

The "Burgess Shale" property, which was previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the "Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks".

Extension of "The Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple Monastery, Lhasa" to include the Norbulingka area.

The “Belfries of Flanders and Wallonia” which were previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, are part of the transnational property “The Belfries of Belgium and France”.

The "Chateau and Estate of Chambord", which was previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the "Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes".

The “Hadrian’s Wall” which was previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the transnational property “Frontiers of the Roman Empire”.

At the time the property was extended, cultural criterion (iv) was also found applicable.

The "Brihadisvara Temple, Tanjavur", which was previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the "Great Living Chola Temples".

At the time the property was extended, cultural criterion (iv) was also found applicable.

At the time the property was extended, criteria (iii) and (v) were also found applicable.

The Committee decided to extend the existing cultural property, the "Temple of Ggantija", to include the five prehistoric temples situated on the islands of Malta and Gozo and to rename the property as "The Megalithic Temples of Malta".

The Westland and Mount Cook National Park and the Fiordland National Park, which were previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, are part of the "Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand".

In 1979, the Committee decided to inscribe the Ohrid Lake on the World Heritage List under natural criteria (iii). In 1980, this property was extended to include the cultural and historical area, and cultural criteria (i)(iii)(iv) were added.

The "Convent Ensemble of San Francisco de Lima", which was previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the "Historic Centre of Lima".

Extension de « Sites d'art rupestre préhistorique de la vallée de Côa », Portugal

Extension of "Biertan and its Fortified Church".

At the time the property was extended, natural criterion (iv) was also found applicable.

Extension of the "Alhambra and the Generalife, Granada", to include the Albayzin quarter.

Extension of the "Mosque of Cordoba".

The property “Parque Güell, Palacio Güell and Casa Mila in Barcelona”, previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the “Works of Antoni Gaudí”.

Extension of the "Churches of the Kingdom of the Asturias", to include monuments in the city of Oviedo.

Extension of the "Mudejar Architecture of Teruel".

Extension de « Sites d'art rupestre préhistorique de la vallée de Côa », Portugal

Following a survey of ownership carried out in the late 1960s, ownership of the totality of the walls was vested in 1973 in the Spanish State, through the Ministry of Education and Science. It was transferred to the Xunta de Galicia by Royal Decree in 1994.

The Spanish Constitution reserves certain rights in relation to the heritage to the central government. However, these are delegated to the competent agencies in the Autonomous Communities, in this case the Xunta de Galicia. For the Lugo walls the Xunta is in the position of both owner and competent agency. Under the Galician Heritage Law the Xunta is required to cooperate with the municipal authorities in ensuring the protection and conservation of listed monuments, and certain functions are delegated down to them. The Xunta operates through its General Directorate of Cultural Heritage (Dirección General de Patrimonio Cultural), based in Santiago de Compostela.

The Master Plan for the Conservation and Restoration of the Roman Walls of Lugo (1992) covered proposals for actions to be taken in respect of research and techniques of restoration. This was followed in 1997 by the Special Plan for the Protection and Internal Reform of the Fortified Enceinte of the Town of Lugo, which is concerned principally with the urban environment of the historic town. However, it has a direct impact on the protection afforded to the walls, in terms of traffic planning, the creation of open spaces, and regulation of building heights. Another planning instrument which affects the walls is the Special Plan for the Protection of the Miño [river], approved by the municipality at the beginning of 1998.

There is at the present time no management plan sensu stricto for the walls in operation in Lugo: work is continuing on the basis of the 1992 plan. Nor is there a technical unit specifically responsible for the conservation and restoration of the walls. It is against this background that serious consideration is being given to the creation of an independent foundation, under royal patronage and with representatives from government, academic, voluntary, and business institutions, to work with the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage of Galicia. The work plan of this body would include the development and implementation of integrated conservation, restoration, and maintenance programmes.

The WH area is managed directly by the Divisional Forest Officer from the Forest Dept. A national steering Committee co-ordinates institutions for Sinharaja as a National Wilderness Area, Biosphere Reserve (1988), and WH site. There are two management plans, prepared in 1985/86 and 1992/94, which emphasise conservation, scientific research, buffer zone management, benefit-sharing, and community participation.

The “Hadrian’s Wall” which was previously inscribed on the World Heritage List, is part of the transnational property “Frontiers of the Roman Empire”.

Extension of "Gough Island Wildlife Reserve".

(renomination under cultural criteria)

Extension of the "Glacier Bay/Wrangell/St Elias/Kluane" property.

# : As for 19 Natural and Mixed Properties inscribed for geological values before 1994, criteria numbering of this property has changed. See Decision 30.COM 8D.1


UNESCO names 27 new World Heritage Sites other sites threatened by Islamic State

Remember the Alamo? The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) certainly hopes that you will because the San Antonio Missions — including the Alamo — is one of the newest World Heritage Sites.

In the past week, UNESCO has named 27 new sites to the list it maintains of sites around the globe that are of “outstanding universal value” and also meet one of 10 selection criteria. In addition to the San Antonio Missions, the new sites include a 16th century aqueduct in Mexico the “Bethany Beyond the Jordan” baptism site in Jordan the Champagne hillsides, houses and cellars in France Ephesus in Turkey sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution and the Forth Bridge in Scotland — to name a few.

While UNESCO added roughly two dozen new sites to its World Heritage List, the organization doesn’t want us to forget that many cultural heritage sites are also in danger.

“Cultural cleansing, in my view, is exactly what’s happening in Iraq,” UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova said in an interview with NBC News about the Islamic State’s destruction of dozens of historically significant sites in Iraq and Syria during the past year. “These extremists want to impose a different vision on the world. They want to tell us that there is no memory [of these sites], that there is no culture, that there is no heritage.”

Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra is the latest site to come under cultural attack by the Islamic State, where photos showed militants smashing cultural relics including the funerary busts and the famous Lion Statue of Athena.


Unesco grants champagne industry world heritage status

Champagne vineyards in Mailly-Champagne near Reims, eastern France. Unesco has granted the industry world heritage status, following intense lobbying by France. Photograph: Francois Nascimbeni/AFP/Getty Images

Champagne vineyards in Mailly-Champagne near Reims, eastern France. Unesco has granted the industry world heritage status, following intense lobbying by France. Photograph: Francois Nascimbeni/AFP/Getty Images

Last modified on Tue 14 Aug 2018 08.55 BST

Champagne corks popped in France on Sunday after Unesco granted the industry world heritage status.

The United Nations cultural body decided that the “hillsides, houses and cellars” producing and selling champagne were significant enough to merit the award.

The decision, which followed intense lobbying by France, means the production area will receive special protection.

France had double reasons for celebration as its Burgundy vineyards were also listed as world heritage sites.

Unesco said the champagne world heritage status covered “the places sparkling wine was developed using a second fermentation method in the bottle from the beginning of the 17th century until its early industrialisation in the 19th century”.

It mentioned the historic vineyards of Hautvillers – where, local legend has it, the monk Dom Perignon invented the fermentation process that gives champagne its fizz – and the grand Avenue de Champagne in Épernay, the heart of the industry.

In Burgundy, Unesco recognised the uniqueness of the vineyards of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune south of the city Dijon which produce some of the finest red wines in the world made from pinot noir and chardonnay grapes.

It listed the Climats, which 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 recognised by the wine they produce,” Unesco said.

It concluded: “The site is an outstanding example of grape cultivation and wine production developed since the high middle ages”.

Frédéric Dufour, president of Maison Ruinart, the first established champagne house in the region, said on Sunday: “We are delighted with this news. It recognises our commitment to upholding our heritage all the while encouraging us to respect it and keep it alive.

“We are very proud of this classification … it is a very special distinction for all the men and women who have developed the region. The were driven by their passion, courage and the pursuit of excellence.”

The French president, François Hollande, said the awards were “a mark of international recognition of the exceptional heritage of these regions and shows the diversity and energy of these lands that are the wealth of our country”.

Other sites given similar status at a Unesco meeting in Germany on Saturday were the Botanic Gardens in Singapore, Diyarbakır fortress in Turkey and the Raymond cave dwellings in Iran.

However, some have questioned the purpose of world heritage sites after the ruins of Palmyra in Syria were taken over by Islamic State in May.

The list of 1,022 Unesco world heritage sites already includes the Taj Mahal in India, the Great Wall of China, and Machu Picchu in Peru.

In Britain, Westminster Palace and Abbey, Kew Gardens, and Stonehenge are among 28 listed sites.


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